Day off, let's go see what all the fuss is.

Vancouver Travel Blog

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For some reason my client did not need me this day so I walked around getting a feeling for the Olympics.  For the first time of the Olympics nothing was going on in the morning and so I was able to sleep in. 

The weather in Vancouver for most of the Olympics was incredibly warm and sunny.  So much so that one of the venues, Cypress, had troubles keeping snow on the mountain.  They organizers were forced to bring snow in form the top of the mountain and from another resort hours to the east.  Teh way the London Press wrote you would have thought the Olympics were going to be canceled. In the end all the events went off even if some of them were delayed one or two days.
  Also unlike what some parts of the media reported Whistler still had huge amounts of snow as they had massive snowfalls in November.

My first location I went is along the Seawall on the Burrad Inlet.  This is a very short walk from my home and is one of my favourite places to go and unwind for a hour or two.  At this location I look at the North Shore Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.  I can watch a the busy Vancouver harbour with ships and seaplanes coming and going.  Normally in February this seawall is very quite and only gets a bit busier if the weather is good and it is a weekend.  Of course this was not normal February Saturday, it was an Olympic weekend.  I had never seen so many people in this area during the winter and from the accent I heard and the number of maps being held, I doubt many were locals.

From here I could just barely see the top of the Olympic Flame a few blocks to the west at Canada Place.  I tried to take it's photo from here but I think it is very hard to see.  I then walked towards Canada Place along the seawall and began to get into massive crowds.  Even before I got to the plaza I could not move as the press of people was incredible.  The only times I have been in such a massive wave of humanity would being during rush hours in places like Hong Kong and Tokyo.  The biggest difference was nobody was rushing and everyone was in a great mood.  This was the first of many days that massive crowds came into downtown Vancouver to celebrate the Olympics.  It was wonderful.

Eventually I got to a place to take a photo of the flame.
  It was very tough as the organizers had not thought out the plaza very well and placed the flame behind a big ugly fence so everyone was was jumping up on chairs or anything that gave a better view.  A few days into the Olympics this was improved but I could not find the time to get back here until after the Olympics.

Fairly soon I got tired of the crowds and made my way south out of the plaza.  At one point I found one of ours buses waiting for some folks.  I talked to the driver about the crowds and then it was off to possibly the epicenter of the Olympics celebrations Robson and Granville Streets.  At Granville and Robson there were a few large TV screens showing live action of the Olympics.  Whenever Canada played hockey this was the place to be and literally thousands would squish into this neighborhood.
  Also in the area were a couple of pavilions showing special Olympic displays.  The Vancouver Art Gallery was the temporary home of BC House and the Simon Fraser University's building was home to the Canadian Mints Olympic display.  I never got into either as the shortest line I ever saw at either venue was around a 3 hour wait.  I think maybe once I saw it much shorter but I was about 3 in the morning and it would not be open for hours.  Remarkable people would wait that long to see whatever was in there.  Some of those people most likely are drivers that will cut me off, in my bus, so they are not delayed 20 seconds driving behind me.  Go figure.

The biggest thing I noticed this day was the change of attitude in Vancouver.
  For weeks leading up to the Olympics the local media covered stories on how the locals were not looking forward to the Olympics.  People were complaining about traffic, the cost and the amount of police.  You would never known of these troubles on this day.  Everyone I saw was happy and enjoying themselves.  Also we will likely never see as many Canadian flags being shown.  There was the colours of red and white on everything and everyone.  I felt out of place in just my normal Spring jacket and and jeans.

anupa_rk says:
Nice reading :)
Posted on: Mar 12, 2010
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