It is just after 4am here in Vancouver and mid-day in the UK (8 hour for those trying work out the time difference) and I am wide awake. Rather than fitting t sleep I decided it was an ideal opportunity to update further my first day in Vancouver.
After a slow morning having breakfast and chatting with my cousin I ventured out heading the direction of Downtown Vancouver. I was handed the keys of the van and off I set. I love driving here, it seems much more laid back without too many aggressive drivers (I am sure the locals may disagree). I had decided not drive all the way into town but took the new Canada Line train, which travels between Vancouver Airport and the Waterfront in Vancouver. I went to the main hub on Georgia Street and when I came up from the station I was greeted with the Hudson Bay Company decked out in support of the Canadian Olympic team. Other buildings were dressed up for the occasion too. The place looks absolutely fantastic, even if it was a bit of a grey day.
Hudson Bay Company
I went for a wee a wee wander, taking it all in, getting a feel for what is about to happen. There is still a lot of work going on – a lot of activity in the front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. In front the Gallery is the Olympic and Paralympic countdown clocks. It was certainly the photo stop for visitors and I seemed to be the designated snapper!! I met people from Germany, Italy, Japan and, of course, Canada. After the universal sign language of the world – the moving of the arms and hands – I did manage to have my photo taken in front of the clock (yes, SGLD, I am really here!).
Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock
I then went into the Bay to visit the Olympic superstore – it is huge! Where you can buy every conceivable piece of Olympic and Paralympic merchandise…I will be back another day to do my shopping.
Olympic Superstore in the Bay
While in there I win to the Coca Cola Pin Trading Centre where folks have pins laid out on tables to show and trade. There was quite the selection and many of which I have in my own collection. The guy from Coca Cola started chatting to me and asked me if I had to a pin to stick on the world pin wall…which I did. I also had the good fortune to have my photo taken with Olympic Torch.
Coca Cola Pin Trading Centre
Olympic Pin Trading Centre
Scotland is on the map at the 2010 Olympics
While in the area of the pins I got chatting with four BC ladies who were in town, looking around and doing some Olympic shopping. Turned out that these ladies are into their curling in a big way…the knew the Scottish teams well, one even commented how “buff” David Murdoch and his team are. I was winding them up telling them that the GB teams will be taking the gold medals home and I got the same banter back, it was great fun and good laugh. We chatted for ages and we have agreed to meet after the curling is over to say “I told you so” only they want to go to the pub to do so the loser can by the drinks! You are on ladies!
Curling - GBR v CAN - who will win ladies?
Just at that point the Canadian women’s curling team appeared for a signing session and the curling ladies were almost first in line to get something, anything signed and they recruited me as their photographer, and I was happy to oblige. One of the ladies told the curlers who I was and that I was predicting gold for GB and we all had a good laugh about it and I gave them Scottish pins and wished them good luck for the Games.
Canadian Women's Curling team
I took loads of photos today and I am loving my new camera. I have uploaded a few to Flickr.
I am delighted to be back Vancouver and I so pleased that this beautiful city is welcoming the sporting world and I know it will put on show to remember.
I am going back to bed, I’m getting tired. Apologies for any typos, blame fatigue!
Thanks for reading.