Where Colours Unfold and Memories Take Hold

Nitobe Memorial Garden
Pacific Sea nettles
Sea Lion
View from Granville Island
A-maze-ing Laughter by Yue Minjun
False Creek promenade
Vancouver Public Library atrium
A 1940s steam engine
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I had the incredible opportunity to spend four vibrant fall days in Vancouver with my family. Unlike previous visits focused on seeing family and friends, this time we wanted to immerse ourselves on the city itself. With a loose agenda and a sense of adventure, we set out to explore all that Vancouver had to offer.

Savouring Fresh Sushi at Ki Isu Japanese Restaurant

Our first day started with a fantastic lunch at Ki Isu Japanese Restaurant in Yaletown, which our host recommended. The meal was nothing short of spectacular, with incredibly fresh sushi that left us craving for more.

Exploring the Vibrant Vancouver Aquarium

Energised, we made our way to Stanley Park to visit the Vancouver Aquarium. As we entered the facility, I was immediately captivated by the vibrant colours and diverse exhibits. From tropical frogs with their vivid hues to enchanting jelly tanks illuminated by fluorescent lights, the aquarium was a feast for the eyes. It’s worth mentioning that the outdoor displays at the aquarium now focus on marine mammals like sea lions and sea otters, demonstrating their commitment to marine conservation.

A-maze-ing Laughter at Morton Park

On the second day, we embarked on a leisurely walk along the False Creek promenade, passing through picturesque parks and reaching Morton Park. There, we encountered Yue Minjun’s sculpture installation called A-maze-ing Laughter. The larger-than-life bronze sculptures depicting figures laughing uncontrollably were impossible to resist. We joined the countless tourists who couldn’t help but engage with the sculptures, taking photos and immersing ourselves in the contagious joy they exuded.

Unforgettable Dining at Robba da Matti

Of course, no trip is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. One of our most memorable meals was at Robba da Matti, an Italian trattoria in Yaletown. The casual ambience and flavourful dishes made it an exceptional dining experience. From the delectable prosciutto and burrata antipasti to the mouthwatering spaghetti allo scoglio, every bite showcased the freshness and authenticity of Italian cuisine. The imported burrata cheese was a delight that left us craving for more.

Exploring Granville Island Public Market

On the third day, we explored the vibrant Granville Island. Our first stop was the Granville Island Public Market, a food lover’s paradise. The abundance of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and delectable baked goods was a feast for the senses. We couldn’t resist sampling local delicacies and indulging in hot beverages while enjoying the breathtaking view of Vancouver’s skyline.

Delving into Vancouver’s Creative Scene

After satisfying our culinary cravings, we wandered through the studios and galleries on Granville Island, marvelling at the talent and creativity of local artists. From paintings and sculptures to jewellery and pottery, each piece was a unique expression of Vancouver’s vibrant arts scene.

A Stroll Through Nitobe Memorial Garden

That afternoon, we visited the Nitobe Memorial Garden on the University of British Columbia campus. Designed by landscape architect Kannosuke Mori, the garden reflects the essence of a traditional Japanese stroll garden. The carefully manicured plants, serene water features, stone lanterns, and winding pathways created a sense of tranquillity. We admired the traditional tea house, the koi fishpond, and the peaceful sand and stone garden. It was a visual delight, and we learned something new about Japanese culture and history.

Vancouver Public Library’s Grandeur

Before bidding farewell to Vancouver, we stopped at the Vancouver Public Library. The architectural design, reminiscent of the ancient Coliseum in Rome, caught my attention. As I explored the library’s vast collection and admired the grandeur of the building, I couldn’t help but appreciate the city’s commitment to education and culture.

The Steam Engine at Canadian Pacific Railway Roundhouse & Station

Our Vancouver adventure concluded with a visit to the Canadian Pacific Railway Roundhouse & Station, which now serves as the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. The fully functional steam engine maintained by train enthusiasts was a remarkable sight, showcasing the city’s rich history and love for preserving its heritage.

Leaving Vancouver, we carried memories of vibrant colours, captivating exhibits, mouthwatering meals, and the city’s warm hospitality. Vancouver exceeded our expectations, and we departed with gratitude and anticipation for future adventures.

Text Martin Wray / Photos Cammy Yiu