Walking

Mural Search – Mount Pleasant

After walking from the Olympic Village and snaking my way up to Broadway, I finally went south of Broadway. The Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) was my first stop.

This small art gallery had been done up in mostly graffiti style murals, but there was at least one First Nations themed piece and one that I can’t quite describe.

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The Covered «Galeries» of Paris

July 2, 2016 (Thursday) – One of my personal interests in Paris was to explore the covered shopping galeries, or passages couverts, of Paris. Because we had a lot of other things planned for our one week trip, I ended up seeing only one of these famed galeries. If I ever go back, then exploring more of these galeries would definitely be on my list.

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Marché Bastille, Places des Vosges and Le Marais

July 2, 2015 (Thursday) – This Thursday was our last full day in Paris. There were no planned visits to monuments or sights today. Today was foot-based exploration starting with a weekly market at Bastille.

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Bastille monument

Bastille is most famous for it giant copper monument in the middle of a roundabout. It’s the site of the old prison in French Revolution times. Today, though, we were visiting the Marché Bastille set up here on Thursdays and Sundays.

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Rue Cler, Paris

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On the way to Rue Cler

If you haven’t figured out by now, Paris is a walking city. We walked everywhere. After visiting the Musee D’Orsay, the Musee Rodin, and Les Invalides, we continued to walk towards the Eiffel Tower. We were really ahead of schedule and made sure our route to the Parisian landmark would take us through Rue Cler.

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Bienvenue à Rue Cler

I had read about Rue Cler in a Rick Steeves travel book. Mr. European travel guru, Rick Steeves, highly recommended spending time along Rue Cler for several reasons. Rue Cler is home to a compact collection of local epiceries, fromageries, boulangeries, and more. It is a cleaned up microcosm of every aspect of French daily living.

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Jane’s Walk 2015 – May 1-3

In celebration of Jane Jacobs, people around the world are organizing Jane’s Walks that celebrate people telling stories about their communities, get people exploring their cities, and connecting with their neighbours. Jane Jacobs was an author, journalist, and activist best known for influences on urban planning.

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Vancouver has it’s own selection of walks organized for this upcoming weekend. If you are interested in exploring the city and learning a little bit more about things from a different perspective. This may be a worthwhile event to sign up for. Even Gordon Price will be running a walk about the “West” West End.

Changing Surrey

Surrey, for my readers not familiar with Metro Vancouver, is the second most populous city in the region next to Vancouver itself. However, it is probably the largest city in terms of land area and it is the fastest growing municipality in the region. Surrey is currently the “second city” in Metro Vancouver, but it will likely surpass Vancouver some time in the future.

Coast Capital Savings headquarters under construction

One cloudy day in September, I had time to myself and decided to hop on the SkyTrain and head east to the end of the Expo Line at King George Station. The future of Surrey is evident right on the door step of King George Station. Coast Capital Savings, one of the largest credit unions in B.C., is building its new headquarters right next door to the SkyTrain terminus.

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Vancouver Heritage Week 2015 – Feb 16-22

I wish I could share more about the Vancouver Heritage Foundation and the great walking tours they put on. For a few years, I’ve participated in many of their tours. Unfortunately in 2014, it was the year I didn’t get around to any tours. Either I was too late in registering or I was out of town for a month living a different life.

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Coming up in a couple of weeks is Vancouver Heritage Week. The Vancouver Heritage Foundation is organizing a few walking tours and talks to celebrate Heritage Week.

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Hokkaido University

Just to the north and east of Sapporo Station is the large campus of Hokkaido University. The university is known locally by it’s abbreviated name of Hokudai. Hokudai was founded in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College by an American, Dr. William S. Clark. Agriculture is still a big part of Hokkaido University.

The university is full of trees, shrubs, and all sorts of greenery. There are a few ponds and a tiny creek that also flow through the campus. It reminds me a lot of how North American universities are set up with large open spaces. Many of the buildings dated back to the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. I keep finding North American influences in Sapporo and Hokudai has plenty of those influences. A couple of the campus buildings look like they came out of the Old West.

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小樽 Otaru Day Trip

We had finished our first week of Japanese language classes at JaLS and we were upon our first full weekend in Hokkaido. We originally tried to get bus tickets to Hakodate for the Saturday, but all the times we wanted to take were sold out. So we decided to visit Otaru this Saturday instead.

Rapid Airport at Otaru Station

Otaru is a about a 40-60 minute train ride on the JR train. If you grab the Local train, then it stops at every single station. However, if timing works for you, then you can grab one of the express trains and bypass all the smaller stations. Regardless of the speed of the train, the ticket still costs ¥640 for a one-way ticket. The ride from Sapporo to Teine is all above ground and offers a view of the city from high above the streets. However, soon after Teine station, we are travelling right along the coastline of Ishikari Bay until we reach Otaru.

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Hong Kong’s Stanley

If there ever was a nice tourist trap, I think Stanley in Hong Kong would count. This tiny little area on the hilly south side of Hong Kong Island is a magnet for tourists and locals alike. The famed Stanley Market attracts travellers looking for the quintessential Hong Kong souvenir. The waterfront attracts locals looking to enjoy some southern exposure on a sunny January afternoon. Expats love to travel here for a feel of something back home they might miss. This is Stanley.

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Over a half dozen trips to Hong Kong and I hadn’t been back to Stanley since 1988 when I was just wee pre-teen lad. My only memory of Stanley was getting this cheap little fuzzy caterpillar toy that would move around almost magically via strings attached to my hands. It was a long windy bus ride on the upper deck. Riding along all the tight turns along the rocky edge of Hong Kong Island is an experience on its own.

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