Traveling by SkyTrain gave us panoramic views of the city. The train mostly ran on elevated tracks, at other times we were underground, We arrived at the Waterfront station, exited the Skytrain, and were confused as to which direction to go. A lady was kind of enough to tell us the door to go out, then to take a left when we got outside. As we approach the turnstiles, we realized we needed our tickets to get out of the terminal. This was the first time we had ever used a ticket to leave a subway, train station or airport. Our tickets were found after digging into pockets and bags.
After walking for a few minutes, we had doubts we were going in the right direction. A food cart vendor confirmed we were going correctly, just walk a few more blocks, take a right on ??? street and look for the sculpture of a killer whale. “You can’t miss it” she said. She had said the street name three times and all three times I did not understand the name. Figured we would stop and ask again if we needed.
We came to a large intersection and decided this must be our right. After another couple of blocks we saw a huge building that had to be Canada Place. We were now in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown harbor front. Canada Place, a national landmark, is a multi-use facility that includes FlyOver Canada, Vancouver Convention Center East, Pan Pacific Hotel, Port Metro Vancouver cruise ship terminal, World Trade Center, office tower and VINCI Park parkade. This is where we would come back the next morning to board our ship to Alaska.
A stroll along the waterfront promenade and the iconic seawall took us to the Harbour Flight Centre. After checking in for our seaplane flight and discussing about wanting to do this, but not absolutely sure, we was given our tickets. Our 5:40 flight would be announced and until then the Cockpit Café would serve us free drinks and pastries. We found a table in the lounge in front of the huge windows, giving us a perfect panoramic view of Stanley Park, the North Shore mountains and the planes taking off and touching down. The lady from the desk came over to the table and upgraded our tickets from a 13 passenger seaplane to a five passenger.
Our original tickets were for this size plane. Our plane had only four windows.
Our pink tour was called so off to the seaplane we went. Upon arrival we discovered there was a very small ladder with round rungs, stretched out from the dock to the plane with the plane’s slender floats pushing the plane further away from the dock. It was very awkward and would have been very easy for your foot to slip off. We managed to get and was ready for our take off. Take off was very smooth and exciting as we saw the water spraying up as we lifted off the water.
Once off the water, we could see very thing surrounding the bay. It was a little noise but there was not a problem talking and pointing things out as we flew over a beautiful Vancouver.
This was our pilot for our flight. There was a very young lady who sat next to him, with Dee and me in the second roll and Steve and Fred in the third roll. As he flew the plane, he used the little round wheel by the right side of his head.
More controls and gauges.
The pilot used the leveler next to his seat a lot, not sure what it was for but must have been important.
Once in the air we fly north along the coast towards Whistler before circling back over the stunning islands of Howe Sound.
View from Vancouver across Burrard Inlet towards North Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains.
We circled back over the islands of Howe Sound.
We fly over Vancouver stunning downtown skyline . . . .
a busy street . . . .
sailboats in Coal Harbour . . . .
housing in the city . . . .
North Shore Mountains . . . .
and Stanley Park.
The sun was starting to fade a little as we made our final run before landing back at the pier. The landing was smooth, in fact smoother than when we landed in Denver on our Southwest flight!
Our next thoughts turned to how we were going to get out of the plane. We had been parked at the end of the pier when we boarded. As it turned out, we were now parked at the front of the pier. Three steps and a ramp was pushed up to the plane and it was so easy to deplane! All that concern was for nothing.
It had been a long day with our travels and touring. We needed some food before we headed back to the hotel. We found Bellaggio Cafe, specializing in authentic Italian. It was a large restaurant with a large patio area looking out onto Canada Place. We chose to be seated on the patio. The Disney Magic cruise ship was tied up about 20′ feet away.
In another direction city buildings reflected the sitting sun. If you look real close, on the third deck of Canada Place and just right of center, there is that whale that we couldn’t miss. Never saw it until I looked at this photo.
Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant is the building with purple lights, stands 553 feet high for an unobstructed view of Vancouver. One revolution is completed every 60 minutes.
As we reached the corner from the restaurant we saw this rotating earth globe in the window of the Vancouver Convention Centre. It is 18 feet in diameter, internally illuminated and rotates. The picture doesn’t begin to show how beautiful it was.
We had enjoyed our adventures of the day but it was time to head back to the hotel. Once again, we were on the SkyTrain speeding down the track, with the bright lights of Vancouver as the backdrop.