Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Olympic Day

On Sunday we decided to check out some of the free activities Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics had to offer, click here to view all. As we only have one day to be local tourists, we chose attractions that are educational with short or no waiting time and are within walking distance of each other.

We heard of Michael Lin's hand-painted mural at the Vancouver Art Gallery, it was easy to find. The gallery is also offering free admission to the Leonardo da Vinci's exhibit during the Olympics. With at least 2 hours in the line-up, I think I'll go in March.
Right across from the mural is the Olympic clock that counts down the time to the games.
Wrapped around this building is the biggest Canadian flag I ever saw.The magnolias are already blooming downtown.
The Pan Pacific Hotel is featuring the Kla-howya: Aboriginal Village Welcome where you can see various artists demonstrating different Native art. There are cedar bark basket weaving, wood carving, also dance performances at various times of the day. The fragrance of cedar that filled the place truly made us feel welcome.
At Canada's Northern House, there is a short 15 minute wait. I wandered around and snapped away at the surrounding buildings. David stayed in line and for that he received a pin that says Nunavut!
We enjoyed our stay at Canada's Northern House, lots of informative displays, there was even a delightful fashion show. The lower level showcased displays of soapstone carvings, paintings, exquisite beadwork, and lino printing demonstration.
While David and other visitors listened to an interesting presentation of Inuit life, I stood amazed at the fine quality of these baskets, made of birch bark, spruce root and porcupine quills.
Our next destination is the Royal Canadian Mint Pavilion. When we saw the queue below, we decided to check back later at 8 pm. We got in after couple minutes wait. Inside are various displays of coins, we watched a video on how coins are made. There is a chance to lift a gold bar and photo opportunity with the $1 million dollar solid gold coin. But what we really wanted to see are the Olympic medals, however that's a 6 hour wait so we skipped that.
The Hudson Bay Company is decorated with pictures of Canadian athletes.Only a half hour wait to see the Olympic Cauldron from a raised platform.
While we wait in line we can see the Olympic rings shining a white color, signifying a silver medal won by Kristina Groves in Speed Skating Ladies' 1500 m.
On our way to the car we saw some Salvation Army volunteers handing out complimentary hot chocolate in exchange for smiles. It was much appreciated as it warmed us up from the inside. Even with daytime temperatures of around 10 degree celsius it is still close to freezing at night.

The grand finale to our day is the Vectorial Elevation Light Display by English Bay. Only a few people passed by while we had the show to ourselves, this is around 10:30pm. I stayed in the car and watched the various displays while David took some pictures.
Apparently you can go online and program your very own design. The lights below were caught in transition. We much enjoyed our day visiting the various spots and are glad for this once in a lifetime opportunity.


  1. Wow, thanks for the tour. It all looks fantastic.

  2. I am amazed how much you fitted into one day Novi. What agreat experience.