Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vancouver Day 1

Originally published on February 17, 2010 on My Life Is Like A Song

I got up early on Friday and was at the computer in my hosts' living room when their daughter told me to look at the beautiful sunrise out the window.

Photographing a beautiful sunrise (over water) was on my list of things I wanted to do in the next 1001 days for my Day Zero Project, so I immediately got dressed and went out in the hopes of capturing a beautiful photo.

I took over a dozen photos as the view kept getting more beautiful the further east I went.

Unfortunately, capturing the sunset didn't happen. It was cloudy on the days that I could have done it.

Later, I arrived at Harbour Air to take a sea plane to Vancouver. Having to arrive an hour before the flight because of extra security during the Games, this made the commute 90 minutes (35 minute flight). By taking a bus/ferry/bus, it would have been a four and a half hour to five hour commute.

Riding in a sea plane was another thing I wrote down on my list of things I wanted to do. I have never been on a sea plane but had seen them occasionally at my parents' cottage land on the lake. At the time, it didn't seem too realistic. We weren't sure whether they would be allowed to fly into Vancouver during the Games. I also thought it may not be worth the expense (and depending on the weather it can get cancelled) but as the day came closer, those 3 extra hours of sleep (or sightseeing or hanging out with friends) rather than travelling became quite precious.

I liked my friend's response when I wondered out loud whether it was "cheating" to have put those things on my list when I knew I was going to Victoria. His response was that it would have been easy for me to stay at the computer and admire the sunrise through the window, but I got dressed (I had woken up 5 or 10 minutes before) and went out walking 15 to 20 minutes down along the water to reach the eastern point. Also, flying on a sea plane would not be something I would have thought to put on my list, but once it was a possibility, I hoped to do it.

I was nervous about taking the sea plane, especially when my friend was telling me stories about how windy it can get and bumpy in the air. As I'm buckling myself in, the pilot tells us to buckle tight because it would be bumpy over the islands. Winds were 40-50 km/hour. At times, I felt like I was on a roller coaster as the plane would dip quickly...but it was never really scary. It was bumpy, but nothing major. I never came close to screaming like I would on a roller coaster. The other two times I took it, it was quite smooth.

As I left Victoria, I did take a moment to photograph the point where I photographed the sunrise and my friends' neighbourhood.

As we were about to land, I took photos from the sea plane. I didn't know it at the time, but the covered up cauldron is visible (bottom left) as well as the hotel I would end up staying in for one night just beside it on the right on this zoomed in photo.

When I arrived in Vancouver, it was perfect...the first words I heard were "Go Canada Go". There were a few people taking photos, so one of them cheered as someone was taking his photo and those three words were the first thing I heard.

It was so great to see everyone in national colours walking around...whether Canadian, American, Australian, Swedish, Russian, Swiss and all the other countries.

I walked up towards Robson Square and stopped by the Art Gallery where they had a countdown to the Opening Ceremony. It's really starting to hit me that in 6 hours...I will be watching the Opening Ceremony.

I walked around Robson Square watching people ice skate or going down a zip line over the square...very cool.

I then start walking towards BC Place and stopped in front of the Canada Post building where there was a trampoline show and where we could write post cards to the Canadian team (and receive a great t-shirt with autographs in a maple leaf design).

I was almost amazed to see the line-up waiting to enter The Bay's Olympic Superstore. Supposedly you could find gear from all the different countries and I guess that was worth lining up a full block in order to get in.

There were so many people walking around. I spotted a few torchbearers waiting for the torch to arrive, but was on a mission to find the bus station, so I didn't stick around. After the Opening Ceremony (which was scheduled to end at 9), I needed to catch a 10:30pm bus that would go on the last ferry at midnight. Not knowing how much time it would take to exit BC Place, I wanted to make sure I knew how to get to the bus/train station.

While there, I see the news about the Georgian luger dying in his training run...SO sad and shocking.

I then head back towards BC Place and go through the Ontario Pavillion, where I read on the whiteboard that Adam van Koeverden is about to arrive for autographs at the Right To Play display.

I wait around for a while, until the woman in charge confirms that he had to cancel because his interview with Global went longer than expected. Big bummer. I was very excited about having the chance to meet one of my favourite Olympians as you can see from my posts from the 2008 Olympics. You can read them here, here and here.

After spending a bit more time in the Ontario Pavillion including watching a bit of Jamie Kennedy's cooking demonstration...

it was time to enter BC Place for the Opening Ceremony.

Stay tuned for that report.

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