The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver

We went to Vancouver to take in the Olympic fun. It was a terrific time.We went over on Thursday. 7 am ferry was packed. Huge line-up at the buffet, but after a short wait we made it in. Once again, the BC Ferries breakfast buffet was excellent, and worth the price.

All four of the #620 buses were full with the ferry crowd, so a 5th bus was added. The Canada Line Skytrain was packed all the way.

Once in Vancouver we visited my Uncle Fred who works in the Bentall Towers, then saw the cauldron. It was smaller than I had imagined, yet still very impressive, and I intend to visit it once the fence is removed. There was a huge line up to get to the viewing platform, but we passed. We also saw the Olympics rings out on the water.

Next, to Gastown. We stopped at German House, which was a beer garden. I had expected a pavilion more like the Expo 86 pavilions, but I was disappointed. I did get an authentic German bratwurst, which I haven’t had since I was six years old, and it was very good.

Looked at the Gastown Steam Clock, which was surrounded by coaches and officials from the Czech team all taking photos, and all in their team jackets. alked by various other pavilions, including the Canadian Mint, but the crowds were so think we decided not to wait in line. In one jewelery store there was a bobsled on display, and we could hold the Olympic torch and do a photo shoot.

On Robson street we watched buskers, and at Robson Square watched the three Olympic mascots Quatchi, Miga and Sumi skating. Then Canadian Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery in Skeleton went on stage and showed his medal. Go, Canada, Go!

While we watched an excellent local group of performers: CircusWest, people sailed overhead on zip lines.

After eating and lots more walking, going into some shops, we went down Granville. there were TVs every where tuned to the hockey game, so it was very easy to follow the game. After going by Ireland House, another beer ga4den, we ended up at Mainland Street. We saw a not untypical Vancouver sign at one food pavilion which shows how multicultural Vancouver has become: “East Indian Cuisine. Pizza By the slice.” This is a shining example of how Vancouver is such an excellent city to host the Olympics and showcase peace, harmony, and diversity.

There is much criticism over the cost of these games, and the cost of security. But looking at the line ups out the door at many of the established restaurants, plus the ferry and bus earlier, I realize the provincial and federal governments will recoup a decent chunk of the costs in taxes. This is probably the best month ever for many of the small businesses that cater to tourists. that is some of the positive aspects of the Olympic Games.

Then we walked by BC Place Stadium, around Canada Place, and ended up at the Plaza of Nations to watch a cover band perform on stage while the Women’s Hockey Team medal ceremony played in the background. After more eating we raced back to the Canada Line to get the ferry home. On the ferry I met five people I knew from Victoria. All had been to the hockey game and said it was excellent. One bought a ticket from a scalper at the last minute and only paid $20.

We had a great time. Everyone was so friendly, so excited. It has been a terrific two weeks, having the Olympics in our own back yard.

Go, Canada, Go!