April 18th, 2010


A thought on Vancouver and Tim Horton's

I hope to be back some day again

We were told to visit Tim Horton's for doughnuts

For those that know me well, I am quite a planner. In fact, I have excel spreadsheets of the trips that I have made - detailed agendas :P I get teased about it but friends have been asking me for it. Till date, I have travel itineraries for Japan, New York City, Vancouver and I was told that I should do one for Portland/Oregon!

Anyway, on my recent road trip up to Vancouver, an unfortunate incident happened that took away more than half a day of our schedule. We had to shuffle things around to sort stuff out and landed up not fulfilling half of the stuff that I wanted to do. Hence, I didn't manage to cover,

Grouse mountain
Capillano suspension bridge
Vancouver island
and the many food recommendations that my Canadian friend gave to me.

So I do hope that I will be able to return to Vancouver some day, and check out the rest of the stuff. Also, a day trip to Whistler will be nice.

Meanwhile, one of our Canadian co-workers told us that it was an absolutely must to have breakfast at Tim Horton's. As to why exactly, it was apparently for the coffee and mini doughnuts. My honest opinion? It wasn't fantastic or perhaps, I'm not a real doughnut fan. But at least we can say that we have checked it out.

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A pretty iconic part of gastown

The gastown steam clock

Gastown is a historical area in Vancouver and is situated in downtown eastside. It has a famous landmark - a steam-powered clock that has become a major tourist attraction. The clock was originally built to cover a steam grate (part of Vancouver's distributed steam-heating system) and served two purposes - to harness the steam and prevent street people from sleeping over the steam spot in cold weather.

An interesting fact that I noticed, is that in most cities, you would find a clock as part of the historical attraction. For example, in Prague, there is the Astronomical clock in the old town, Big Ben in London, the clock tower in Berlin, the Sapporo clock tower in Hokkaido and more. I find it rather fascinating. Each clock has its own story and unique feature about it and regardless of the history behind it, people would flock to it and stand by in crowds, waiting for the clock to chime.

Aside from the famous steam clock, Gastown is also known to be a mix of contemporary fashion and interior furnishing boutiques. There are plenty of restaurants, pubs and upscale housing lining the streets as well. Another unique feature of the town is that parts of it have cobblestone streets that remind me of Prague. We spent some time walking around, having a few drinks at a pub before making our way back to the hotel.

I think the charm of Gastown seems to emerge only in the night though because when we ran into Gastown the next morning, it appeared rather cold and ordinary to me - unlike the previous night.

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