Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia

Stanley Park is simply beautiful.  I've enjoyed Stanley Park since the very first time I came to Vancouver decades ago.  Then it was Prospect Park with the view of English Bay, Lion's Gate Bridge and the sailboats, tankers and luxury liners using the passage or travelling across the blue water. The snow capped mountains lie  to the north and the islands like hazy to the west. When I 've always loved bicycling the seawall but walked it most when I lived on my sailboat in Coal Harbour. I roller bladed it when I lived in the West End. It's always been this sacred place where exercise combines with spirituality.
I've loved the duck pond taking hundreds of photos and just enjoying the changes with seasons.  Then there's the paths which run through the forest which Emily Carr so captured in her paintings on display still in the Vancouver Art Gallery.  They're haunting and serene at the same time.  Old forest.  Ghosts of natives long past and the first white men who met them on these shores. Hundreds of years of human history with thousands of years of earth history more before that. It's all here in the middle of a city vibrant and alive with commerce and trade. Jimmy Patterson, the famous entrepreneur, helped save the park when hurricane winds knocked down so many trees.  Volunteers and lovers of the park have always come forward to help.
The Aquarium is here. I love when children come to visit me as there's no place like the Vancouver Aquarium to take them.  There's the minature railway to enjoy as well.  The Totems are a special toursist spot. But I don't need guests to come here. I enjoy the park so much that it's a usual for me to complain that though I live so close I so rarely make the time to enjoy this outright natural luxury that any Vancouverite can partake of if every their day is down.  Today I enjoyed watching the children play at Second Beach and remembered how I used to swim at the pool here.  I've certainly enjoyed many a summer hour lying on the beaches. Each has it's own personality.
Today I just enjoyed driving my Ural Patrol Motorcycle around the park with Gilbert in the side car.  I did this tour on an electric bicycle, before I got a 50 cc Aprillia Scooter, before the Honda Ruckus, the Buell Blast, the Harley Roadster and the Electroglide. I've enjoyed this drive in all those motorcycles just as I enjoyed the seawall on bicycle. The restaurants in the park have been marvellous places to eat and take friends.  The galas I've attended there have been the best.
I'm thankful for Stanley Park.  It's just one of the far too much that I take for granted.  God has created such beauty with such diversity and it's readily available anytime for me to enjoy.  The City of Vancouver and the friends of Stanley Park have all done an incredible job of saving it and keeping it the paradise it is. I'm so thankful for all those unseen souls who now and before have done so much so that we can have this glorious gift.  I love you Stanley Park!IMG 2163 IMG 2156

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