Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Bikes and Belugas

Today we hired these for a little jaunt around the seawall of the glorious Stanley Park.  I was impressed with their resemblence to my beloved Raleigh Cameo from my adolescence.  Louis thought they were distinctly uncool.  He turned down the offer of a retro handlebar basket that would have added to the indignation.

I love cycling as a way of getting around to explore a new place. There was beach after gorgeous beach with their backdrop of mountains. This definitely is my kind of city and its cycle network is extensive.  It hasn't taken Vancouver long to be added to my list of places that I'd like to return to again and again.  Just a small question of working out how to find the pennies to do that!

We detoured to Vancouver Aquarium which sets incredible standards for conservation and research.   This is what greets visitors outside.

We were rather taken with the beluga whales.  The cetaceans at the aquarium  have a rigorous training programme.  Some of the aspect of their routines have been introduced so that their health can be checked. Apparently they'll give pee samples on demand!  The aquarium has a rehab programme and returns injured creatures to the wild wherever possible.  Only those that would not survive out in the big wide world remain there permanently.

I'm rather pleased with my shot of this beluga showing off!

Now I knew Louis would just fall in love with these guys who carry their young and their dinner around on their tummies.  Sea otters now rank an equal first with meerkats on his favourite list of animals.  I think that this is the old, blind one who arrived at the aquarium with gunshot wounds. He seemed pretty content in his manmade habitat.

Here's me and Louis nearing the end of our tour near the English Bay Inukshuk, the symbol for the 2010 Winter Olympics.   We survived in spite of the attempts of several novice cyclists  to run us off the road! We reckoned that we deserved a reward for all that strenuous activity and dodging old guys with a death wish.  So it was back to Bella Gelateria for huge cones.  I reckon that we could end up looking like ice creams if we stayed here too long!


  1. Looks like you will be joining the Frugalers Club.

  2. When a zoo opened in Minnesota 40 years ago it had Beluga whales. Same situation-only those not able to be in nature. It still seemed unfitting and they eventually found better homes near real habitats. Biking makes up for the cones-enjoy.

  3. The aquarium is a love/hate thing for me. We used to buy an annual membership when we went to visit relatives, for a family it paid for itself in roughly two visits. The boys loved being able to touch the creatures in the small educational pools..

    For the longest time in, they had the worst luck keeping whales alive and public opinion turned against them. Baby whales died on a regular basis. It was tragic.

    Did you get a picture by the totem poles in the Park? I have one from when my family went out to live there in the 60s, then again in the 90s with my family.

    My husband and one son is heading "home" today. It won't be home ever again because it is far too expensive a city to live in and it's too crowded. And in a huge earthquake zone. We joke, here in Alberta, that sometime this century we'll be ocean front property owners.

    Enjoy your stay.

    1. There are no orcas there anymore. The museum makes a big thing of the fact that it has no cetaceans that could be released into the wild and also makes a big thing of the health checks that it does and the knock on benefits that this has for their rescue/rehab programme. Of course it pays them to have good PR but they seemed sincere. No black and white definitely applies here. We didn't get a picture of the totem poles. We were too busy cycling!