Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things that impressed me about Vancouver

The characters. I saw some amazing people in some amazing outfits. I wish I had managed to snap a few pics, but they caught me completely by surprise and unprepared.

Transit. Now that Vancouver has 3 Sky-train lines, getting around was a breeze. No car, no taxi, no problem. With Google Maps, getting anywhere was simple to plan and execute on foot or by transit. We took the Sky Train from the airport to downtown and back as well.

Green. Holy humidity Batman! So much green. Vancouver's regular showers ensure that anything that can grow.... does. In spades. Flowers everywhere. Trees that seem to grow while you watch. Add to that a growing community garden culture right in the heart of downtown. People growing their own food, mere blocks from their homes. Impressive. Necessary.

Green vehicles. Living in a place where the mercury rarely dips below freezing means year-round transportation options impractical in other parts of Canada. Bicycles, mopeds, scooters, electric bikes, motorcycles, Smart cars and hybrids abound. I think two out of every three taxis were hybrid cars. Even the buses are electric to a large degree in the downtown core. Colour me impressed.

Speaking of bicycles, even though Vancouver streets are far from expansive, they have dedicated bike lanes. Everywhere. It was not uncommon to see lane configuration in downtown Vancouver that looked like this: HOV / bus lane; bike lane; car lane; centre line; car lane; HOV / bus lane. Sure, you could drive, but why?

Free wi-fi at the airport. It seems like a little thing, but it put a smile on my face.

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