10 days in Canada

I got home from Dublin to Uppsala at night on March 17th, spent the 18th in class and packing my suitcase, then took off on the morning of the 19th from Arlanda Airport en route to Vancouver via Chicago O’Hare airport. According to Wikipedia, “O’Hare International Airport was voted the Best Airport in North America for the past nine years by readers of the U.S. Edition of Business Traveler Magazine (1998 – 2003), and Global Traveler Magazine (2004 – 2007), marking the tenth year in a row O’Hare has earned the top honor.” I’m going to venture a guess that the voting is rigged, since I’ve never heard anyone say a good thing about O’Hare and I certainly have nothing good to say about the airport itself. The staff were very nice but, to put it bluntly, the airport sucks. It’s disorganised, noisy, crowded, continues to have constant flight delays, and the security checkpoints were understaffed leading to long lines at a non-peak time of day.

And now, for the actual trip to Vancouver:

I spent 10 days visiting family and friends, hung out a lot at my old university (UBC) and even managed a trip over to Bowen Island for an afternoon with my baby sister Lisa.

I took a few photos from a rooftop trip at UBC with my friend Sophia. This is Koerner Library, where I spent many hours studying in the “Very Silent Study Room” (yes, it is really called that). You may recognise this library from a number of movies and TV shows, including The Butterfly Effect and Smallville.

Looking North:

Looking South-East:

Looking North-West:

Sophia and I spent about 10 minutes trying to time a jump right so that we would be in mid-air when the camera’s automatic timer shot the photo, and this one was pretty much the best shot. I look like I’m missing a leg and Soph has her face completely obscured by her scarf!

I like seagulls:

Looking South-West:

On the 27th, I drove to my old high school and picked up my baby sister Lisa from choir practice, then we drove out to Horseshoe Bay for the ferry to Bowen Island. This is the view as our ferry pulled out of Horseshoe Bay:

After a 15 minute ferry ride, we drove off the ferry and made our way to our grandmother’s place to spend the afternoon chilling out. I took a lot of random photos of stuff that I’ve always enjoyed about Bowen Island, stuff I’ve never really bothered photographing before, so that I don’t forget what it was like in case it ever changes.

These tiny flowers grow in tiny cracks in the bedrock or stone walls or steps near the water:

Here are some things that come to mind when I think about the sea:

A really old fire extinguisher, likely never used:

Being springtime in the Lower Mainland, the cherry blossoms were out on the cherry plum tree in our grandmother’s yard:

I was fascinated by this long-abandoned belt of nails:

And what better place for a small tree to start growing than the gutter of a seaside forest cabin?

This is the view from my grandmother’s house, looking South-East. The tall buildings in the far distance, directly above the lighthouse, are Gage Towers and Buchanan Tower at UBC.

Last summer my brother rebuilt an old bridge that had been falling apart for years, and the new one he built looks terrific and is no longer terrifying to cross! Growing up, there were always a lot of bees and hornets around this bridge, so I often ran across it to avoid being stung, but the boards were often loose, missing, or rotten.

More random photos of stuff around Bowen:

Being the poor student that I am, I didn’t pay for a plane ticket to Vancouver just to see friends and family and relax; the purpose of the trip was actually a result of a 4 year old knee injury that I need to get fixed. I’ll be getting a routine surgery at the start of June so that my knee won’t bother me anymore, but I had to visit in person ahead of time for a consultation with the surgeon and a bunch of tests, including an MRI. I’ll have Dr Piotr Blachut operating on my knee, and he is supposedly quite good.

I got to take the MRI results on CD from the lab to Dr Blachut’s office myself, so between the two appointments I copied the contents to my computer for backup and personal interest. This is one of dozens of images of my knee from different angles and with different foci. Neat eh?

On Friday the 28th, we had a big party at the King’s Head Pub on Yew Street. We called the owner, Jan, and reserved 50 seats ahead of time, and I’m fairly certain we filled more than 60 seats in the end. Monkeybar, the live band made up of Steve and Paul, played another great show and even learned a song just for me which they played that night, “Another Drinking Song” by Captain Tractor.

Steve:

Paul:

Our group of partygoers:

I took off Sunday morning for what turned into a VERY long trip home to Sweden, but I won’t get started on that.

4 Comments

  1. SuzannaWright April 15, 2008 at 12:22 #

    Looks like you made the most out of your time in BC. Wish I could have been there to see you! I am working in a museum/garden in Banff this summer, so I will only be in Richmond from April 24th-May 10th or so. I suppose you won’t be back at that time. I might try to sneak in a few days at home at the end of the summer as well.

  2. Lindsay Dee April 18, 2008 at 08:42 #

    Had plans on visiting you at the King’s Head but we were having a little soiree that evening too. Maybe next time pal – xo

  3. Andrew Strain April 20, 2008 at 17:42 #

    Man, I remember when we went up there, the night Canada won the World Cup of Hockey back in ’04… led the entire bar in O Canada at karaoke, woke up on a desk in the klink building to a weds morning class starting, using my flag as a pillow… haha, that was quite the adventure. Its too bad I missed you when you were in town…

    The Bowen photos are great, really enjoy the rustic feel and detail.

  4. Sarina April 22, 2008 at 11:21 #

    gorgeous pictures!!!

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