Granville Island, Chai, and Streetcars

Yesterday was a gorgeous day--an immense change from all the 'refreshing' rain we've been having--so we paid a visit to Granville Island in Vancouver. Granville Island is always crowded with tourists, but locals also visit for good bread and fresh produce. Emily Carr College of Art is located there, and there are quite a few local artists and artisans in cute little shops (plus, it is the home of Granville Island Brewery). The vibe there is always cheerful and artsy.

We saw this raccoon painting near one of the community gardens on our walk to Granville Island. Even though it's still January, green things are sprouting up already.

We passed by the fisherman's wharf. I love that you can see fishing boats against the background of tall downtown buildings.

Granville Island has great many buildings, so it is pretty easily to get lost. But you always end up somewhere pretty interesting. This building is the Net Loft, which houses a spectacular paper & stationary shop (Paper Ya), and a postcard store.

In another large building is the market. You can get just about anything here, from really good deli meat, to fluffy donuts, to exceptional produce.

One of my favorite places is the Granville Island Tea Company, which recently moved to larger and grander digs (right next door to their quaint old cubicle). This is where to get one of the best Marsala Chai teas in the city. It's sweet, milky, and redolent with warm spices. Yum!

This was the view of Coal Harbour across the water, as we sat and sipped our heavenly chai. We also saw quite a few sea gulls, begging for a scrap of food.

On our way back, we decided to try out the street car route that started a few days ago for the Olympics. It's a free service connecting Granville Island to the Athlete's village right at Cambie street. It was pretty crowded, but we managed to get a seat. The ride was smooth (those borrowed Belgian street cars!) but lasted just a few minutes. Pretty incredible, since it would have taken about 20+ minutes using normal public transportation.

The line up on the other side was huge! We were lucky to have taken it from Granville Island. Hopefully they'll keep this line up after the Olympics. It's pretty convenient.

Overall, a lovely Saturday.

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