Stanley Park and AquariumAugust 17, 2017 in Canada ⋅ 🌙 19 °C
Repacked all our bags to ensure no liquid in carry on and souvenirs all safe. Checked out, left car at hotel and walked to aquarium, about 10 minutes away. Entered park and saw horse drawn guided tours. Next one left in 5 minutes so we went for it. Kids not that keen, but only an hour.
Told us lots about history of park and Vancouver. Stopped at some totem poles for 10 minutes. Took photos and went to shop for model totems, almost missed bus back, Tash and I ran as last ones on. Saw little wetsuit girl statue, was supposed to be little mermaid like Copenhagen but they didn't want to be copied so did girl in wetsuit instead. Also,saw Vancouver cricket and rugby club. Bemusement from fellow tourists about cricket lasting 5 days and having tea break written into rules!
After tour we headed to aquarium. Had green screen picture taken. I had green t shirt on randomly so appeared bodyless. Lady said she could fix but said no looked good as it was and bought a couple. Saw dolphin show first. Two dolphins, `Joanne a Pacific white sided and Chester a fake killer whale (so called as skulls when found were just like orcas). Quite unusual and rately seen, Chester found at Tofino on beach very sick. Neither can be released back to wild. Show was a training session rather than full on show, better that way, animals just working with trainers to develop understanding. Still did some jumps etc but not like a seaword style thing. Then went to 4d theatre. Was BBC film with Attenborough talking about sardine run when dolphins chase sardines up South Africa coast, followed by gannets sharks and whales. So many of them they split them off into bait balls and force them to surface where others prey on them. Gannets dive in in big flocks, get 10m with dive and swim another 10m chasing prey. Great spectacle water was sprayed on us, wind blown at us and diving birds simulated by spike in back from seat.
Then hit sea lion show while having some lunch, huge portions again, should have shared. Show was training again so no jumping for balls. Steller sea lions rather than Californian we have seen before. Saw shop had model whales which excited Ed.
Wandered around other exhibits, a good aquarium. Had tropical section with sloths in rainforest, spotted one but was obviously asleep. Saw penguins and sea lions get fed ice balls. Didn't go into ray discovery area as it had big queue. Could get hands on with rays here. We went to shop for model whales and a harry otter t shirt, then had slush puppies and walked back to hotel. Tash bought a large cuddly beluga whale and some orca slippers (was toss up between these and otter slippers)
Repacjed bags a bit more. No room for the large beluga whale cuddly Tash had bought. Have to be carry on. Drove to airport. About 40 minutes. Filled up on way, slightly painfully as pump I was using kept cutting out so had to fill slowly. Returned car fairly easily, found trolley and went into terminal. Had done 2800km on the trip in total. Check in desks not yet open for BA, so had drinks and Oreos from yesterday Safeway. It opened about 5ish and we checked in, learnt was delayed about 45 minutes. Got through security. Sam managed to not set off alarm by putting her glasses through scanner rather than wearing. That will be the key from now on.
Relaxed in lounge and kids went into duty free couple of times to spend last of Canadian dollars. Flight was delayed and boarding was slow as they tried to fix in flight entertainment system. Once on we learnt they hadn't fixed it and there would be none on the flight. Power plugs not working to charge iPads either. And two of menu choices not loaded on so not available. Not great service. Got some forms for compensation claim so we will see what we get. Ended up getting 6,000 Avios miles each, not much use. Flight was largely uneventful and we all slept a bit even Ed. Not too late landing, our bags, seemed to take ages to come. Met driver through customs, kids very excited he had sign with 'Smith Family' on it and we headed home.Read more