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hkskyline

Year in Review : 2004 in Canada Part 2

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Vancouver

The trip to the West Coast was quite ad-hoc. A bunch of us decided to go somewhere after we finished our professional exams. I have been to Vancouver several times before, with my last visit in December 2002. However, this was the only visit where I was greeted with very good weather. Vancouver is a much more laid-back city, and perhaps with the best setting among Canada's largest cities. The mountains and ocean are clearly visible, and the Asian food is great. Richmond feels like a lowrise version of Hong Kong, and the CAD$20 sashimi buffets were spectacular.

Vancouver International Airport - the port of entry from Asia to Canada

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A piece of home - Cathay Pacific, flying direct from Hong Kong to Vancouver, Hong Kong to Toronto via Vancouver, and Hong Kong to New York via Vancouver. Which route did this plane take?

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It was quite a contrast compared to week before when I was scrambling around in New York and Philadelphia.

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Look at how clean the water is! It was just as clear in Stanley Park and almost everywhere I looked. The only exception was the muddier waters off Richmond next to the hotel that I was staying. However, a sea otter managed to pop out of the water and said hi to us.

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Water and boats everywhere :

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I tried taking pictures in Stanley Park twice. These ones turned out a lot better since it was sunny.

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Prospect Point

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I was wondering how to get down to the path by the water when I was up at Prospect Point. By accident I stumbled across a dirty path down the hill and after 20 seconds I reached Lion's Gate Bridge ... snap snap ... then another few minutes down a steep slope and I was by the water or this shot :

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Descending into Granville Station

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Victoria

BC's provincial capital, Victoria is a very lovely small city. What surprised me was the double decker bus that greeted us at the ferry terminal from Vancouver. Victoria and several other BC cities purchased Dennis Tridents and are among a very few operators in North America.

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I saw the Egyptian exhibit in Toronto earlier in the year. It was well worth my 5 bucks!

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The Queen is Canada's head of state.

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There are so many beautiful flowers at Butchart Gardens that I didn't even know where to start snapping. I think I was at photo #1000 at that point.

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Rocky Mountains

The weather was not good during my 4 day trip to the Rockies. Luck wasn't on our side, as the power went out in the small town we were staying on the first night. The sun did manage to peek out as we pulled into the Columbia Icefield :

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Back in the old days, tourists rode on this coach onto the glacier :

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Banff is the ultimate tourist spot in the Rocky Mountains. Heavily commercialized and overflowing with tourists, Canadians are very concerned that this mountain retreat is losing its charm :

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Fall Colours

Truly spectacular, but due to exams again, I had to postpone my much-anticipated trip to Mont Tremblant, a ski resort in Quebec with stunning views of the fall colours. Instead, I snapped these :

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So why do the leaves change colour? When temperatures drop, chlorophyll production stops and the other pigments in the leaves become more visible, such as red, orange, and yellow. They eventually fall off and are a nightmare to rake. Of course, some trees, such as evergreens, don't experience this problem.

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We stopped in a whole bunch of small towns and cities along the way. Kelowna is famous for its apple orchards, and they even grow fuji apples :

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Nice photos! I especially liked the Vancouver photos. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities, and I love the natural scenery in the area.

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