As planned, I spent the day visiting Vancouver and as I’m eating some delicious Chicken Tikka Masala in Punjabi Market (Indian neighborhood), I decided to share a bit of my amazing day.
Good little tourist that I am, I started things of with the Vancouver Lookout. The tower offers a great view of the city in the same spirit as the CN Tower but not as high. Fun fact: the same architects worked on both projects!
From there, I headed to the Gastown Steam Clock to hear its Westminster Chime. I couldn’t very well query a steampunk novel one day and miss seeing the second oldest steam-powered clock the day before!
Chinatown (the second biggest after San Francisco, which I visited in June) was next.
That’s when things went from touristy to delightfully unexpected.
I entered Dr Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden and took the guided tour. Touristy enough. Unexpected twist, I ended up having green tea with a group of South Indian monks making butter sculptures.
Yes, you’ve read that right. South Indian monks. Chinese garden. Green tea. Butter sculptures.
Travelling from the Dzongkar Choede Monastery, the monks are currently touring Canada to raise funds to preserve their Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
To their surprise, they didn’t need to teach me how to use a Tibetan singing bowl, which I happily purchased (it’s my third one) and had blessed by their Master.
After a discussion about meditation, mandalas and mantras, they invited me to visit their monastery and explained how to get the proper permits to be allowed to live there for a while.
Then I headed for Punjabi Market.
On my way, a couple of church missionaries from United States joined me and started to discuss beliefs with me. They didn’t really like my pagan ways. *shrugs*
I kept walking and stumbled upon Quebec St.! What a surprise! I had to walk it, right? Guess what’s on there besides superb houses and trees? A Russian Orthodox Church complete with distinctive blue domes.
Russian Church. On Quebec street. A few blocks from the Indian neighborhood.
That widened my smile all the way to the Indian restaurant where I’m sitting as I type this. People on the street must have thought I was crazy.
I don’t care. This day is amazing!
I’m grabbing some Indian sweets and heading back downtown to go back up Vancouver Lookout and see the city by night (ticket valid all day! Yay!). Then, I’m off to my next Couch Surfing host in Surrey. I have a master class tomorrow morning and a free afternoon which I’ll probably use to visit Vancouver’s Art Gallery which I didn’t have enough time to see today.
In a nutshell, I’m having loads of fun!