Streets were blocked and cinematic equipment trucks were parked along the streets; we saw dozens of movie makers on Hastings just off Burrard, but Alas! no identifiable stars. So we had to content ourselves with the Gastown Steam Clock. Gastown Steam Clock
The local businesses used to share a steam plant; by 1977 they had all switched to alternative means of heating, and some enthusiastic engineers built the world's first steam-powered clock. It's a much-photographed job, with a constant venting of steam and its works visible through glass panels, but when it sounds the traditional Westminster chimes it sounds a little like an off-key calliope. Lots of fun, though.
After the Steam Clock we zigged and zagged and passed through an area described in the tour books as Little Italy but is now much more polyglot -- although a few Ristoranti are still in evidence. Eventually we arrived in New Westminster, and parked.
This is the first city on the coast, and was even the capital of B.C. for a short time, but it failed to become the principal port when the Canadian Pacific elected to put its station in what is now downtown Vancouver. So New Westminster boasts some older Victorian homes, but is otherwise an ordinary sort of place. In fact, when we drove by one of the "Heritage Homes" that was built when we were 2 years old we felt that the locals were kind of pushing the concept of historical interest! New Westminster Public Market
We found a casino on a riverboat and contributed to the local economy, then walked next door to the Westminster Quay and Public Market. It wasn't as large or as crowded as the Lonsdale Quay we had visited in North Vancouver, but the Esplanade outside along the Fraser River provided a nice waterfront walk. A tug pulled a barge down river, and men were bringing flowers to set up for an afternoon wedding on a small cruise boat. The old paddlewheeler Samson V was moored at the dock, but it won't be open for a few more weeks, so we looked for the Russian submarine and couldn't find it.
Did we mention the Tourist Information Centre? This was a lovely building next to the casino, with a pleasant young lady on duty, and which provided us with a wealth of information on places we are planning to visit, such as Nanaimo and Prince Rupert. So we returned to the building to ask the young lady where was the Russian sub?
She told us it had been moved to Victoria. It's the Foxtrot U-521, decommissioned in 1993. We'll look for it when we get to Vancouver Island.