We had put off going to Granville Island, because it sounded just like a Granville Island Ferry glorified shopping district, but we were glad we decided to visit yesterday.
Granville Island is actually right in Vancouver, at the North End of the Granville Street Bridge. It used to be an industrial and marine district, but became rather derelict when those businesses either folded or moved out of the high rent district. So the government took over all the buildings and has refurbished them and is renting them out as stores and artists' workshops.
There's a cute little passenger ferry that plies back and forth across False Creek; it's round and bouncy, maneuvered expertly to the dock and almost An expedition on the water at once back out again. We got off right at the Granville Island Marina, where we watched a young couple maneuver themselves into kayaks for a paddling trip. We realized that kayaking is a sport for the slim and agile, and that the kayaker is quite cramped in a very tippy boat. The observation served to convince us that kayaking is not an adventure for us!
Meanwhile, back on the Island, we found a public market crowded with vendors stalls and aisles full of eager shoppers. Lots of families had come to shop and enjoy themselves. We passed two street musicians; one had a saxaphone and the other a New Age variety of recorder.
We tried "Bubble Tea" and found it interesting, with little pea-sized soft lumps of grain at the bottom of a sweet iced drink; you suck up the lumps with a big straw along with the liquid. Granville Island marina
For us the nicest part of Granville Island was the huge collections of artists' and crafters' workshops and galleries. There were ceramicists and glassblowers and jewelers and fabric artists and woodworkers. The woodworking was quite good, and one store was totally dedicated to showing the works of woodworkers and cabinetmakers. There were some excellent pieces of marquetry and lathework along with numerous finely crafted pieces of furniture. Perhaps the most outlandish was a giant executive desk, fashioned out of an enormous twisted tree trunk with a thick glass top.
We strolled along the streets enjoying our walk, snapped some pictures, and, after a few hours, hopped on the ferry back to our apartment for a late lunch.