Tuesday, October 18, 2011

VanBC Day 2 Morning: Pannekoeken and Granville

One of the fortunate things about our location in Vancouver was our proximity to the Canada Line of the BC Transit SkyTrain. Well, they call it a sky train, and it is an elevated line for some of its length, then it becomes a subway for the rest of the way into downtown.

Ladybug recalled a nice Dutch pancake experience from an earlier trip, so after some research, we found a place called De Dutch that appeared to be in the location she remembered. She remembered the name, "Original Dutch Pannekoek House" but I could not find that. I did not find out until after we got home that De Dutch was a renaming of the old place. The link goes to a quite interesting history for those so inclined.

We managed to board the train during the Monday morning commute. We were in for a bit more culture shock. Riders of Portland, Oregon's MAX train line seem to run the gamut of types, colors, styles, and personalities. In Vancouver, boarding the train seemed more a trip to the land of Kafka. Though the terminal and train cars were nice, airy, and light, the passengers were overwhelmingly decked in the gloomy colors of streets and rain. Black, gray, and tan were the order for the day. Urbane telecommuters wore designer shades of it and students and the working class had mass market or counterculture versions of the same colors. Ladybug and I looked like the little girl in Schindler's List on Monday morning with our bright colored clothes and jackets. Also, while Portland trains have some level of noise and conversation, this line was nearly silent save for the grind of the tracks and the automated announcer. Most riders had their noses buried into their phone where, I presume, they carried out a 4 inch version of their lives.

A colorful art display beneath an overpass

We detrained at (formerly) Olympic village and found De Dutch easily enough. The woman who served us was quite talkative and friendly and hosted our meal admirably. Here is an excerpt from their menu:

I ordered the meal of the left while Ladybug tried the dish on the lower right. We started a recurring theme for the week wherein I ordered green tea and she would order a breakfast tea with milk. Luckily for Ladybug, tea with milk is a given in a place called British Columbia. In Oregon, they often believe that a mix of chemicals called creamer will suffice. It never does. Our breakfast went a long way to wipe away the horrors of Sunday's boney, gristly lunch.

From there, we hopped on the train past downtown and on to the waterfront. We wandered around for a bit, then trundled up through Gas Town to be regaled by the more touristy aspects of Vancouver. Since it was off-season, it was a much quieter place with several businesses closed for the season.

The Gas Town Steam Clock (and my finger)

We did our duty as consumers by stopping by a store filled with maple leaf t-shirts, hats, moose themed items, etc. and got a few things to give to moms, dads, etc. Then it was back on the train, then off, then on a little boat to take us to Granville Island.


Pandabonium said...

That's more like it. Drab commuters on the train not withstanding. The De
Dutch menu looks interesting.
Reminds me of Van de Kamp Bakery in Los Angeles (bankrupted in 1990) which had a chain of stores and made great cookies and pastries back when I was a kid.

We saw the steam clock in Otaru, Hokkaido when we were up there this summer.

Was your water taxi like the little red job you photographed? I like the waterfront pics.

Looking forward to next.

The Moody Minstrel said...

That train sounds positively spooky. Not even the Tokyo commuter trains are that lifeless!

Don Snabulus said...

PandaB - I swear I already commented on this, but I am not sure what happened...sigh...Blogger. Anyway, I thought I would find a similar Dutch place around Portland, but failed. :( I remember Van De Kamp goodies (the store brand, that is). Our water taxi was quite similar to the one in the photo.

Moody - It was weird, but also kind of comical. I was able to appreciate the animated conversation and zany colors a bit more on my later MAX ride.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Zany. Now there's a word that doesn't get used as much as it should anymore.