Monday, March 01, 2010

Downtown Olympic Sights

Now that the Closing Ceremony is behind us and there’s not the pressing need to keep an eye on TV coverage of a particular sporting event or prepare for the next hockey game – I can finally sit down and post some of the photos we’ve taken over the last couple of weeks.

At numerous locations throughout the Metro area they had set up ‘live’ sites which consisted of huge screens to watch events, seating and a stage for entertainment.  We had two on the North Shore one in Park Royal Mall and the other in Lynn Valley Mall.  All the live sites were free to enter and enjoy although the downtown locations were consistently full and you had to line-up to get in.  They offered a great opportunity for people to get out and enjoy the events with others while not spending much, or just to stop and take in a particular event while out running errands or shopping.

This was the live site in Lynn Valley.


Most of the concentration of the party however was downtown, so we headed there a few times – during the day, evening and to meet friends in the pub for a couple of events.

Many of the large buildings have been decorated with Olympic related wraps.


Many buildings were unrecognisable under their wraps, like this one with the Canada flag.

IMG_0928Day and night hoards of people celebrated in the downtown zone, particularly Robson St and Granville St where numerous pavilions and houses set up by sponsors provided entertainment and impromptu hockey matches and renditions of the national anthem O’Canada would spring up amongst the crowd.

IMG_0931 Robson Square was the hub of free downtown activities.


One of the free activities is the zip-line they constructed which runs right across Robson Square.  There were long line-ups to get on the zipline in the last couple of weeks but they are keeping it open until the end of March so we hope to be able to try it out in the next week or two once the crowds have lessened.  This is the tower where you start the zipline.

IMG_0933 The TD Canada Trust building with it’s wrap


The TV stations moved out of their newscast centres onto the street for all of their news presentations during the two weeks. A bit risky not knowing what a large over zealous crowd might do live on air but as far as I know it all went to plan for them.  This was the CTV News ‘studio’.


Down near the waterfront was some excellent topiary of a curler and a hockey player around the Vancouver 2010 sign.


Floating Olympic rings in the bay.

IMG_0951 The new Convention Centre on the left with the grass roof offered a platform for viewing the Cauldron.


This however frequently had a long wait to get to – you can see the queue running horizontally along the lower level then back along the upper level.


However, without any queue at all you could get this perfectly good view from the street.



Not sure why eveybody waited for so long for the view from the platform ?

Throughout the city exhibits, entertainment and ‘pubs’ were built out of temporary structures in vacant spaces – a few open air carparks, open squares etc all got utilized to provide things to see and do for free.

One such temporary structure was this First Nations Pavillion.

IMG_0964  With a dancing guy out front to draw people in.


On another day we headed into town during the evening to see some of the activities and nightlife.

It was still ugly during the day but at night the Sears building was put to good use.


Granville St is a sea of partying people.


Robson Square illuminated.


The entrance to the UBC Robson Square campus had been transformed.  The entertainment included performers and an ice skating rink.


More views across the square.


This is the finish end of the zipline which ran well into the evening


The Olympic clock in front of the Art Gallery.


The Art Gallery


The new Convention Centre where many of the foreign media were based, together with the Olympic broadcasters for CTV. Most of the post-event interviews with athletes were in the studios here.


More downtown views

IMG_1025A decorated crane on a building site.

IMG_1026  The Cauldron by night.

IMG_1028 IMG_1031

David and I at the flame

IMG_1033 The floating Olympic rings illuminated at night.  On days when Canada achieved a gold medal the rings turned gold.


We returned by seabus to Lonsdale Quay.  The view here back towards downtown.  The bright glow to the right of centre is the cauldron.


Two large cruise ships are moored, housing police and security personnel.


We were surprised how relatively easy it was to get out and enjoy the celebrations in the city and were glad that we had taken the time to do so.

No comments: