Monday, July 14, 2008

Stanley Park Miniature Railway

My daughter and her family have departed for their home after two weeks with us and life is gradually settling back into the slower pace that the "old scientist"and I usually enjoy. My five year old granddaughter is a delight to us, even though she came into my life much later than most grandmothers achieve that status.

Vancouver has many wonderful things to do with children and one of the nicest is to ride the Stanley Park Miniature Railway.

The ticket booth

For ten minutes the little train winds around over a mile and a quarter of 20" track through a lightly wooded 6 acre area in the park which was opened up after Hurricane Frieda in 1962, allowing the railway to be constructed.

The station itself with the train on the right hand side
beyond the fence

Last summer when my granddaughter visited us the city of Vancouver outdoor workers were on strike and she missed out, although she has been several times on the railway at Christmas time when it is transformed into fairyland.

Yes, we took the red train. There are three sets of cars and four different engines. Often there are two running at the same time on different parts of the track.

It is a beautiful setting and it was a lovely day so the train was full although we did not have to wait long, as one does for the Bright Nights Christmas train or the decorated Halloween Ghost train where you have to line up for ages, even though the tickets have a half hour window.

One of the extra trains, in a layby. They are all kept in tip top condition and I'm sure the drivers have a lot of fun navigating the route. I have no idea how they are powered and information online is scarce. Mostly, here are the hours and this is the fare.

An open area that the train passes through with some rustic decoration. No they did not cut down that tree. The trees in Stanley Park are sacred to the Vancouverites, but the windstorms have no respect for them. The last two years have been devastating to the 1000 acre park and the more trees that fall, the more that are likely to fall because they no longer have each other's protection. In one storm alone in December 2006 over 3000 trees were damaged, over 40% of the forest, which while primarily second and third growth trees is maintained with great care by the city.

In front of the stump you can see an inukshuk, a cairn of stones, although more rightly this one should be called an inunnguaq, since it takes the shape of a man. This has become ubiquitous in this part of the world since it was adopted as the symbol for the 2010 Winter Olympics which will take place in Whistler and Vancouver.

Several mountain sheep watch as the train goes by their pen. A common occurrence and not worth turning one's head says the female, while the male wonders if he has to do something about this intruder.

Somebody I know enjoys this ride very much and she is very anxious to get underway. Luckily we did not have to wait long before we were away.


Nunyaa said...

Your grand daughter is beautiful JMB. What a delightful thing to do, riding the train around, looks exciting even to me. Would be enjoyed by all :-)

Naturegirl said...

I am very familiar with Stanley Park as we lived in Vancouver for a bit! I know what you're thinking ((Who leaves Vancouver once you arrive there!))
It was job relocation but my heart is still there. The mountains the ocean the Park..sigh! Memories. NG

CherryPie said...

I love that picture of your grand daughter. I am glad you had so much fun and hope you aren't to tired after such a busy time!

Dr.John said...

I love that kind of ride. So do my grandchildren. Your grandaughter seems to be enjoying herself.

Vic Grace said...

Your photos bring back good memories of taking the boys on that railway when they were little.

Yes I do like the new Firefox. There are not a lot of changes visually but it is much improved in security, at least they say so. There are so many great extensions for it to allow one to personalize.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

I love Whistler and even better is the drive up there.

Anonymous said...

your grand daughter is very pretty. it's cool that you enjoy each other's company.

DeeJay said...

Looks like a really fun day out.
I wait in anticipation of my first grandchild, but it seems that neither of my two sons and their wives want to make that commitment. They are much too career minded and unfortunately time is beginning to run out

Carver said...

Beautiful shot of your granddaughter on the train. We have a miniature train near by that was a favorite of my daughter's. I'm glad that you got to spend time with your granddaughter and daughter.

Anonymous said...

There is an excellent mini train ride in the Palmengarten in Frankfurt should you ever pass that way. Great pix as ever!

Liz said...

She looks just like you on your wedding day! She is a doll!

You cna't beat a train ride for fun.

jams o donnell said...

That looks like fun for every age. Your grand daughter is so beautiful.

Janice Thomson said...

What a delightful post JMB. Loved the info and photos. Your granddaughter is a little sweetheart!

Crunchy Carpets said...

The train is so nice there....our fave is to go at Halloween..amazing fun.

And it IS fun to be a tourist in your own town

jmb said...

Thank you Nunyaa, it is fun indeed.

Naturegirl, I'm sure you miss Vancouver. If the weather is great it is a wonderful place.

Cherie, she is so cute at this age. Exhausting however.

Dr John, we are never to old to go on this ride. Lots a grandparents do it.
Vic Grace I'll bet you miss Vancouver sometimes. I like the new plug in you suggested.

James, I love Whistler too and I'm going there for the weekend.

Thanks prinsesamusang, we think so but are definitely biased.

Deejay, I had to wait a long time for a grandchild. My daughter was 36 when she had this child.

Thanks Carver, we had a great visit.

Mutley I haven't been to Frankfurt in a while. I'll remember if I go again.

Thans Liz. Luckily she did not get my freckles!

Jams, it is fun. Lots of adults go too. Thanks she is to us.

Thanks Janice, it is fun for everyone on the little train. She is pretty cute.

Crunchy I've never been at Halloween. I love it when we have visitors so I can show them my favourite Vancouver spots.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting

sally in norfolk said...

My boys used to love trains at that age too what a great day out for you both :-)

Ian Lidster said...

Love that little railway. Have fond memories of it. If ever on the Island go,and take your granddaughter to the Cowichan Forestry Museum just north of Duncan where they have an authentic steam train ride. She'd love it.

Jo said...

Omigosh, what a beautiful little girl! I can see a resemblance to you. She must have been thrilled to ride on the train. It's one of my favorite things to do, too. I grab a kid and away we go. It's lots of fun at Christmastime, if we can get a seat!

I haven't been visiting many blogs lately, and I have a new blogsite now:


Smalltown RN said...

what a darling young lady your grand daughter is...and those photos of the train in Stanley Park are wonderful...again you do the city proud.

Dragonstar said...

Wish I'd been with you. That red engine is absolutely lovely!

Glenn Palmer said...

Nice pics. Looks like a great day.

Does anyone besides me find Stanley Park sort of sad these days? I grew up batting around that park. Now, almost everything that made going there fun is gone, except for the railroad.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'd love to take one of those rides myself!

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