Tuesday, May 29, 2012

discover something new in a familiar place

On Sunday after lunch with B. at Sophie's  we went for a walk to Granville Island. It's a place we've walked around dozens of times. Yet on Sunday we discovered something new. For the first time we came across the houseboats. I'd seen them from the waterfront when on a harbor cruise way back in 2007. But this was the first time we stumbled onto the row of them via land.

It made me wonder how many other things I've missed. And it got me thinking of how to put new zest and enjoyment into familiar walks. Here are six things I thought of:

1. Walk a different way than you usually walk. That's how we came across these houseboats yesterday—by following hubby's suggestion to walk around the island instead of diagonally across to the market like we usually do. Whether your walk is a line or a loop, taking it in a different way than you usually do is bound to yield some new discoveries.

Granville Island houseboats

2. Carry a camera with a charged battery and set yourself the goal of coming away with at least a dozen photos. Your attention will be sharpened as you scout for scenes to capture and take home with you (from panoramas to macros).

Downtown Vancouver from the False Creek sea walk

Oriental poppy - close and personal

3. Be alert with more than just your eyes. Listen (to the seagulls, the horns of the water taxis, the ching of the bike bells...), smell (flowers, kelp, fish'n chips, coffee...) touch (couldn't keep my hands off those displays of lovely silk scarves) and taste (we found a cozy new-to-us gelato place that we liked better than the one we usually go to, judging by scoops of cappuccino, chocolate almond and maple walnut).

B. and me, smelling the posies

4. If you have time, take it.
Relax and enjoy people-watching, the scenery, the ambiance of the pan flute, French folk-singer and the bagpipe buskers. As you can see, that's what this crowd believes in too.

5. Take into account what the people you're with like and don 't like to do. The three of us don't enjoy thick crowds so even though the Granville Island Market is one of the island's must-sees, we skipped it entirely yesterday, knowing that it would be stall-to-stall people.

6. Park away from the congestion if you can. When we go to Granville Island, our favorite parking spot is off site at a cheap little-frequented lot near the Granville Island school. It's a short walk to the seawall, but  it's much less stressful than easing our car through the throngs of pedestrians looking for those rare parking spots in the middle of the island's action.

Back to you: What are some of your favorite walks and haunts? Why do you keep going back to them?  Have you discovered something new in a familiar place? How did it happen? 

Violet Nesdoly / poems
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Peter Black said...

Very interesting and stunning pictures, Violet.

There are some wonderful walks around here that are part of the Trans Canada Trail sytem.

I haven't taken my camera with me yet, this year. Hmm , I've missed those beautiful spring shots.

Thanks for the inspiration! ~~+~~

violet said...

Thanks Peter! That Trans Canada Trail system sure sounds like something worth exploring! (It doesn't extend out to us, I don't think, or if it does, I'm not aware.)

As for the camera, I just got a new one, and chose a tiny digital, just so that I can carry it with me all the time. It lets me take my walk home with me. Give it a try:)

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