Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympic "Free Stuff" at Robson Square

Robson Square in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia is always a busy place, but during the 2010 Olympics, the area was even more lively than usual, with the buildings that line the square being draped in huge murals promoting the Olympic games.

Folks who viewed the Olympic coverage on NBC television may have heard about the popularity of the free zip line. It was, indeed, free in terms of money, but not in terms of how long you stood in line! I heard folks say the wait in line was 7 to 8 hours most of the time! I didn't wan't to wait that long, and besides that, I had been able to do a zip line back in Arkansas at a "Becoming an Outdoor Woman" weekend, so that exciting activity has already been checked off my "bucket list"!

There was also free ice skating at an outdoor rink at Robson Square. It was the first time I had seen assistive devices used on the ice, that look like the "walkers" elderly patients use to keep them from falling (lower right photo). The last time I ice skated, the only assistive device was the railing that encircled the ice rink, which is why I never ventured more than a few inches from the outer edge!
Other freebies at Robson Square included getting your photo made inside a real bobsled (upper left). However, the vibrant pink blooms of the fruit tree in the background is a pretty good clue that you were not on the snow hill when the photo was made! There is also a beautiful fountain in the square (upper right), and some people were tossing in coins, while other people were fishing out the coins. Dozens of retail stores are in the area, so window shopping is another "free" activity (that is, if you can resist the striking white boots with the red maple leaf design, prominently displayed for zealous Canadian Olympic fans). Robson Square was the location of the official Omega Olympic Countdown Clock showing details of various Olympic timelines. The Omega company also had a nice display of their colorful posters, advertising their participation in the Olympic games over the last several decades.
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