We Are Off! - Grampies Track the Tortes (2019) - CycleBlaze

March 11, 2019

We Are Off!

Our friend Marvin (with Erika, of Planned Spontaneity fame) came to take us to the ferry, arriving a half hour before the appointed time. He was fifteen minutes off in his recollection of when that time ought to have been, and he always wants to be fifteen minutes early anyway.  That's our kind of man!

We were glad that Marvin was early. Note the "Montreal" parkas. Steve will also always wear his "gilet jaune" despite any political movements in France.
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The plan for this initial travel bit was to catch the ferry to Vancouver, bus to a hotel and overnight near the airport, and catch the hotel shuttle to the terminal in the morning. In a way (big way!) it's simpler without the bikes, but then again you have to rely on public transport rather than pedal your own way around. With a cold rain now falling, we were more than glad to be doing it the way we were.

One advantage of being an old timer in BC is that the ferry is free on weekdays. We were happy to receive our boarding passes, but a little miffed that they had the code word "Tuna". We would rather be associated with Salmon or maybe Orca. Tuna is no doubt a fast and noble fish, but it just sounds a lot like a sandwich in a box store.

We would rather be "Orca"
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As no doubt hoped by the Ferry Corporation we squandered our free passage by signing on for their $22 per person buffet lunch. Actually, it's worth it, with a nice selection of local and Asian ( Asian is also local now, after so many years of immigration) dishes.  The $22 hurts less too, since in time honoured cyclist tradition we were able to squirrel some for later. (Joni advised us not to report on that, when she learned of our plan, at least until we would be out of the Province, or Country. But we are oblivious, claiming some sort of divine right of cyclists.)

Of course, the dessert table was of special interest, in case it might contain a torte of interest.

As we have come to expect, torte hunting here on the coast is not a very productive pastime.  The slim pickings did ignite some soul searching about what is a torte, anyway.  Dodie would probably settle for "any fancy cake", but I have something more specific in mind. My problem is that "Ludlab Torte" from Montreal 50 years ago. If that is a "torte" then at least any ganache type creation is also a torte. And if that is the case, then BC Ferries had a very nice torte. See:

Is this a torte?
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I may not be able to form a really firm position until we run into our first undeniable really real torte. That could happen at the Polish Bakery in Montreal, or in Paris, or Bregenz, or in Germany along the Donau. I hope it happens before Linz, because the Linzer Torte is another torte pretender that will strain our ability to discern a real one.

Anyway, we will keep searching, and photographing cakes, even if we end up collecting a lot of "fool's torte".

From the bus stop to the hotel is a 700 meter walk.  That's a piece of cake, given Dodie's already proven range of 1 km. We were actually glad to be walking and not cycling in this part of Vancouver. The Richmond area is completely bike unfriendly. Dodie did however come up with a blister. We will have to work on toughening her feet. Good thing this trip is not a "Camino"!

The hotel, the Abercorn, was fully the equal of the other one we have tried here, the Accent Inn. In both places, our room has the square footage of four standard French rooms.  One strange bit of "entertainment" here was that our phone rang, and on the other end was someone with a southern US accent.  He claimed to be the manager of this hotel and apologized that a power outage had lost our client information. Promising at 25% reimbursement for the inconvenience, he wanted help in reconstituting his  records. After getting rid of him as quickly as possible, I headed down to the desk to inform them of this ongoing scam. They said, "Oh no, the last one was already two years ago" and claimed that other hotels had also seen the same thing.

I found it impressive that the scammers could ring through the hotel switch board and access a room phone. But just to see, I tried it myself. Oh, oh, the humans have been taken out of the equation and all I had to do was to punch in the extension number I wanted to ring. So for this hotel scam, you only have to dial the hotel main number and go through the rooms one by one. It would have been more entertaining had the scammers been doing something more complex.

We are now looking forward to the included breakfast here tomorrow, before the airport shuttle. Brace yourselves, as are we, for some heavy grousing about how this sure isn't Germany!

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