Thursday, September 29, 2011

Barging In

The idea of getting a bus and organizing a blogger's tour of non-stop photo-ops has been bandied about in my comments boxes  lately.  I thought I'd go one better and get us all a BARGE!

For years now, every time I've been out to North Vancouver to visit the old homestead, I've noticed this derelict barge on the opposite shore.  My mother told me that it had been used at Expo 86 as a McDonald's "restaurant" (I use the term loosely) and had been towed away and left abandonned after the fair was over.

On one visit, we happened to be on that opposite shore and I got to see the mystery boat (known locally as the "McBarge) at a closer distance. 
Apparently, during Expo it was the busiest McDonald's in the world (yes, even busier than Paris McDo's!)

  Since Expo, the barge has been used as a movie set in numerous films, often subbing (pardon the expression) for a cruise ship.

Look at all those windows we bloggers can gawk out of and photograph from as we traverse oceans and cruise along rivers or moor in lakes.  Of course, there are outdoor platforms as well where the more dedicated can set up tripods and such.

Just think of the parties we will be able to have every night!
It will truly be a magical mystery tour.

(Operators are standing by to take your call so book your reservation now!)

Reality check:  The barge was bought right out from under us by a property developer who plans to transform it into three restaurants (seafood, tap bar, and coffee shop) and dock it on the Fraser River in Mission.  The renovation is expected to cost $5million and the entire project $10mill. 
Maybe it was a bit beyond our means.

Okay, everyone back on the bus!


  1. Can I get an order of fries please while I ponder all of that ???

  2. You developed the story with fabulous photos (not sure how you do that), you brought me in with interest, trying to peer inside those windows... then you tickled me and made me laugh!

    Okay, I am back on the bus. Is there any chocolat chaud?


  3. Love it! Another wonderful, fully edited story. Thank you for starting my day in such a wonderful way.

    And - I think the idea of a "cruise barge" is far superior to a floating restaurant! Hmmm...docking it in Mission? I wonder if that is the best location for him to recover his $10M? But, that is his problem, and so I will go back to dreaming of a lovely vacation spent on the cruise barge!

  4. The cruise was wonderful while it lasted! I wasn't ready to get back on the bus, tho. I was picturing being surrounded day and night by water and mountains, and by photographers who could explain the zillion "menu" settings of my camera to me.

  5. BrOwen,
    Would you like that super-sized?

  6. Genie,
    So you're ticklish! Don't let Owen know!! I fear mayhem will ensue if he happens to sit beside or behind you.
    Would you like your chocolat chaud with a splash of Cognac?

  7. Audrey,
    "A cruise barge"--excellent term! Conjures up images of the hoity-toities mixing and mingling with the salts of the earth whilst consumimg champagne and fries.

    I'm thinking Mission isn't the way we remember it, Audrey, as the newspaper article I read mentioned that the McBarge would connect to a new float plane facility on the banks of the river.

    However, I think the barge is still languishing on the "far shore." Will have to check it out next visit "home." Maybe we bloggers will get that cruise barge yet!

  8. jann,
    Okay, you can have a few extra hours to explore and daydream but you don't want to be left behind! I think someone is organizing a raffle on the bus that I'm sure you won't want to miss out on: a lifetime supply of ant traps, delivered anywhere in the world--including Sicily!

  9. I too wonder about a $10M floating restaurant in Mission. It must be much changed from my days of living and working there (circa 1966).

    I like your idea. Maybe a Petitcodiac Princess - "The tide is high but I'm holding on . . ."

  10. Must be a year since last I stepped into a McD.

    This must be a unique find indeed. Floating in a kind of universe of its own, cravingly beautiful.

    Most places build for the Olimpic Games 2004 over here look nearly alike.

    Please have a good new month and a nice weekend as well.

    daily athens

  11. I love the delicious light and the softness of the tones in these exquisite pictures.

  12. there's a certain promise of wickedness in that last photo... they're all lovely.

  13. Simon Fraser University (your alma mater) is atop one of the mountains behind the barge. If the Ten Million $ deal has gone by the boards, perhaps an entrepeneur could turn it into a ferry to take N.Van. students across the water, where they could hop on the "hoped for" gondola up to the Univ.It's possible but not probable, much too futuristic I guess.

  14. Yes, absolutely, super size me, even if it means risking the sinking of the garbage barge... was there really a McDonalds on it ? What a shame, it probably still smells of boiling french fry oil. Well, maybe we could find a parking spot for it up at the Slough, after a few more seasons in the sun and wind and rain and snow the smells will go ?

  15. DCW,
    Aint nothin' the same as it was in 1966 out there!
    The PetiPrincess...hang on is right! It would be a great way to see The Rocks. I bet they'd try to collect admission fees from us, though, as we sailed past on those 30 foot tides.

  16. Robert,
    What a perfect description for an abandonned Burger Barge--"cravingly beautiful." It's probably a good thing you haven't been into a McDonald's in a year. But they do have good fries! I wish you a good October, too.

  17. Leovi,
    I did "enhance" the tones in Photoshop, I must admit. I'm glad you like the results.

  18. m,
    Wickedness? Moi?! You begin to know me a little too well.

  19. Shirl,
    If there was a barge with a built-in McDonalds, plus a gondola ride to get to SFU, they'd be lined up for blocks to go to university!

  20. BrOwen, don't think 25 years of sitting in the wind and rain and occasional sunshine and more rain and occasional snow and some more rain would have washed it clean by now? Your idea of parking it in the slough is a good one. If we got kicked off the land or the tsunami rolled in, we'd be all set to sail away. And yes, it really was a McDonald's restaurant, I have it on very good authority--my mother. Plus a newspaper article. Mothers are never mistaken and newspapers never lie, right?

  21. My dad always wanted to go on a barge trip...sadly he never managed it, but I reckon I could go in his place on this one here!

  22. Saj,
    Yes, you definitely owe it to your dad. Or maybe not this particular barge trip...what say we meet up for a cruise through the south of France? If wishes were barges, this boat would float!

  23. Oh you are too funny and clever. You never fail to serve up each of your posts as a visual delight with a side order of humour.

  24. how wonderfully Hilary put it, yes, visual delight & humour are what every decollete glimpse offers :-) and here, soft and hazy tones as well, and the longing of voyage, i want to just sail away now, endlessly...

  25. Hilary,
    And you are always prompt to deliver a piping hot quip or pungent pun right to my blog post's doorstep!

  26. Roxana,
    Do you think the barge would fit under the Bridge of Dreams? Surely we could do a sail past there? I hope our giggles wouldn't disturb the dreamers.

  27. Remember Ken Kesey said, "You are either on the bus or off the bus".
    So count me in for the next magical mystery tour.

  28. Patricia,
    Great! I'm so glad you're on the bus. What flavour Kool-Aid would you like?