Have you ever wondered why you never confuse, the sunrise or the sunset when you see it over the sea?

Steveston Fishing Village.
The flame of the sunset

I would like to tell you about a place called Steveston, which was engraved upon my heart from the first visit, leaving a feeling of something very peaceful and homely.

Steveston is a former fishing village. In its heyday it was considered to be the largest fish processing port in North America. 

Steveston is a neighborhood in the city of Richmond. It is situated on the bank of the river Fraser. It was named for the first “white man”, Manoah Steves, who settled here with his family in 1878.

The main point of interest here today is the Steveston Fish Market, where you have the opportunity to buy shrimps, crabs, sea-urchins, caviar and other seafood (even exotic kinds) in their freshest state directly from the boats, by strolling along the pier and picking up the products you like.

There are a lot of cafes and restaurants, located on the waterfront, agencies offering to go watch whales, orcas and seals in their natural habitat, souvenir shops and workshops, where people sell their original handcrafted works.

What’s Steveston for me? It’s delicious ice-cream and extraordinarily beautiful sunsets. Why here? Because everyone should have a place in the city which is special for them for their own personal reasons,

even if many people don’t pay attention to it or consider it interesting. I’ll try to explain, or rather narrate to you about my first meeting and relationship with this place.

Sunday. The day is drawing to a close. Not expecting anything in particular, I’m going to see the fireworks show, organized by Honda company in one of the most popular places in Vancouver – the English Bay beach.

On the way to the subway station Richmond Brighthouse, lost in thoughts and distracted, I gaze about in an idle way all around.

Suddenly, drawing attention to the horizon, I am seized with a feeling that today will be an unusual evening and a magical sunset. The one I have recently been looking for – gentle, soft, developing into all the possible shades of the sunset’s palette.

I change my route abruptly, get on the bus and, in anticipation of something quite exciting, go to Steveston.

There are no identical sunsets existing. Each one is unique, and some of them can captivate your soul. Sometimes they are laden with sorrow, marking the parting day that will never be repeated, sometimes – they inspire you to new achievements, burning the heart with their magnificence and play of colors, sometimes – they give a romantic quality to the moment, allowing you to understand each other's feelings better, sometimes – they act as a silent companion, helping you to discover your hidden self and understand your thoughts deeply.

When I reach the quay, I catch a picture of stunning tenderness. The still light blue sky is slightly highlighted, turning soft pink and lilac, the water is calm, with only the slightest ripple.

The setting sun is weakening and getting closer to the horizon, giving its last vigour to the colors, which are dyeing the sky brighter and brighter.

The sunset is beginning to blaze.

Every moment of it seems like an eternity. However, the transition from pastel pale pink and serene purple tinges

with subtle nuances of magnolia and hollyhock to ardent vermillion and scarlet, which arouse the feeling that the whole horizon is on fire, and then to intense purple and garnet colors lasts only a few minutes.

After the sky has been aglow with the setting sun, everything around calms down, as if it falls asleep, dark silhouettes of boats and buildings, illuminated by lanterns, look mysterious. Water and sky become extraordinarily expressive, bright blue.

It lasts not long, only during the moment, when the sun has just dipped below the horizon, and there are only echoes of its rays, which are gradually growing dim.

For some reason, on such unusually calm and emotional days meetings tend to happen, which alter consciousness and contribute to the development of different views on things from those you had before.

As I'm watching the sunset, an old man from China strikes up an acquaintance with me, he speaks perfect German, but does not understand English at all.

The pensioner, who has worked 17 years in Germany, has come to Steveston deliberately to catch the sunset. He has heard that they are incredible here. Telling me stories about his life and travel experience, he fills this evening with even more heartfelt sincerity.

We say goodbye when Steveston has been fully captured by the darkness of the night.

Other times I came to Steveston during the daytime, I saw it in sunny, cold, cloudy and rainy weather, after a hurricane, with fallen trees in some places and branches scattered along the roads and roadsides, but no weather could affect my feelings and spoil this place.

The most delicious ice-cream is in Steveston!» - I never stop convincing everybody. There are a lot of ice-cream cafes, I’ve chosen C&P Ice Cream Coffee. Friendly owner, large portions, smiles and wishes – all these things undoubtedly make every visit to this area cozy and pleasant.

Sometimes a certain place becomes special in itself, captivating you with its beauty, sometimes it is thanks to a person, but when these two factors are merged,

it can never leave your memory. I hope each of you have a place where your soul feels at home.

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    Author and photographerAnastasia Lukonina
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