A Travellerspoint blog

Vancouver

October 5th to 25th

Often known as Van City, Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities we have visited on this journey. This harbour city has numerous islands dotted offshore in the Pacific Ocean and Mountains to the North. It is very easy to understand why Vancouver is so beautiful. Tack on a couple of beautiful bridges and the famous Stanley Park, it truly is a visual delight.

Our accommodation is in East Van in the neighborhood of Hastings Sunrise, only a 30 minute bus ride from Downtown. We are once again located in a basement, however this time some of the bulkheads are quite low (for Nick anyways as he had to duck down walking between the lounge and dining room and into each bedroom). The area has a variety of shops, a couple of grocery stores, a few micro breweries and a large number of cafes. Additionally, a 2 minute walk away is Cambridge Street, one of Vancouver’s most famous streets at this time of year. The season is Fall, the leaves on the trees are changing and dropping everywhere. Hopefully the photos below gives you an idea of how beautiful this street is. It should also be noted that the average house price in Vancouver is $1.2M and the house we are staying in is worth a mere $1.4M. Not sure how anyone can afford to live here when their wages appear comparable to Australia. That said, our hosts were renting out the basement (to us) and converted their garage to accommodation.

Our accommodation

Our accommodation

Autumn colours

Autumn colours

Autumn colours 2

Autumn colours 2

First to Stanley Park, the 404 hectares of parkland located just West of Downtown. We decided to rent bikes to ride around the 9km Seawall, certainly the best way to tour this area and enjoy all its pleasure. Here we had numerous stops to view Vancouver from across the bay as well as stopping to see the Totem poles, Lighthouse, Empress of Japan Figurehead, Girl in a wetsuit statue and the imposing Lions Gate Bridge before finishing at English Bay.

Riding Stanley Park

Riding Stanley Park


Totem Poles

Totem Poles


Lighthouse

Lighthouse


Empress of Japan Figurehead with Lions Gate Bridge

Empress of Japan Figurehead with Lions Gate Bridge


Girl in a wetsuit

Girl in a wetsuit

Granville Island is a must for any visitor to Vancouver. Although technically not an Island, it’s cobbled streets lead you from shop to restaurant to theatre and the Public Market is home to fresh produce stalls, bakeries, fish, cheese and many local food vendors.

Granville Markets

Granville Markets

As usual, we rented a car one weekend to allow us to explore more of Vancouver and its surrounds. Our first stop was IKEA (a novelty for us from Townsville where the closest IKEA is over 1,300 km away). We had visited IKEA previously in Calgary but were rushed due to their early Sunday closure. This time we arrived at 10.30 with the aim to explore and then attend the café and try the famous Swedish Meatballs. Let’s just say they were as good as expected. We followed IKEA with a drive around the coast past Point Grey and the University of British Columbia, located in probably the most idyllic location in Vancouver. We then travelled to little Horseshoe Bay NorthWest of the city.

The following day we drove to Whistler along the Sea to Sky highway with stops along the way at Shannon Falls (335m high and the third highest falls in BC) and Brandywine falls (a spectacular 70m waterfall). After a quick stop in Squamish we arrived at Whistler which was quite empty as the Mountain bike season closed the previous weekend and the ski season doesn’t open for another month or so. After hanging out in the Main Village to see some of the memorabilia from the 2010 Winter Olympics we had lunch and returned to Vancouver.

Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls


Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls


Whistler

Whistler

Nick’s birthday fell on a Friday night so we headed down to Gastown for a celebratory dinner. Vancouver was born in Gastown and is now home to a number of funky restaurants as well as the famous Steam Clock which chimes every 15 minutes. After dinner we walked over to the Rogers Centre to watch an Ice Hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and St Louis Blues. Unfortunately the home team lost 4-3 (they scored 2 goals in the last 4 minutes to set up an exciting final minute). Oh, and there was a classic Ice Hockey fight where 2 players belted each other while the other players and referees just watched. Once one of the fighters to knocked to the ice the referees jump on them to stop the fight and send them to the penalty box (sin bin) for 5 minutes. Clearly the highlight for us.

Canucks game

Canucks game

On our final weekend in Vancouver we were visited by our good friends Cappy and Yvonne. We spent time with Cappy in both Albuquerque and Moab earlier in the trip and as he recently moved to Seattle, thought they would spend the weekend with us and then drive us across the border. We decided a trip Grouse Mountain was in order so we caught the Skyride Gondala up the mountain for Vancouver’s finest views. The other option is to hike the Grouse Grinder, a hike of 2,830 steps. At the top of the mountain we visited Grinder and Coola, 2 orphaned Grizzly Bears. After descending the mountain (again by Gondola) we drove to nearby Lynn Canyon to view its Suspension bridge and trails. Most people visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, however after some research revealed that Lynn Canyon was free and better rated, it was an easy decision.

Grouse Mountain Gondala

Grouse Mountain Gondala


Grinder and Coola

Grinder and Coola


Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge


Lynn Canyon

Lynn Canyon

Next stop ….. Seattle USA

Posted by V3USA 16:21

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Wow. An amazing life experience you guys are having.

by Club7Swan

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