Sunday, September 09, 2012

Vancouver BC, Day 4

(I realize that it shouldn't have taken me nearly a year to write a simple blog post, but what the hell.)

Today was tourist trap day. We started with breakfast at the hotel followed by the train ride to the waterfront downtown. From there, we walked down to the BC Transit SeaBus terminal to cross the Burrard Inlet to North Vancouver.

From there, we took the bus through North Vancouver and up a boulevard that reminded me of W Burnside St in Portland until we left the upper-middle income dwellings behind and climbed our way into the forest.

We made a somewhat quick stop at the Capilano suspension bridge.  It hangs 230 ft (70m) over the beautiful Capilano River.  Since it is a tourist trap, we paid our admission and Ladybug traversed the full bridge while my knee started complaining and I backtracked to take pictures.

We had a nice lunch at the Bridge House across the street (though they lost my order, so it took a while to arrive).  I also had the foresight to forget my credit card so we had to come back to claim it later in the day.

We proceeded after lunch farther up the canyon to the terminal bus stop at the Grouse Mountain cable car station.  From there, we bought our round trip tickets to the cable car which would lift us up to the top of the mountain and to the ski resort/tourist trap way above the Vancouver area and Fraser River valley.  There was a cement resort with a gift store and small eateries (which we ignored).

We instead followed the paved trail up the hill to the (closed) ski lifts and some wonderful vistas (see those in the album below).  The view were gorgeous.  The weird bear display just made me feel bad for the bears...animals in captivity are just depressing (just like people).  After having our fill of chilly weather and walking around a clear cut, we called it good and prepared to head down.  Since the cable car was the highlight, why not do it again?  I called ahead to our lunch venue to track down our card and ventured down the hill again via cable car and bus.

After retrieving the card, we walked across the street and continued our Capilano Suspension Bridge Park journey.  The tickets are good all day, so why not.  My joints were loosened and I felt good enough to not only traverse the bridge, but check out the other side with Ladybug.  In order to draw more people to the bridge, other attractions were created.

The Treetops adventure consisted of an elevated set of "forts" and catwalks a few stories up from the forest floor.  This walking tour allowed us to get a relatively safe overhead view of the forest around us.    It was a worthwhile venture.

After re-crossing the suspension bridge, we decided to take a look at the Cliffwalk feature.  Upstream from the bridge is a section of the canyon which has exposed rock cliffs hundreds of feet above the river.  The park erected a walkway suspended along and cantilevered away from the granite cliffs.  It was quite effective in allowing us to see things in a safe way that would have been hard to see otherwise (see pics below).

On the far side of the walk was a terraced short hike back to the main section with its shop, ice cream stand, horny squirrels, and lightly explained native totem displays.  We spent our time and spent the required Canadian money on these things, then headed back down to the Seabus.

We arrived in Yaletown and saw the steam clock and overpriced shops.  Above the train station was the Steamworks brew pub where we ate dinner.  With their eclectic menu, I was able to order a Mushroom burger with salad and Ladybug enjoyed an Indian Butter Chicken dish.  Afterwards, it was back to the train to head back to the hotel and relax and plan for our last full day.

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