City of Gardens- Victoria BC

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Following the urgings from several of our friends who had been to Victoria, we decided to go back into Canada when our last opportunity to visit  presented itself.  Steve discovered we could go to Victoria via a fast ferry from Seattle. Since Woodland is only 2.5 hours south of Seattle, we drove (leaving Woodland at 4:30am) and then hopped on the Victoria Clipper Ferry.  For two short days we were back in Canada, visiting the capital city of British Columbia, Victoria.  These were our 9th and 10th US/Canadian border crossings since June, I wonder if they were starting to recognize us?

Stratchcona, Victoria's Entertainment Center

Stratchcona, Victoria’s Entertainment Center

Victoria was named for the British monarch Queen Victoria who reigned from 1837 to 1901, and  has been the capital of British Columbia since 1868.  It is the 2nd largest city in BC with a population of about 350,000.  Known as “The Garden City” due to the abundance of gardens and city parks, Victoria also has an impressive selection of historic sites and heritage architecture.  Its downtown is full of heritage buildings that now house shops and restaurants.

Butchart Gardens

There are a wonderful array of attractions in Victoria, so we had to pick and choose what we could enjoy in two days.  Fortunately, there are several hotels close to the harbor and most attractions are within walking distance.  We discovered that taking the fast-ferry from Seattle actually worked out better for us than the service from Vancouver would have.  The reason is that the Vancouver ferry stops at Sidney, which is about 20 miles north of Victoria.  You can take a free shuttle from Sidney, so it’s no big deal, but unless you want to particularly see Sidney it takes time out of your schedule at Victoria.  However, the fast-ferry stops right at the harbor in Victoria and you can walk to just about everything from there.  We wouldn’t suggest the extra cost of taking your car on the ferry from Vancouver unless you really plan to be there long enough to travel outside of Victoria.  Besides, walking is good for you, right?  We did over 5 miles on our second day!

Sunken Garden, Butchart Gardens

The showpiece, Sunken Garden

Our first stop was the world renowned Butchart Gardens which is also designated a National Historic Site in Canada.  The garden is a century old, created and transformed out of a barren limestone quarry by Robert and Jennie Butchart.  We have been to many man-made gardens and by far this is the most impressive, beautiful and well-planned exhibit.  It has four sections – The Japanese Garden, The Rose Garden, the Italian Garden and the centerpiece Sunken Garden.  It took us about two hours to go around the 55 acres and admire the Butchart’s  passion for gardening then and now.  It continues to be maintained by their descendants. The pictures don’t do justice to this stunningly beautiful and impressive display.

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

As we  walked around town we noticed a vibrant community and a city with a mixture of the old and the new which demonstrates what  our tour driver has said that  “Victoria is a city of the newly weds (honeymoon destination) and the nearly deads (retirement haven).” We strolled around Victoria’s most famous buildings, the majestic 1908-completed Fairmont Empress Hotel and the 1898-built BC Parliament Buildings.

BC Parliament Building

Fairmont Empress Hotel

Fairmont Empress Hotel

We took a tour of lavish, Edwardian-era luxury at Craigdarroch Castle, the former mansion home of local coal baron Robert Dunsmuir.  Built in the 1890s, its splendid interior features Scotch granite columns, stained glass, oak staircases, and mahogany fireplaces.

Craigdarroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle

We passed by St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Victoria, which was built in 1890. Its 22-m/72-ft facade features sharply tapered bell towers and materials like red brick, stone and slate.

Inside St Andrews Church

Inside St Andrews Church

Strolling along Victoria’s Old Town revealed hundreds of  heritage buildings of Victorian and Edwardian commercial architecture.  We walked through Fan Tan Alley, Canada’s narrowest street located in historic Chinatown, once North America’s second-largest.

1896 Bank of Montreal building, Victoria

1896 Bank of Montreal building

Fan Tan Alley, Victoria

Fan Tan Alley

Victoria BC

Market Square, Victoria

Market Square

Inner Harbour, Victoria BC

Inner Harbour with the Visitor Center in the background

Inner Harbour, Victoria BC

Inner Harbour

Float Homes at James Bay

Float Homes at James Bay

Victoria harbor

Victoria harbor

We have noticed that in British Columbia, trash cans, postal boxes and electrical boxes are covered with a decorative panel.We saw this not only in Victoria but also in other BC cities that we visited.

Electrical Box Mail Box Trash Can
 Electrical Boxes  Mail Boxes Trash can

And so we had a great time in Victoria coupled with beautiful fall weather.  Then we hopped back on the ferry for Seattle and drove back to Woodland, WA on the second day.

The Lake, the Vineyards and a surprise visit!

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Heading down south was a breeze, taking overnight stops at Smithers, Prince George, Blue River and Kamloops in British Columbia.  The jaunt was uneventful and the scenery was still outstanding.  Finally, we stopped for 3 nights in Kelowna, BC  where we surprised our friends whom we met once nine years ago.

In December 2003, we were on a cruise to Mexico and at that time we were assigned dinner seatings with strangers.  On this cruise we met Ron and Rita from Kelowna,BC. We hung out with them during the entire cruise and exchanged email addresses at the end of the trip.  Since then we had only contacted them once, then we just seemed to stop as is often the case. Fast forward, Sept 2012.  Kelowna was on our route so we decided to call them and jog their memories of who we were by sending a picture taken in Dec 2003.  Luckily they remembered us and they welcomed us to their city and their home.  After showing us a couple of the fantastic wineries that exist among the dozens in Kelowna, Rita prepared a taco dinner with mexican beer and in the background was Ramon playing guitar, just like on the cruise.  We had fun catching up on those long nine years with no communication. With FB and our travel blog, we will certainly be in better contact now.  Ron and Rita showed us again how warm and friendly the Canadians can be – what gracious hosts they were!

The Lowes RV Adventures

Us, having mexican beer in 2003.

The Lowes RV Adventures

Us, having mexican beer nine years later.  How cool!

Little did we know that Kelowna is on the border of a beautiful lake, Lake Okanagan and is a bustling wine country.  Kelowna is the largest city in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and is known for its hot summers and temperate winters.  That is delightful knowledge, considering that we have been starving for sunshine and warmer weather.  This is definitely a “must stop” for folks coming into the area, and the West Bay Beach RV Park where we stayed is one of our favorites – quiet and beautiful by the lake with lots of trees.

Lake Okanogan, BC

Winery at Lake Okanogan, BC

Lake Okanogan, BC

Sunrise at the Lake

Gray Monk Winery

Gray Monk Winery where we had meats, cheeses and some very fine wine.

The Lowes RV Adventures

Catching up nine years of stories

We were so excited with the sun shining on us that we spent most of our remaining time outside to get our vitamin D.  We went wine tasting, hiked and checked out other towns along the lake. We went to a farmer’s market at Peachland and bought fruits and vegetable , then strolled along the lake and basked in the glorious sun.

Beach Ave, Peachland

Strolling on Beach Ave, Peachland

Beach Ave, Peachland

Farmers Market at Peachland

Peachland

Is this it?  Searching for good overlooks of the lake during our long hike.

 Peachland

Pathetic trail head marker.

Kelowna was our last stop in British Columbia, Canada before crossing one last time into the USA.  Coming up, we’ll check out Chelan Lake, Yakima, and then a week in the beautiful Columbia Gorge.  Stay tuned!

Mountains, Rivers and a Lake

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Leaving Ft Nelson, we headed up to Muncho Lake, Mile 456.

This leg of the trip from Ft Nelson is considered by many Alaska travelers as the most scenic part of the highway. We were not disappointed. As we veered to the west through the northern Canadian Rockies we were presented with densely forested areas, scenic vistas, picturesque valleys and long stretches of  mountain ranges. The most stunning view was at an overlook near Steamboat Mountain, overlooking the Muskwa-Kechika area which reminded us of standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon – fantastic!

SteamBoat Mountain

SteamBoat Mountain

As always we were cautioned about wildlife along the highways . For a while we were disappointed, for they were nowhere near the highway until we approach our destination. There, strutting along the banks of Muncho Lake was a Stone sheep and further along we saw a herd at the outwash plain.

Herd of Stone Sheep

Herd of Stone Sheep

Stone Sheep

Stone Sheep strutting along the highway

We chose not to fuel up at Ft Nelson as our tank was still over the half tank. Instead we got diesel at the next fuel services at Tetsa River Services and Campground. Steve got his sticker shock. The diesel was $1.75 per liter, the equivalent of $6.63/gallon. Because of the amount of fuel we got, the owner gave as a loaf of bread, the most expensive loaf of bread ever baked. This place also has a bakery and known for its Cinnamon buns.

Tetsa River Campground

This is where we got the most expensive bread and cinnamon bun

The highway climbed and descended with 8% grades, and passed thru spectacular mountain scenery to Summit Pass at 4,250 feet the highest point of the Alaska Highway. Then we drove through Stone mountain ranges  with bare rocky peaks where we experienced a dramatic change in weather. It was sunny when we left Ft Nelson and as we drove here it rained, then it stopped, then it rained again.

Stone Mountain, YT

Stone Mountain

We drove along the beautiful turquoise colored Toad River and magnificent mountain views. Our stop for the day is at Muncho Lake which is renowned for its jade colored waters. At 7.5 miles long and one mile in width, it is one of the largest natural lakes in the Canadian Rockies. The color of the water is attributed to copper oxide leaching into the lake.

Toad River Valley

Toad River Valley

Muncho Lake’s place in the Alaska Highway history was about the challenge of building the road around the lake. Workers had to cut their way through the lake’s rocky banks and use horse pulled stone boats to haul the rock away. Today the highway is wide and and winds through the deep green blue waters of Muncho Lake.

Muncho Lake

Stunning Muncho Lake

We stayed at Muncho Lake RV Park, big rig friendly with awesome views of the lake and mountain ranges. We liked it here so much that we stayed two nights to enjoy the quite serene  wilderness atmosphere: no tv, no internet and no cell phone and most importantly the BBQ master was able to show off his skills again.

Muncho Lake

Muncho Lake

Muncho Lake View, the BEST view ever we had on our RV parks

Muncho Lake

Relaxing in front of Muncho Lake

The pictures I snapped  can not capture  the real beauty we experience as were cruising along.

On the way to Mile 300 – Ft Nelson, BC

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We broke ground early Friday and headed off north to begin driving on the Alaska Highway.  Destination -Mile 162 Sikanni Chief River Bridge.

Between now and when we reach the end of the Alaska Highway at Delta Junction in Alaska we will be describing most of the blogs with reference to a historical mile marker.  This is because we are traveling through an intriguing history of the highway and mile markers are ingrained in its history.  Most importantly, our tool or tour guide in this adventure  is the the MilePost.  It is a an inch thick book that provides mile-by-mile descriptions of the highways and byways of the north and tells you of campgrounds, food and lodging, gas, turn outs, litter bins and warns you of steep grades, wildlife and more. So if you are planning a trip to Alaska and Northern Canada, get yourself an updated Milepost which comes out every March.

The Milepost and a large planning map, which is included.

Our drive was again ushered with vista after vista one after another and we are seeing green hills and forests  as far as the eyes can see and every turn we made.  Simply beautiful !

The road was good so far except for the 4 mile stretch with loose gravel starting at  mile 227.  Overall the highway is clearly marked for any hazards on the road and or any constructions going on.

We arrived at Mile 162, where we spent the night after three hours of mountain driving. This is also a historical marker as this is where  one of the first wooden bridges was completed, the  Sikanni Chief River Bridge.  It was significant, since the 300 foot wooden bridge was completed in 84 hours. Unfortunately the bridge burnt down in 1992 and has been replaced.

The following day we left for Fort Nelson which is located at historical mile 300 and spent the night there. We explored the Ft Nelson Heritage Museum, a must if you are in the area. The museum was started by Marl Brown in 1957 and now has grown big with impressive  collections of pioneer artifacts, highway construction displays, vintage autos and much more.  This is also the location of the Alaska Highway Veterans and Builders monument, a commemoration of the workers who helped build the Alaska Highway.

Now we are leaving for Muncho Lake and the next blog will be dependent on internet access. So far we had been lucky with good  wifi connection. Have a great Sunday.

RV Parks we stayed in:

Mile 162 – Sikanni Chief River RV Park; along the river and quiet

Mile 300- Triple G Hideaway RV Park; along the road very noisy with singing tent campers next door.

Mile 0 on the Alaska Highway

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As we were studying and planning for our trip of a lifetime, we had occasional discussions about the city of Dawson Creek.  It seemed to be almost a magical waypoint – so far away!   But here we are now, 1,628 miles and several months from Tracy, CA.

Dawson Creek is centrally located between four highways; the Alaska Highway (97 N), the John Hart Highway (97 S), Highway 2 and Highway 49 (to Alberta).  It is also known as Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway.  The image below was typical of one we would see for “Mile 0”, and now we were here!

Mile 0 Alaska highway

This cairn is the location that the US Army surveyors designated as the beginning of the Alaska Highway

What about Mile 0?  Dawson Creek is famous for being located at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway, where it begins and ends in Delta Junction, Alaska.  The Mile 0 cairn is the exact spot that the U.S. military surveyed as the starting point for the construction of the Alaska Highway.  All mileages on the Alaska Highway were and still are measured from this actual spot.

A scrap iron Surveyor sculpture is pointing the way to Alaska.

A scrap iron sculpture of a surveyor pointing the way to Alaska.  OK, off we go!

We strolled around the city’s downtown to get a flavor of its historical past.  Next we dropped by the Alaska Highway House to learn how the history of the highway unfolded.

It was quite an epic tale of hardship.  The original Alaska Highway consisted of 1,528 miles and was completed in just eight months on Nov 20, 1942.  Seeing the movie/documentary made us appreciate the incredibly hard work and hardship of the men who built it.

Alaska Highway

The famed Alaska Highway, from Dawson Creek, BC to Delta Junction, Alaska

Also in the downtown area was the post that symbolized designation of Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway.

Mile 0 Post Alaska Highway

Mile 0 post landmark

We intended to visit here for just a couple of nights, but because of torrential rains up north in the Yukon territory, a portion of the highway had been washed out.  So we extended our stay for several days to explore more of the city and the surrounding area, while waiting for the road to get fixed.  Just part of the adventure!

We also took this opportunity to do some small maintenance and preparation projects on Betsy and the car, to make them ready for the challenging trip ahead.  The park was quite packed, as everyone was waiting for news that the highway ahead had been repaired and reopened.  We mingled and made friends with our neighbors, exchanging stories and plans about our upcoming adventures.

This is where Betsy got her wash

Steve getting a good work out

To kill some time while at Dawson Creek, we drove out of town and explored the Bear Mountain Wind Farm, which is a 30-minute gravel-road drive.  There were 34 wind turbines on the farm, each weighing 236 tons and standing 256 feet tall.  At the base of turbine #34 was a trail that lead out to a meadow.  In Tracy, CA where we used to live, there were hundreds of wind turbines adorning the Altamont Pass just a few miles away.  We came to this farm to hike and enjoy the view that our hometown turbines can’t match.

After hiking down to the meadow, we stopped for a quick lunch.  We rate this trail as “strenuous”, since the climb up/down was every bit as steep as the one to Vernal Falls in Yosemite.  When we got back to the trailhead an hour later, we saw another trail which led to the rim of the rocks and offered spectacular views west to the Rocky Mountains.  We did not encounter any wildlife, but the views were amazing.

Base of the 256′ tall steel tower of #34 Wind Turbine

That’s way up there!  Up close, the blades make an unusual sound as they spin

Steep climb up and down this trail

Dawson Creek, BC

Taking it all in

Dawson Creek, BC

We walked across a beautiful meadow

Next we drove north to check out the the only remaining wooden bridge on the Alaska Highway.  The Kiskatinaw bridge, at 534 ft. long, is sloped and has a 9-degree curve to conform with a bend in the highway.

Kiskatinaw Bridge

Historic curved wooden bridge and the only original Alaska Highway bridge still in use.

Pay a dollar for using the shopping cart and get reimbursed afterward.  Some places charge for plastic bags, too.

After four days of waiting, the road finally reopened with limited traffic and warnings to expect long delays.  Most of our neighbors left, but we decided to hang out another day to avoid the rush of RVs and trucks going in and out of Alaska.  We will be leaving on the 15th and pick up the pace a bit until we arrive at our next milestone stop, Whitehorse in the Yukon territory.

Canadian tidbits:

Diesel fuel is about a dollar more per gallon than in the USA.

Blinking green lights warn of pedestrians crossing ahead.

The sun rises at 5:43AM and sets at 10:46pm right now, long days are ahead!

A six pack of beer costs $12.00-$15.00, and we had to go to a liquor store to get it – grocery stores do not sell alcohol here.

You pay $1.00 to use a shopping cart, but get reimbursed when you return it.

Be ready to cough up 5 cents for each plastic grocery bag if you don’t bring our own reusable bags.



 

Beautiful British Columbia

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Our first milestone of our Alaskan adventure places us at Dawson Creek,British Columbia  where Mile 0 of the Alaskan Highway begins.

We took the classic itinerary to Alaska  via the West Coast route  starting at Vancouver . The drive towards Dawson Creek took us  along amazing sights and  scenic highways known as the Trans-Canada Highway 1  that  links to  the Cariboo Highway (97) and  finally on the  John Hart Highway. The drive in every turn reveal to us  canyons,  tunnels, sweeping vistas, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, green  valleys, Canadian rockies, wildlife and on and on. It was just beautiful ! However it was not your normal drive on a highway. Since it is mountainous we were cautioned with steep grades, winding curves, narrow steep climb, truck traffic, sudden changes in weather  and most importantly to watch for  wild animals. This league covered 732 miles, with overnight  stops at Cache Creek, Quesnel, Chetwynd and finally at Dawson Creek.

After visiting the Visitor center at Dawson Creek we were told that a portion of  Alaska Highway in the Yukon territory is closed due to mudslides. Since this is the only major highway in and out of Alaska, the Canadian crews are working non stop to repair the damage,  and we are keeping our fingers crossed. In this part of the world weather and highway conditions are major factors  and travelers  must be on the know or you will be stuck in the wilderness.

Mountains, multiple gondolas and our first bear sighting!

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We’ve been getting around during our week in Vancouver doing touristy things. We spent one day touring the city, Stanley Park, the Lion’s Gate bridge, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge/Cliffwalk attractions.  We took a tour for this, since we didn’t want do drive all over the city and miss the knowledge we gained from our guide.  It was worth the extra money.

We went to Grouse Mountain on our own, and it was a lot of fun.  We took the Skyride gondola trip which climbs to 1,100 metres (3,700 feet) in just 8 minutes. You’ll dangle above the piney mountainside while taking in the cityscape and views of neighbouring peaks, the Pacific Ocean, inlets and bays.

Skyride Gondala at Grouse Mountain

Then we took a ski lift and went up to experience the Eye of the Wind, which is a very cool glass room at the top of a functional wind turbine that offers fantastic views of Vancouver and everything else in the area. We told the park attendant that we have hundreds of them in California but none are like the Eye of the Wind  that provide a 360 degree view and enclosed in glass.

Eye of the wind

Just another day hanging out in the wind turbine…

Clear glass viewPOD at the top of the tower

We also watched a pretty good show featuring lumberjacks and some of the chopping/throwing/climbing things they do. Then, as we were walking around we saw a group of people going crazy with their cameras and discovered two bears playing in the snow!  We will probably be sick of bears by the end of this trip, but the first sighting was pretty exciting. Check this short clip of log rolling.

Log Carving

Lumberjacks face off

Bears at Play

Since Whistler Mountain is so beautiful but not on our path of travel, we drove there in the car.  Getting there is thru the scenic sea to sky highway  frequently rated up as one of the most beautiful stretches of road in the world.  Along the way are a number of scenic viewpoints where we stopped and enjoyed the views. We also admired  two waterfalls along the way,  Shannon Falls and Brandywine falls.  Whistler is best known as a ski resort but is more known as the host of the Winter Olympics in 2010.  We also strolled along the shops at the Whistler Village.  There is so much to do and see and say about Whistler, but we will talk only of the highlights of our visit.

Brandywine Falls

Yes, you may use this as your screen background, no charge! At Shannon Falls

A choo-choo truck

Whistler Village

The Village Square

To go to the Whistler peak  we road on the first enclosed lift which  lasted almost 30 minutes, the longest we’ve ever been on.  That was just to get to the next gondola which took us between the highest elevation of Whistler mountain at 7,160 feet to the highest elevation of next door Blackcomb mountain at 7,494 feet.  This ride is called  Peak-2-Peak  aboard a huge gondola!  This one is truly remarkable, and worth every penny.  It’s like taking a helicopter trip between the mountains (the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb) except that you are dangling high up on a gondola. This gondola breaks many world records for length and height above elevation (1420′ plus).  Don’t miss this one if you are in the area.

This gondola took us to the Whistler mountain peak

This is quite an awesome machine, as you might expect for the world’s longest gondola. This will take us to the highest peak of Blackcomb Mountain

Ahhh, June is our favorite month for warm, pleasant weather – wait a minute, where are we?

Inching our way up to Blackcomb

That’s 1,427 feet below, and a distance of 2.73 miles between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and the longest unsupported span is 1.8 miles !

Enjoying the scenery

Over 1400′ to the bottom – very cool! thru our glass bottom gondola

Playing in the snow at the top of Blackcomb Mountain

Having fun at the mountain peak.

We will be accelerating our travels now, since we have some catching up to do and there aren’t many “touristy” things to do except enjoying the scenery until we arrive in Alaska.  Our internet access will be spotty due to this remote part of our travels, but stay tuned!

Once in a while friendly tourists offers to take our picture.  Taken at Shannon falls

City Tour, Suspension Bridge, and Cliffwalk…

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Having crossed the border into Canada and endured the now familiar refrain… rain,rain go away… its time to get out, dry or wet  and check out Vancouver.

However before that let me tell you about the Port Mann/Highway 1 Improvement Project which we had to traverse to get to our destination. This is a 22 mile long massive project of  building a new bridge; widening the highway and upgrading interchanges.  Driving thru unfamiliar highways was stressful enough, then adding the construction zone was like a maze so we stopped  listening to “Randy” our GPS.  Couple this with learning the  metric system, now you are reading kilometers instead of miles. Wow, our brains was  in a tizzy getting used to seeing 80 km/hr to mean 49 m/hr.

US/Canada Border

US/Canada Border

80km/hr

Wow, I’m doing 80 in the RV!

Bridge and Hiway 1

A massive Bridge and Hiway 1 Project

Sightseeing in Vancouver cannot be done in one day yet we tried to cover as much ground as we could. Vancouver is quite scenic, vibrant  with lots of things to do/see and lots of outdoor activities. We noticed that there was no highway that leads directly to Vancouver and that there is  relatively high use of transit and cycling, and is very pedestrian friendly.  It is only here where we saw a blinking green light, which is to alert drivers of crossing pedestrians. Weird but it seems to work.  Getting around Vancouver and its nearby suburbs is easy with their efficient and integrated public transportation. They have a similar transit as the BART system in the Bay Area, called SkyTrain, and the difference is that buying a ticket is by honor system. After purchased there is no turnstile to validate it, you just hop on to the train. A system such as that in a big city like Vancouver is quite impressive.  Also, it’s all computerized – no drivers on the trains and trains come along about every 3-4 minutes.

As for the rain – the guide said it rains about 300 days per year here, so our hope of “drying out” is probably a ways off.

Skytrain, Vancouver

Waiting for the Skytrain, but not very long!

SkyTrain

Skytrain

Our sightseeing began at a the Canadian national icon, Canada Place which is the hub of activity for locals and guest.  It is a building housing the Vancouver Convention Center, Pan Pacific Hotel and the Vancouver World Trade Center and gracing Vancouver’s skyline with its distinctive five sails. We strolled along their beautiful pier or canadian promenade, the Canada Trail, watching seaplanes take off and land at the Harbour Air Seaplanes,  and we saw the 2010 Olympic Cauldron.  We drove along the three-block shopping street (Robson), the trendy West Side, and Gastown where the good eats and drinks are.  Stopped by the Totem poles at Stanley park  an evergreen oasis of 400 hectares (1,000 acres) close to the downtown core.  This is the largest park in North America!  And most importantly the SeaWall a 13.7 mile walking, jogging, cycling and inline skating path that lines Vancouver’s waterfront.  I would like to go back here and ride our bikes. We need another day to see the rest of Vancouver. It is a destination city but we won’t live here due to the 300 days of rain and it is quite pricey!

Canada Place storyboard

Steve looking up at Canada’s Storyboard at Canada Place

Canada Place

Canada Place

Canadian Promenade, Vancouver
Strolling along the Canadian Promenade

Harbour Air Seaplanes

Harbour Air Seaplanes

Olympic Couldron, Vancouver

Olympic Couldron

View of Vancouver skyline from Stanley Park

View of Vancouver skyline from Stanley Park

Totem Poles at Stanley Park

Totem Poles at Stanley Park

Our last stop was the “island” under the Granville Street bridge where again we were in heaven seeing their public market. The Public Market is the jewel in the Island’s crown.  This is the other cousin of  Pikes Place Market in Seattle where you will see a fascinating assortment of colourful stalls showcasing unique homemade products and the very finest in gastronomic delights.  All fresh from the ocean, we bought Marlin and my Salmon fish head….ha ha only i will enjoy this one.

Granville Island

Granville Island

Granville Island

He bought his Marlin fish while i got my Salmon Head

Granville Island

Another public market to enjoy fresh fish

Granville Island

The first broom store ever that i have seen.

Then off we go to North Vancouver to experience British Columbia’s top attraction,  walking on the Capilano suspension bridge.  The bridge  stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River. As I stepped on it and walked on the bridge it swayed and shook, but it was nothing but fun!  Then we walked  the Treetop Adventure where you have a rainforest encounter and lastly walked on their new attraction the Cliffwalk.  It is a suspended walkways jutting out from the granite cliff face above Capilano River .  It is high and narrow and, in some sections, glass (very strong glass) is all that separates us from the canyon far below. It’s 700′ long (213 metres), 300′ high (91 metros). We enjoyed our walks and adventure but not the price of the food.  This town is really expensive!

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Crossing the suspension bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge

CliffWalk, Capilano River

CliffWalk

CliffWalk, Capillano

Strike a pose on the Cliff

Tree top Adventure, Capillano

Tree top Adventure