Vancouver - Hello Canada!

Trip Start May 10, 2009
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

About a 3 hour drive to Vancouver - really nice to be back with our own wheels again. Found hotel easily with sat nav. Great afternoon - started at Granville Island Markets (our last food market on this trip - think we're almost full of food markets suprisingly) - had great fresh salmon burger and bought up on berries (all the fruit tastes so good here). Met a NZ girl with a very mixed up accent and talked to her for a bit about Vancouver's highlights. Bought up for another bed picnic in our hotel and then headed to Stanley Park to do the sea wall walk. Great to see people making such great use of the park - the sea wall was pretty busy with cyclists, rollerbladers, walkers and runners. It's about a 10km loop around. Lots of ships, sea planes taking off (mostly to Whistler / Jasper etc), Third Beach (great spot for picnic as the sun goes down). Really pretty walk and gorgeous weather.
We had booked a tour for the next day to North Vancouver. Nice small tour - saw the British Properties - wealthiest, largest and most expensive area on the other side of the harbour. Then up to a samon hatchery - most salmon don't start jumping the ladder until July, but some early starters were already on the ladder so we stood for ages waiting for one to summon the energy and jump, but nuthin..... Then headed to Capilano Suspension Bridge which was pretty cool - built by the first settler in the area - a Scottsman. A tree walk had been built recently too which was pretty cool. Then up to Grouse Mountain. No chance to join the Grouse Grinders (people that take the 1 hour hike up (1 km in height gained over 2.3 kms) as we took the cable car up. Checked out the grizzly bears up there (actually L left C there given his bear obsession - 2 orphan cubs were rescued and bought up there - now rather large), also saw a pretty cheesy lumberjack show, and then birds of prey show. A pretty good tour all in all though and with only 1.5 days in Vancouver, we felt like we got a pretty good feel for the place and really loved it. Can totally understand why Vancouver is always pretty high on the most-livable-city list - great outdoorsy stuff in summer and winter (3 ski resorts within an hour drive), nice modern city, clean etc.
Next stop: Vancouver Island
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