What an amazingly friendly place. Friendly – it really is the first word to come to mind. People actually stop what they are doing to walk over and see if they can help a lost tourist. Who does that anymore?
Well were only going to have 1 afternoon in Vancouver so we had to narrow down what we wated to do to one afternoon. We finally settled on the Capliano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. We were able to walk from our hotel downtown just a couple of blocks to One Canada Place where we caught a free shuttle out to the bridge. The bridge itself is 450 ft long, 230 ft high bridge, and although originally constructed of hemp rope and cedar planks attached to Douglas-firs, is today made with pre-stressed wire cable attached to 118 ton anchors. It was a very cool thing to cross unless you are highly prone to motion sickness and vertigo, then it was a little shaky. Next we climbed all over the Treetops adventure which included a squirrel’s eye view of a thriving coastal rainforest in the mid-story of 1300-year-old old growth Douglas-firs. It uses no bolts or nails in the trees to secure its viewing platforms and 7 suspension bridges. Next we decided to brave the Cliffwalk. It follows a granite precipice along Capilano River with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms. It includes only 16 anchor points in the cliff supporting the structure.
After we were done at Capliano we wanted to go to Grouse Mountain and ride the tram to the top of the mountain where we would be able to see Vancouver laid out below us. First though we had to navigate the local currency. Its easy to forget Canada is just that Canada, until you want to do something easy, like ride a public bus. Then you will have to find a very sweet girl working at the snack shop, who will cash an american $50 dollar bill to buy a $2.50 soda and give you all of your change in canadian coins, since that is all the buses will take and you need round trip fare for 7 people. I though my pants were going to fall down from the weight of the coins in my pockets. But we got the coins and found the bus stop and rose the bus to Grouse Mountain.
Once at Grouse Mountain we boarded what is advertised as the largest tramway system in North America to the top of the mountain. Only it turns out that once you climb off the tramway, you actually get on a chair lift to get to the actual top of the mountain, so of course we did that. The boys were a little disappointed to learn that we would not be paragliding off the top of the mountain. But after walking around and photos, we started our descent, First down the chairlift, then down the skytram, then down the stairs to the waiting bus that drove all the way down the mountain to the water. Where we boarded a SeaBus to cross the harbor. And finally a 1.25 mile walk to a restaurant Jack had found on the internet. Only to find it closed – due to catering (really? on a Tuesday Night?). But that actually worked out as we found ourselves at what has to be the most interesting restaurant we have ever been to. A place called Chill Winston. This is their dinner menu – have you ever seen a more interesting dinner menu?(click on it for larger version thats easier to read)
We ended up being really glad the other place was closed. Choc & Balls ’nuff said. So after we ate – we did get in a couple of cabs for the ride back. (I even paid the cabbie using up the rest of my Canadian coins) and headed to bed. And unusaully for us we made no plans for the morning other than to sleep in, have breakfast and head to the ship. It wouldn’t be us and we wouldn’t be having an adventure though if we didn’t find a unique way to do even that though. Here we are walking the 6 blocks to get to where we boarded the ship. Hey you have to be tough to travel with us.