Thursday, September 10, 2015

Day 13 - Sightseeing around Vancouver, BC

Starting mileage: 4263 Starting time: 8;30 am

Ending mileage: 4323 Ending time: 2:00 pm
Travel mileage: 60 Travel time: 1 hours

We were fortunate to wake up to a beautiful sunny day with a temperature of 60 degrees in the morning and it didn't go much above 70 during the day.

Our first stop was the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, about an hour from our hotel. This was highly recommended to us by a friend and it turned out to be an excellent recommendation. The tourguide describes this as Vancouver's oldest "tourist trap". One of the early settlers in 1889 built a hemp and wood suspension bridge across a gorge with the help of local natives and it was quite popular despite not being that easy to get to. It was subsequently updated to a steel cable bridge and has been renovated a number of times to meet current safety standards. This is in a temperate rain forest with huge Douglas fir, red cedar and hemlock trees which are 200-300' tall and over 1000 years old. There is also a suspension bridge walk between the trees that is about 30' up with interpretive signs. Lastly, there is a walkway bolted into the side of the cliff where you can walk 100' above the floor of the ravine.  Very worthwhile.

From there we went to Stanley Park, the largest forested park in Canada, on an island between Vancouver and North Vancouver. It has beautiful gardens and paths through the woods. Along the walk above the cliffs, we could see many cargo ships in the bay waiting to unload. Unfortunately, we got back about 5 minutes after our parking expired and I expect we will be getting a ticket in the mail. When you park, you need to enter your license number into the payment machine, select the time and pay with a credit card. The parking police drive around with a high-tech car with cameras that scan the license plates and compare them with the registered parking information - any that aren't registered get a ticket. When we got back to the car, the "parking car" had just passed by.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on a walking tour of the historic gaslight district and had dinner at a brew-pub by the harbor. I wouldn't suggest getting burgers in Canada unless you like them well-done. I asked the waitress to have it medium-rare and she said the cooks prepare them according to guidelines (~medium) - it came out well-done. It wasn't bad with all the toppings. A couple days ago I ordered a burger for lunch at a road-side restaurant and got a "hockey puck" in a bun. Aside from the tourists,I think the people walk much faster than they do in New York. Most of the fashionably dressed women looked like they changed into sneakers after work.

It is hard to fathom the pricing for hotel rooms. When I reserved tonight's room online for the Comfort Inn, a king suite with a kitchenette was less than a regular queen room. We are going to Victoria tomorrow and staying at an Econolodge where we reserved a room with double beds that was $30 less a night than a room with a queen bed.

I should put the photos on Instagram but I haven't been successful in registering for an account on my phone or tablet.

Day 13 route

Capilano Suspension Bridge

David and friend

Carmen in the trees

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