Vancouver – week one done!

We have walked so far this last week! We are exploring every part of North Vancouver, and so far we have found lots of sculptures, wildlife and parks. It is a really lovely city, and feels a lot like home – with the harbour, people, cars, parks. Having a working port in the city makes it so interesting [especially when you can see it!] – Auckland you need to get over yourself … keep the port!

We found this at the entrance to Lynn Creek, which is actually more like a river. It was very a cool sculpture.

So the advantages of having a German Short-haired Pointer are that she points at things!! Like this raccoon. There was actually several of them running along this fence and up and down the trees. They were quite animated at the sight of her. At first Skye just alerted me by her sniffing, then her tail came up and she stopped momentarily in that famous pose they do. I might not have even noticed these guys as we walked along, so bonus for having Skye.

The raccoons are sorta quite cute, but they eat everything and people hate having them in the ‘yards’ here as they destroy the gardens and get in the roofs and chimneys. Because they have less preditors in the urban environment, they usually have a longer life span! They also carry rabies, so that’s not good for dogs or humans!

Colin is with ‘Gassy’ Jack [a steamboat Captain from Yorkshire], who set up the first saloon in the original Vancouver town (1870’s), and how the town got its name. The gas clock was installed 100 years later to ‘harness’ the gas from the pipes below, to stop homeless people gathering by it’s warmth. It ‘whistles’ every 15 minutes as the gas builds up it released. The clocks pendulum time-keeping, is also powered by the steam.

This is the view by night … time wasting!

A couple of days ago we woke up to a beautiful morning, so we decided it was Grouse Mountain day [especially as there were no cruise ships in town!]. After walking Skye, we hoped on the bus [which was just on 1st (we are on 2nd) – how convenient!] for a 40 minute trip to the mountain. The bus was packed and we were only the second stop. Fortunately a few people got off along the way, but then it stopped at Capilano Suspension Bridge!! A lot of people got off here BUT twice as many got on. Fortunately by now we had a seat, so had a comfy ride up the hill through surburbia. WOW, it is nice out there!

So once you get out to the mountain you buy your pass and it includes the cable car, chair lift, lumberjack show, the bear enclosure and a couple of other things. You can also do a range of other activities including zip-lining, mountain biking, para-gliding or climbing the wine turbine 😮. You then get crammed into the cable car with 95 + 1! other people to head up the mountain!!! Seriously, bummer if you are in the middle [actually that was good for me!]. Colin was by the window and took these pictures. It is a long ride to the top and the ‘car’ swings as it goes over the towers 😧

Long way down … and we still have to go up the chair lift (although this bit is optional).

Lumberjack show was a bit scripted … as we were told they are great lumberjacks, but terrible actors. It was good to see a small part of their world and man can they climb those poles fast!

If you wanted to go up here [Eye of the Wind], it was one of the add-ons … but having freaked out coming up the cable car, I was high enough. It was a stunning day, but this was not for me.

This wind turbine was built for the Olympics to showcase sustainability [and to provide power to the activities on the mountain], but it was a failure!! It doesn’t get enough wind!!!! It was supposed to produce enough power for the equivalent of 400 homes but actually only managed to produce power for 12. Fortunately it earns its keep with tourist dollars [$750,000CD per year] – 50,000 people pay the extra to go up!! So the engineer/s who did the proposal for this, got it soooooo wrong! It has so many issues you wonder how the hell did this get approved!

Going down on the cable car … just sitting casually on a seat with a bar that doesn’t lock into place 😧 😲 fourteen minutes of amazing views and being able to see the mountain as you pass through the trees.

At the bottom [of the chair-lift] we decided to check out the resident bears. The two grizzly bears (Grinda and Coola) that are here are both orphaned cubs, found dehydrated, starving etc and after long rehabilitation’s have been homed here. They have a great enclosure, and are a star attraction.

Colin was itching to give this a go, but alas there was no snow.

Well that’s it for now. See you in a few days 😁


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