Vancouver in 48 Hours

Glen arrived in Vancouver on Saturday at about 10am. He caught the train down to near Mark and Liz’s, and I walked to the station to meet him. We had a late breakfast/early lunch at the Urban Fair supermarket nearby (the first chicken pot pie of the day), then dropped his stuff off before running to catch the hop-on/hop-off tour bus.

Getting something to eat at Granville MarketsIt rained most of Saturday so seeing the city by bus was a good idea. We saw the usual spots – Chinatown, Gas Town, Canada Place and Stanley Park – before getting off at Granville Island and checking out the markets. For some reason we were hungry again and ate more food (the second chicken pot pie of the day).

We then caught the aqua bus back across the water and walked to Robson St, the main shopping street of Vancouver – and apparently one of the busiest in North America. I was on the hunt for new chinos as the pair I’d brought with me had a rather large hole in the crotch. I don’t know how long it had been there – and these were the pants I’d worn during the train journey.

Surprisingly I found some suitable pants in Gap and they were on sale too. I bought two pairs – and two shirts. Totally necessary of course. I refrained from buying shorts as the ones I liked weren’t on sale.

We had planned to walk back to Mark and Liz’s but soon found we were going in the completely wrong direction. When we turned around, we were suddenly hungry again (it was about 4:30 at this stage) so stopped in at Cactus Club Bar for an early dinner. I had a delicious and large chicken salad, while Glen had some meat thing.

Back to Liz and Mark’s via the liquor store, a rest for a little while and then we went to one of their friend’s places (in the building over the road) for a dinner party with Joanne, who lives next door to Liz and Mark. There was masses of good food (delicious trout and salads) and lots of wine. After dinner we played Cards Against Humanity, as Glen had brought it with him, and to our great surprise and relief, it was a hit. We left a little before midnight and were asleep soon after our heads hit the pillows.

Sunday we explored further afield, catching the free shuttle bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge, which was across the water. Glen and I had been making stupid jokes wondering if we’d ever get there…you know, because we were in “suspense”. Anyway, free bus ride and we got there within half an hour.

Beautiful coastal rainforest here, lots of lush green trees, with a long suspension bridge that goes over a river. The drop is about 70m. The suspension bridge sways/rocks, depending on how forceful you are with your steps. I loved it. Glen not so much. He looked a little green around the edges once we got to the other side.

From there, we walked through the forest, along the paths, and then up into the treetops. Part of the treetop walk was closed so we couldn’t go everywhere, but we did get 25% off the entry price because of it. We then walked back across the bridge (more swaying and more people looking a little uncertain – the thing had a giant tree fall on it and still didn’t break so you really have nothing to worry about) and up to the cliff walk.

The cliff walk is where a path is suspended out from the cliff and, well, you walk on it. The drop down is about the same as the suspension bridge, and there’s a slight movement to it. After that, there wasn’t anything left to see (we’d done it all in less than 1.5 hours) so we caught the bus up to Grouse Mountain.

We caught the SkyRide, one of those cable car things, up the mountain, which was pretty amazing because you go through the clouds. Glen felt queasy again with the slight swaying of the car but made it to the top without incident (or sympathy from me). At the top is plenty of snow. It was just bearable for us, wearing jeans and a light jacket. We did feel a slight regret that we didn’t bring our ski gear with us as it looked like good snow.

Instead, we went for a leisurely lunch. We sat by the window which looks out over the hill and clouds. You can’t see through them so you get the impression of being shut off from the world in some fantasy land. With nothing much else to see, after lunch we went back down and caught the bus back to the city and back to Liz and Mark’s for a nap.

In the evening we walked to Chinatown, which is like every other Chinatown we’ve been too: run-down and dirty. And this one had the added benefit of a lot of dodgy characters hanging around too. We didn’t linger. Most things were closed and it’s just generally not a pleasant place to be in. The Chinese gardens were closed by that stage so we went to Gas Town instead.

Tummies rumbling (it had been many hours since lunch), we looked for food. I don’t know why but we chose the Old Spaghetti Factory, which was very cheap and not all that great. It was edible. It filled a spot. It just wasn’t anything to rave about.

We’re now back at Mark and Liz’s and our bags are packed for tomorrow morning’s early-ish departure for Whistler. Yay for skiing!

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