Vancouver – Back to the mainland

We took the bus back over to Nanaimo in the morning and jumped on the BC Ferry for the 90 minute trip to Horseshoe Bay which is North of the city. 

This ferry is much larger than any we had been on before and had 2 car decks and 2 passenger decks. There are also a few restaurants, shops, a children’s play area and a work area. 

The trip was pleasant, I spent most of it on the top deck in the wind and sun while Fergus sat with our gear downstairs. We went for a walk around the deck together to take some photos later on. 

Arriving into North Vancouver was quite spectacular. We went past islands with steep, forested sides and amazing houses along their shores as we entered Horseshoe Bay. 

Once there we got our bags onto the 257 bus and took the hour long journey to the city. Passed some beautiful bays and houses and had great views of the ocean and the islands en route. Towards the end of the journey we were rewarded with views of the city and Stanley Park as we drew closer to downtown. 

We got off the bus, crossed the road and got on the train at Vancouver city centre and took the 4 stops to Oakridge 41st. 

Walked the 2 minutes to Rosie’s house and greeted her and her flatmates and friends as they were enjoying a bank holiday BBQ and drinks in their backyard. 

Had a few drinks and a sausage, cheese and gerkin bap for dinner. 

Unfortunately poor Fergus was up all night being ill that night.  We still don’t know what caused it.

The next morning I popped down to the Safeway and picked up some medicine and energy drinks for Fergus who spent most of the day in bed.

Rosie and I headed downtown to the Vancouver Police Museum where we looked over the history of the Van police, learnt about gangs, dressed up in some police garb, learnt about detective work, read about some of the cities most famous murders and saw a morgue and autopsy table. 

After leaving the museam we explored the city a bit going through Chinatown and seeing the hoards of homeless people going about their daily business, visited the riverside briefly and had lunch at Tim Hortons. 

Returned to the house and by then Fergus was feeling a little better so we went to the Safeway for Apple baby food, rice and a banana. Made dinner and watched TV.

The next morning Fergus and I headed out into town and basically did the same route Rosie and I did the previous day. Went through Gastown and looked at the Gastown clock. Had lunch at the food court in Canada Place and then looked at two cruise liners docked there. I took a photo of the old hotel my Great Uncle Ken died in. (He died in a fire). We headed home to chill out for a bit.

Later that night we went out to a pasta restaurant in town called Basil Pasta Bar. It was a quirky, small place where you chose your own pasta, sauce, meat, veggies, cheese and herbs and order at the bar. You can also order from the menu but I chose my own. The portions were huge as usual so we both had to ask for doggie bags! The pasta was so good though. 

Went for a nighttime walk around Canada Place before getting the train home.

The next day Fergus, Rosie and I caught the sea bus over to West Van to visit Lynne Canyon Park. Once off the bus we walked about a kilometre to the park entrance. A minute into the park is the suspension bridge. The 50 meter high bridge stretches across a beautiful canyon boasting raging waters, waterfalls and deep pools below. It was a tad scary and there didn’t seem to be any rules about the number of people allowed on the bridge so I gather it’s pretty sturdy!

We headed along the path of tall trees over boardwalks and up and down stairs and soon found ourselves at 30 foot pool. There were tonnes of people here swimming and cliff jumping and hanging out on the rocks. Too busy for us so we carried on up to the lake.

After a big stair climb we walked along to another smaller bridge for a look and then hiked to Rice Lake. Once there we discovered it was not a swimming lake unfortunately so just hung out a while, spoke to a British ex pat fishing, fed some cheese to some ducks and chatted. Oh and had the shit scared out of us by Rosie pretending to see a bear! 

It was a hot day so we decided to join the masses for a dip at 30 foot pool. Rosie and I went in for a dip that lasted all of 5 seconds….it was mountain water so it was FREEZING!! Glad I went in though. Watched all the crazy people jumping, diving and backflipping into the deep pools below. I assumed most were locals and they were advising the tourists on the safe places to go off.

Returned to the bus stop and waited for ages then jumped on a very busy bus just in time to get the sea bus back to the city.

On the Friday Rosie had to work so Fergus and I went off to explore the city more. We rode the bus downtown and hired some bikes to go cycling in Stanley Park.

The park is a 400 hectare forested park filled with trails, places to eat, wildlife, lakes, beaches and historic monuments. It’s surrounded by a cycle friendly seawall which we chose to ride around.

During our ride we saw a lighthouse, the famous Girl in a Wetsuit sculpture, Lion’s Gate bridge, loads of cargo ships in the bay, sandy beaches, rocky shores, a marina, a swimming pool (where we stopped for an ice cream and a swing) and tonnes and tonnes of Asian tourists!

It was a really lovely ride and it was great to get back on a bike again.

Dropped the bikes off and walked over to Sunset Beach park to get the small ferry to Granville Island. The island has a big market on it that is mainly food but has other shops and restaurants around it to wander around. 

That night we cooked for the house. A total of 7 people and 1 vegetarian! We decided on Chicken, leek, mushroom and onion pie with green beans, carrots and mash. Good old English food! It took a while to prepare and had it quite late as everyone was working. I think it went down rather well! It was pretty much all polished off, even the burnt, gluten free pastry tops! Had a few drinks afterwards.

*Please see seperate post for Whistler*
Our last day was filled with booking accomodation, booking a bus to Calgary and getting food for the following day’s 12 hour bus ride. 

That evening Rosie suggested we go to a board game bar as it was our last night so Fergus and I and Rosie and her flatmate Emiel caught a cab down to The Storm Crow Tavern. We tried the Logo game at first but due to none of us being Canadian or American we were crap so moved onto the classic Game Of Life. Some of the parts were missing including the instructions (we got them off google) and the little people (made do with rolled up paper) had quite a few wines and a lot of laughs. It was a really fun evening.

It’s amazing the people you meet on your travels. I still remember first seeing the girl with the blue hair and the panther tattoo getting on the bus in Niagara Falls and now we have just had the most fantastic week in Vancouver as her guest. So, a huge shout out to the fabulous Rosie for having us. You are welcome to stay with us anytime, wherever that may be. X

Thanks also to Yvonne, Jamie, Emiel and Jo!


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