Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Travels in beautiful British Columbia

Okay, it's time to get back to my across Canada series. Now to the most westerly province in Canada.  I've been traveling to British Columbia for most of my life you could say, being as my first trip was with my parents at age eight.

There was a huge gap however between my last childhood trip at age 12 and my first trip as an adult.  That last childhood trip was memorable mainly because it was the summer of 1964 when Beatlemania was in full swing.  And I was one of the Beatles most fervent fans...and still am!  Our hosts, who were friends of my parents drove us past Empire Stadium where the Beatles were to play the following month and I still remember screaming and crying and pounding the window of the car when I saw it.  And begging my parents to let me stay with their friends for another month so I could go and see them. (probably leaving my parents' friends to be happy they were raising boys, not girls)  Sure kid..NOT.  I begged them to let me stay the entire time we were there and probably sulked in the car the whole way home  Hmmm..any wonder that was my last childhood trip with my parents?

I didn't get back to British Columbia for over 15 years and that was to visit my BFF Linda and her family in Golden and Dawson Creek.  Sorry, too lazy to dig out the photo albums and scan photos! 

Vancouver is my favourite "go to "spot in British Columbia - what can I say...I am a city gal!  I love the mix of the ocean and the mountains.  Every time I visit I think to myself "why don't I come here more often?" as it's just a two-hour flight from my hometown.  I would probably live there if it wasn't so darn expensive but sometimes places are sweeter just to visit than to actually live there 24/7. Here are some of my favourite pictures of the city I tend to visit at least every two years.

One of my very favourite things to do in Vancouver is to walk the Seawall around Stanley Park.  It is one of my "happy places" on this earth.

Siwash Rock with Prospect Point look out above 

Above is Girl in a Wetsuit, a sculpture by Elek Imredy.  It reminds me of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen.  I remember visiting one year and she was wearing a Vancouver Canucks (hockey team) Jersey! I hate hockey but I must admit that was cute.  The Lions on the Lions gate bridge (in photo) were sporting them as well!


Just looking at this photo makes me want to go back and test out Thelma on the trail.

  
You even get to do a bit of beachcombing on this walk.


And see the beautiful Totem Poles!!

I never get tired of this walk and I have walked it in all kinds of weather.  It is just something I have to do every time I am in Vancouver.  Last year when I was there I couldn't walk the whole way around and had to cut off into the park and got myself dreadfully lost (as you know, I am good at that) in the rain - but it was still worth it!!!  I can't wait to walk the whole way around again whenever I next make it to Vancouver.  (soon, I hope!)

Some other places I have enjoyed are going up Grouse Mountain.  It's not something I do every time I go as it's expensive but I last went up in 2014 when my friend Julie was over from Australia.  You can walk up or down using the "Grouse Grind" path (free) but the cable car is much easier!! 








I absolutely loved these beautiful wood carvings that were scattered around the mountain. These photos were taken in late May with still plenty of snow around.


And yes, they even have grizzly bears!  There are two orphaned bears living there - in huge enclosures.  They were rescued as cubs so cannot live on their own.  I am not sure if this is Grinder or Coola!


I enjoyed Capilano Bridge but once again you have to pay money to see it so it's not something I do often.  Definitely a must for the first time tourist though!  It gets fun if you get a bunch of rowdy kids running across - definitely not for those afraid of heights. 


This is the newest attraction - the Cliff walk.  It was beautiful! 

I absolutely loved and preferred Lynn Canyon Bridge because it's in a wilder location and free - and not as many tourists.  There is no shuttle from downtown - you have to get to North Vancouver (the most pleasant way is the sea bus) and take a bus from there.  I will definitely go back!


Okay, the bridge isn't as dramatic or long as the Capilano suspension bridge but the scenery is beautiful and it's freeeeeee.


.  The view from the bridge






A Vancouver walking friend came with me and we did a bit of a hike there which was so much fun.

There are so many places to visit in Vancouver - I could happily spend a month here.  Guess I will have to find a petsitting gig there someday!

Then of course there is Vancouver Island..it's been too long since I've been there...


Here is the iconic Empress Hotel in Victoria...a fixture on the beautiful waterfront. My favourite places in Victoria?  Beacon Hill Park's waterfront, Fisherman's Wharf and the shops on Government Street. (Murchie's Tea!!!).  The Royal British Columbia Museum is amazing.  Hmmm...I think I just talked myself into a trip back to Victoria...it's been almost seven years since I've been there.  Much too long! 


Of cousre I had to go where the doggies are!  Unofficial dog park in Beacon Hill park.


And the view isn't shabby either!! View of the Juan de Fuca Strait looking towards the Cascade Mountains in Washington state.


And then of course there is Buchart Gardens...always spectacular any time of year.







You can even go whale watching for Orcas out of Victoria!


Love the deserted beaches (in April & October anyway...) of Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island.



Sigh....beautiful deserted beaches where you actually want to witness a storm.  The waves are incredible and it truly is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

So many places to visit in British Columbia...last year I finally made it to Salt Spring Island which I immediately fell in love with.  I happily spent five days roaming around the island by public transit.


The ferry trip over to Salt Spring Island was amazing!!





I loved the Saturday morning market in Ganges, the main town on Salt Spring - and where I based myself at an Airbnb. 


This guy was waiting for me when I got back from exploring one day - I offered him a glass of some delicious local wine but he just flicked his tail and ran off.  Okay fine....more for me!


And then it was time to head back to Vancouver on this seaplane..my second trip in one and it never gets old!  Whee!  I even got to sit beside the pilot!

So many more places but this post is long enough - there are other provinces and territories to talk about! I have had so many adventures in British Columbia and I hope to have many more.


1 comment:

Lorraine Martin said...

Your photos were spectacular. Keep up the blogging.

Strawberry Hill House (forever!)

When I first saw a picture of Strawberry Hill House I knew I had to visit it.  A romantic looking white castley (is that a word) looking bu...