Last day in Canada!

Vancouver Travel Blog

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Sunset on the beach by the hostel
So the day has come at last, the final day spent entirely within the nation of Canada.  In some ways it feels like the end of my trip,  I am so used to waking up in this great country that leaving it feels like leaving home, and also going home.  So how did I spend the last day here?

It started the night before when two new people moved into the beds next to mine, a guy from Newcastle called Chris, and another from a town near Stuttgart going by the name of Florien, although he said we could call him Bart, which everyone has been doing since.  We decided to go out to the local pub for a night, and there somehow planned that in the morning we would go to Grouse Mountain, a hill overlooking Vancouver.
The view across English bay to the city landscape at night.
  It is a hour or so hike up to the top which sounded fun.

Chris has been to Niagara Falls, Las Vegas and San Francisco already on his trip, and is only in Canada for as long as it takes him to see the Rockies, then he is off to New Zealand to work for a year on a farm or something like that.  Bart is working on a Ranch in Vancouver Island for 4 months.  But anyway,  he had just flown directly from Germany and not slept in about 20 hours, so of course the next morning, me and Chris slept in past the time we said we'd meet, and Bart was up and ready to go on the dot.  I won't mention stereotypical efficent Germans but damn.
Another shot of the sunset.
..

Next was the issue of how to get there.  Someone had explained it to us the night before but unsurprisinlgy none of us remembered!  Luckily the staff here at Jericho Beach HI Hostel are very well clued up on the local area and gave us clear directions that even I could follow them.

In case anyone is interested
  1. Take the 4 bus to Waterfront Station
  2. Take the Sea Bus
  3. Jump on the 236 bus
  4. Wait for driver to say "Get off here for Grouse Mountain"
  5. Get off
It was really as simple as that! So of course we got it wrong.  Step 3 was where we went awry.  We got on the 228 bus instead, which led to a place called Lynn Canyon.  From there it is possible to walk to Grouse mountain, but it would probably take the whole day (damn this time thing, never enough!)  The main attraction of Lynn Canyon for lazy sods like us who didn't want to venture too far in, was the suspension bridge over the river.
Me in front. Vancouver behind.
  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of me on it as my camera batteries died just as I was smiling at the lens held by Chris.  Oh well, just imagine me standing on a suspension bridge 50m above a raging river and you pretty much have it.  If you can't quite picture it, then I did get a few shots of said river to help your imagination.  After that we returned to the sea port the way we came, and picked up the plan from where we went wrong before.

 There isn't much of a view from the bottom of the mountain, it's a case of the tree's blocking the view of the forest so to speak.  Also we agreed to take the gondola up instead of walking!  Sure it was expensive, but damn it looked more like two hours to me and time is short.  On the ride up we had a short lesson on local geography, delivered by a British guy going by the name of Mike.
Slighter closer view of the city. Very cool place.
  Not sure which of us ended up with the most boring summer job, but he seemed happy enough. 

There is a freshwater lake which provides water for 1/3 of Vancouver, as well as hydro power.  Some tall mountain peaks and other cool looking stuff which was kind of hard to see due to the vast quantity of people rammed into the small cabin.

But at the top the view was amazing.  You could see the entire city, the airport, Stanley Park, downtown Vancouver, Granville, the beach area where the hostel was, including the short pier where I took the nightime shots from.  It is truly a shame to think that alone in the world, Vancouver seems to be able to develop into a prosperous metropolitan city without ruinng the local environment, but so far it is the best that I have seen.
Sunset on the beach by the hostel
  It is surrounded by trees, like an ancient city in the rainforest.  Yet there are high rise buildings as well...  it just doesn't make sense to me, back home the trees would have been cut down long ago to make room for factories and ugly blocks of flats.


After that we headed home and hung out for a bit waiting for the Thursday night beach bbq to begin.  Which meant waiting until the groups from the other two HI hostels in town arrived, then we get burger, fries and beer for 7.50 to eat outside (carefully, can't drink alcohol outdoors in this crazy country) and afterwards head off to the beach for whatever.  We sat round arguing over which sports are the best, football vs football vs rugby vs ice hockey.  Although I'd say beach volleyball is way up there

Sadly as it is my last night, and one which ends at 4am in the morning with me going to the airport,  I didn't follow the rest off to Jeremiah's.
Close up of the city at night.
  Much as I hated seeing my new found friends leave so soon, I wouldn't want to miss my flight to San Francisco.

I just want to say a bit more about Vancouver, that it is really a phenomonical place to visit, and all the residents I talk to say the same about living here.  A large proportion of the guests in the hostel are actually only staying here as long as it takes to find a house to buy.  It has a clever public transportation system, based on zones with a ticket bought on the bus also eligble for the sky train, sea bus and any other buses within your zone.  The people are friendly,  the views are astounding, it's not too expensive, it's clean and as  much as a big city can be, is at one with the natural environment from which it grew.

I will miss it and I hope it won't be the last time I am here.
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Sunset on the beach by the hostel
Sunset on the beach by the hostel
The view across English bay to the…
The view across English bay to th…
Another shot of the sunset.
Another shot of the sunset.
Me in front.  Vancouver behind.
Me in front. Vancouver behind.
Slighter closer view of the city. …
Slighter closer view of the city.…
Sunset on the beach by the hostel
Sunset on the beach by the hostel
Close up of the city at night.
Close up of the city at night.
The view across English bay to the…
The view across English bay to th…
Sunset from the promenade
Sunset from the promenade
View of the Lake from the Gondola
View of the Lake from the Gondola
Carving of three loggers on top of…
Carving of three loggers on top o…
Me just outside the observatory.
Me just outside the observatory.
Dont look down!
Don't look down!
Chris (Geordie) on the left, Bart …
Chris (Geordie) on the left, Bart…
Downtown from the mountain top.
Downtown from the mountain top.
Vancouver
photo by: Browser