On Sunday we went to the aquarum. We
have passed quite a few aquariums on our way but Cat had recommended
this one so we forked out the extra money, wow, it was worth it! We
wanted to spend as much time as possible, reducing the minute/dollar
ratio, so looked up what time they were demonstrating, feeding the
animals etc. We arrived just in time for the dolphin show which was
fantastic, we were so close you could see the expressions on their
faces! We watched it again later in the day from the underwater
viewing area which was just as good.
As well as the usual aquarium
animals, they had 4 beluga whales, small(ish)white whales which look
a bit like marshmallows. They had a demonstration which was good, but
the best part was the underwater viewing again, where one of the
whales came right up to the glass and pressed against it! It was
incredible, such a huge animal being so close! However, my favourites
had to be the sea otters, they had 3 and they were so funny I could
have watched them all day (I almost did!). They are larger than river
otters and look abit like harbour seals, and they like floating
around on their backs. They came right up to the glass, and started
showing off to us which was hilarious, then we saw feeding time. They
floated on their backs and held the food with their 'arms', saving
any bigger bits on their stomach til they'd finished. In the wild
they store a rock under their armpit and when they catch clams they
smash the shell with the rock against their stomach! I really wanted
one, I also really wanted the toy one wearing a hoodie in the gift
shop, but it was not to be.
Transport to the top of the slide!
The weather on Monday was terrible, so
we thought we would go up to Whistler to avoid the rain. We DID avoid
the rain, but as a result of the clouds, the visibility was almost
nothing and we couldn't see much of the scenery at all. The road up
to Whistler was a bit of a mess. There was an almost contant stream
of roadworks and workmen literally destroying the side of the
mountains to add extra lanes to the road. All the work is to get the
area ready for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and Vancouver itself was a
bit of a building site in places. Once in Whistler we encountered our
last lot of snow (hopefully!). The vilage area was just a few streets
of restaurants and shops, tailoring to those rich ski types, although
there were some slightly more reasonable places.
The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
I've never been to a
ski resort before, so I don't know how typical it was, but it felt a
bit strange, a bit like being in center parcs but snowy! We decided
to go to the base of Blackcomb, the larger of the two mountains, and
try out their tube park. You basically sit in a giant inner tube and
get shoved down an icy slope! There were a couple of speeds, and
before long we were shooting down the fastest. It was really fun, we
got soaked and covered in snow, you couldn't see where you were going
because a) it was so fast the snow went in your face b) everything
was white around us, so you couldn't get much perspective! We left to
get the coach home at about 6.30, and slept the entire way (3
hours!), we were exhausted!
Lynn Canyon Park was our destination
for our last day in Vancouver, a beautiful forest with a river
through the middle.
Sneaky photo that makes me look all thoughtful...
A suspension bridge crossed the river over the
canyon, and further up you could get to the water's edge. We were
excited/purtubed by the sign which warned of black bear sightings in
the area, and amused by the giant signs detailing (with pictures and
specific examples) the various ways in which you could die if you
didn't behave in a responsible manner. The walk was gorgeous, the sun
was shining and streaming through the trees, we must have taken
hundreds of photos! When we got to a small beach type area we stopped
and took more, soaking up the sun before heading back.
We're off to Vancouver Island now, on
the ferry across to Victoria. It's strange, we did some really cool
things in Vancouver, but as a whole, the city wasn't that exciting.
Whereas in Seattle for example, we didn't necessarily DO as much, but
really liked the atmosphere of the city much more. We did however
meet the nicest bus driver (even nicer than the one who gave Lisa the
origami swan), who let us off the fare and talked to us the whole way
back from the Canyon Park about where we were going etc, and
recommending places we should see while we are here!