Vancouver Day 2 Part 1

Continued from Vancouver Day 1.

Slept in pretty late. Woke up at 11 and guess what, it’s raining and foggy outside. I am so ready for sunshine back in Austin. We made plans to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge today. The free shuttle picks up at 1:05, so we’ll have to get ready and grab a bite to eat relatively quickly.

It’s raining a bit harder today. In Portland, even though it rains, almost nobody uses umbrellas. In Seattle, I see some people use umbrellas. In Vancouver, many people use umbrellas. It rains a shitload in all three places. I am guessing that people in Vancouver are more fashion conscious, so they use umbrellas. You can’t look fashionable wearing only goretex.

We decided on some dim sum for lunch. The Chinese food is supposed to be really good here in Vancouver.

Found. So hungry.

It’s always a good sign when I go eat Chinese food and I see all the Asians sitting inside.

Chrysanthemum tea.

Ah yes, the same porcelain tea pot that I always see in Asian restaurants. Ah yes, the same porcelain tea pot that always drips from the spout when you pour tea. Ah yes, I don’t get it. What always stick to this particular ill designed tea pot?

It’s green onion pancake. I am used to the pancake version of this, not the doughnut shaped version.

While very good, we’ve discovered that food in Vancouver is quite bland. Everything we’ve had so far has been very mild across the board. They don’t even leave soy sauce so the table, so we’ve had to ask for it. Not sure if the blandness is due to heavy Asian influence or just the Canadian culture.

They do it in Canada like they do it in Europe. They bring the credit card machine to your table.

Finished the food with just enough time to walk to the free shuttle pick up spot.

Steve Nash Fitness World. Would you go to, say, Kobe Bryant Fitness World?

Looking down the intersection, the forest area at the end of the street is Stanley Park.

We got to the free Capilano shuttle pick up point right outside of Hyatt, and there are no signs on whether this is the right place to wait. We went inside to talk to the concierge, and they said it was indeed the right spot. They were also able to sell us tickets so we didn’t have to wait in line at Capilano. There were no others waiting here with us.

Reminds me of The Sopranos. The Bing.

The shuttle arrives. It was a very empty bus with maybe 8 people. Few tourists around here this time of the year. Capilano Suspension Bridge is the most popular tourist attraction in Vancouver.

Our bus driver was a tour guide for other tour companies moonlighting. He had lots of fun facts to share, but he also talked incessantly. With the rainy weather outside, all I wanted to do was to slump into my seat and chill in silence.

Driving past Stanley Park. It’s a densely forested area.

West Vancouver, one of the most expensive places to live in North America. Our driver said that the condos in downtown Vancouver start at 800k and a home in West Vancouver starts at over 2 million. He also mentioned that the condo highrises sell out in advance before construction has even started. Sounds like a property bubble to me. Ah, Asians and their property bubbles. While I am on the subject of cost, Vancouver is a pretty expensive city. Other than our reasonably priced Sushi, everything other food we’ve had has been pretty expensive. It’s almost European prices.

After a quick 25 minutes drive, we’ve reached Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Our pre-purchased tickets got us past the nonexistent line at the ticket booth. The weather is pretty shitty. It’s raining at a good pace, and it’s a little cold. Fortunately, it’s not very windy.

It was pretty price to get into Capilano at $35!! My friend EW, who used to live in Vancouver, had suggested for me to go to West Lynn bridge up the road for free instead. The convenience of the free shuttle pick up won out. This crappy weather just makes getting anywhere by a nondirect bus too irritating.

A canoe carved out of cedar.

It had a big hole in it. No wonder this is a mockup.

There’s the suspension bridge.

Now the fog moves in. The weather is pretty nasty.

The nasty weather provides for a pretty zen experience hearing the rain drops all around us though.

One of those eco teaching that almost all parks now provide. Do they get hate mail if they don’t do eco education?

Cool bench with the ends made from one rock cut in half.

Can you imagine a 5 feet long salmon? That’s insane. Why have I never seen a big ass salmon?

The Cliffwalk.

Glass bottom viewing platform.

It’s a little shaky out there.

Don’t come here if you are afraid of heights.

Look at that tree growing from a vertical cliff face.

This one is a survivor.

It’s much higher than it looks. It’s a certain death if I fell over. Let me correct that. It’s a certain death if you fell over. I, on the other hand, am invincible.

It’s scary standing on this thing. I didn’t stay here for very long, despite my invincibility.

Little sections of the cliff face are reenforced with concrete.

I hope those anchors go down very deep.

Again, don’t come here if you don’t do well with heights.

One single large anchor supports this semi circular walkway.

Another view of the bridge.

This section was very bouncy. Just by walking, you can make the whole thing shake up and down. I think I’d be scared if the whole walkway was filled with people on a busy day. My engineering mind thinks about all the extra stresses that the cables are dealing with….ugh..

We exited the Cliffwalk from here. Oops, we had gone in from the wrong side. It’s really only an one way walkway and we’ve had to pass a few others. No big deal as it was not busy at all today.

Do not retrieve dropped items. What obvious, yet sound advice.

She looked so bored.

This turned out to be a pretty good photo. It’s raining pretty hard. I had my umbrella(not with me for the photo) and OC had her waterproof shell and rain boots on.

Two of these hold up the bridge. Supposed to be good for 100,000 pounds each. Hmmm, why was it given in pounds instead of kg? The bridge is as long as the wingspan of two 747s.

The photo came out blurry from shaking. The bridge is constantly wobbling from people walking on it. I can’t imagine what it feels like on a busy day when it’s just lined from side to side with people. All those people standing on the bridge would scare me.

Looking back towards Cliffwalk.

There was an Emily Carr street in Victoria. I had no idea who Emily Carr was. Now, I know, but barely. She’s a painter.

Trout pond.

You can barely make out the trouts swimming beneath the surface. I would like to eat them.

Is that true? Seems like a lot of just earthworms alone.

Before I came on this very rainy trip, I had triple coated my shoes with waterproof spray while in Austin. Amazingly, my feet have been bone dry thus far. It’s raining so hard here and we are outside for so long, I finally am starting to feel some moisture seep through. Not quite wet feet yet though. OC and I have a running one upmanship going on concerning our footwear. She’s got these purpose bought rain boots, and I have just my regular shoes with waterproof spray. She keeps on thinking that my feet would get soaked, and they haven’t yet. I’ll give, they may be a little damp today, to her though.

It’s not overexposure. It’s just the white fog that’s all around the area making the photo look washed out.

Giant tree cut in half.

The giant tree is part of the boardwalk.

Vancouver had a crazy large storm in 2006 that broke all sorts of records. This giant tree fell down onto the bridge and damaged it. The bridge did not break, but the anchors did shift and had to be reset.

LR+BP says Fuck You.

We kept on having to pass by these older ladies along the way. The one lady with the GIANT umbrella kept on getting in everyone’s way. She also wore heels. They did seem like very nice friendly ladies from Japan though(OC insists Korea).

Look at how big these leafs are!

Parts of this walk is up 100 feet in the air. Again, interesting that they gave out the height in feet and not meters.

Aww, how cute. I love the little shed that the carpenter, who was building more boardwalks, built for the dog.

Heading back. It’s been a very rainy hour and a half.

We got some coffee at the cafe to wait for our return shuttle.

Feels good to sit down and rest our feet in the dry tent.

This is how the photos turned out on the bus ride back. Terrible.

We had the same bus driver from the trip up here. He was really nice, asked where each of us was headed and dropped us off as close to our hotels as possible. He also told more fun facts about Vancouver during the return trip. $35 was a lot to pay to see Capilano Bridge, but I think it was worth it because in an odd way, we dealt with the rain as little as possible. The round trip bus ride was all taken care of, plus I got to do the Cliff Walk, and the Tree Top boardwalk. Sorry EW, I know you told me to see West Lynn…Next time, I promise.

To be continued at Vancouver Day 2 Part 2.

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