March 9, 2012

The Winterless Province

For spring break this year, I booked a trip to Vancouver with my brother. We were looking to relax from our busy school schedules and discover the beauty of this city that, until now, we had only read about but never visited. Having made practically no plans of what to see and where to go before arriving there - exams and school projects be blamed - we ended up making our schedule as we went along each day, and our experience proved to be quite enjoyable - save maybe for the infamous rainy weather that was quite intense almost our entire time there and a cold I caught a day before returning home (and that I'm still trying to shake off).

Be warned that a picture-heavy post is following, seeing as I had a hard time keeping my camera turned off at any time.

On our first full day in Vancouver, we decided to stay away from the rain and visited the Vancouver Aquarium. There were so many beautiful creatures there - and some curious ones too! - that it proved to be quite the overwhelming experience, and we spent almost the entire day taking it all in.

My favourites were definitely the jellyfish and the dolphins that we even saw in a fun little show!

After the Aquarium, we got our first glimpse of the stunning Stanley Park.

On another day, we decided that the best way to squeeze the most into it would be with a guided tour. In the almost 8 hours that we spent with our tour guide, we saw so many places and learned so many things about the city, that this day will be one that I will always look back on fondly. Because it would be too much to share everything we did that day, I will focus on the highlights.

We stopped at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where there were so many things to do, all surrounded by the beauty of nature, that we could have easily spent the entire day there, not just the hour and a half that we had alloted for it.

After crossing the bridge - a nerve-wracking but unforgettable experience - we were awaited by the Treetops Adventure and the CliffWalk, among other things.

We also stopped at Lowden's Lookout and witnessed some breathtaking views.

On our way to the Granville Island Public Market (where we stuffed ourselves with food and tried macarons for the first time), we passed the beautiful English Bay beach, where the Vancouver Polar Bears take a dip in the water every January 1st.

The last stop of the day was the Vancouver Lookout where it was clear how seamlessly the city blends old(ish) and new, nature and manmade constructions.

Before heading to the airport on our last day there - which, ironically, after a trip filled with rain, was incredibly sunny - we took a drive through the University of British Columbia campus, and couldn't believe our eyes at the beauty that we saw. It definitely made our departure quite bittersweet.

To cap it all off, despite a few setbacks here and there, our Vancouver visit was wonderful. I realized that it is most definitely an outdoorsman's city, one that I think sets itself apart from most other big cities in the world with the way in which it fully embraces the natural world that surrounds it. There are so many things about this trip that I will remember dearly, but the many beautiful views of the mountains and the city in the distance surely take a special place in my heart. I can only hope that I will return many, many times in the future. We've seen many beautiful places, but so many more remain to be seen.

I also put together a short video of some highlights from the trip - sadly, the best that my camera and limited skills allow me right now - which includes a few of the panoramic views that impressed me so. Hope you enjoy it!

Have you ever been to Vancouver? What's your favourite place there?

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post!
    I can't wait to go to Vancouver too (hopefuly around September), it looks so pretty out there!

    Great pictures!


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