48 hours in Vancouver


Somehow it’s been a week since I posted. How did that happen? Oh well. We’re currently in rainy Whistler, we’re here for the Husband’s Ironman on Sunday. The weather is due to clear up so that’s good. But before we got here, we had just over 48 hours in Vancouver, and it was fantastic.

We arrived at lunchtime on Sunday to grey skies and a little drizzle. We found our hotel, checked in, left our bags and set out exploring. We’d chosen to stay in the West End, near Stanley Park – the enormous park that juts out into English Bay. (English Bay, baby!). So we explored a little along the waterfront, past swanky apartment blocks and gleaming boats and along to Canada Place. Even in the drizzle, it was pretty cool.

The time we played ice hockey
The Husband was a little selfish about his need to rest his legs during taper

Saturday started with a family run – 10k around the Sea Wall that surrounds Stanley Park. It’s really quite beautiful – the views over to North Vancouver were a little cloudy to start with but the skies cleared as we ran. It was gorgeous to run as a family, a real treat. We’ve borrowed a friend’s Bob stroller for this trip and whilst I am a firm believer that you can run with any stroller (I’ve run with four, only one of which is intended for running) I really wish I’d bought a Bob four years ago. It literally glides along. By the time we got round the park to English Bay, the sun was shining and it was gorgeous.

The lighthouse on the Sea Wall
Spectacular Siwash Rock along the Sea Wall
canada stroller
Loved this run so much

Later that day, we rented bikes – the Dude had a tag-along on the Husband’s bike – and we explored Stanley Park. We all adored the park, it is really amazing. From the water park for kids (along with a kid drying machine) to the miniature railway and the First Nations Village to the miles of cycleable trails through forest, it’s pretty special.

Totem Poles in Stanley Park
Beaver Lake in Stanley Park
canada cycling husband dude trailabike
My boys
Second Beach in the sunshine

In the evening, we met up with my friend Jenny. She and I share a birthday and lived together as students 20 years ago in a damp house in Wales (the wall fell down one night) but she now lives in Vancouver so it was so nice to see her and meet her boys!

Jenny was looking at someone else here 😉

Monday dawned with gorgeous sunshine so we wandered round the seawall towards the city and took the water bus over to Granville Island on the other side of False Creek. It’s a giant market, selling the most amazing fruit and veg, baked goods and other food, and studded with wonderful coffee stands. We had humongous pastries for breakfast and enjoyed the view.

English Bay in the sunshine
You can only imagine how much the Dude loved going on this
Family portrait 🙂
Granville Island Market
Awesome pastries
Breakfast with a view

Vancouver is a great city. It’s really chilled and laid-back and really outdoorsy – we saw so many people running and cycling and boating. My friend told me that even in the winter (it rains 200 days of the year) people are out and about all the time. It felt very British in that respect and in many respects actually – we felt very at home there. I’ll add it to my list of cool places I could live!

It was then time to pick up our car in North Vancouver and head up to Whistler, 90 mins away. Beforehand though, we visited the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. There’s another one which is longer and more famous (the Capilano Bridge) but you have to pay a fortune to go on it and Lynn Canyon is free! So we went there…and hiked the mile or so through the temperate rain forest to the bridge. I wore totally inappropriate flip-flops but the forest was beautiful. The bridge was very wobbly and a little scary (one member of the family was more scared than the others, he said that his height was a disadvantage) but it was pretty cool!

Two Ramsdens whose heights were not disadvantageous
Better view of the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Canada Trails
Forest Trails

And then?? Onwards and upwards. Whistler time.

canada ironman
It’s happening!

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Bean says:

    Vancouver is beautiful. We drove through when we moved from Alaska to Arizona but now I want to go back and visit for real!!!! Hope Whistler is lots of fun!

  2. Jen says:

    Awesome photos! Glad you’re having a great time so far. Good luck to the Iron Bonce!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thanks! It’s getting exciting.

  3. dlubi says:

    Thanks for sharing this adventure! Looks amazing! Best wishes for a wonderful weekend and a great ironman experience!

  4. Nicola Johnson says:

    Fantastic! Brings back lots of memories! Knew you’d love Stanley Park too! Good luck to R for Sunday – hope he enjoys it and that you do too!

    1. Cathryn says:

      We’re getting excited.

      We thought of you in Vancouver, you must have loved it here.

  5. Grace says:

    Did you say THE WALL FELL OFF YOUR HOUSE? And how did you make it through the night? (Clearly you are both still alive so you did something right.)
    Welsh houses must be really poorly constructed, or it really is that damp. I knew there was a reason I’ve never been to Wales. Vancouver on the other hand I could get behind, it looks terrific…

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yeah, the inside wall along the staircase literally collapsed one night during a storm. We still had the outside wall solid but inside it all fell apart. Kind of funny…now! It rains a LOT in Wales but it’s unbelievably beautiful. Green like Ireland but less touristy!

  6. Angela says:

    All the cool kids stay in the West End. 😉 AND, that is totally the same water taxi we rode in! It was kind of adorable.


    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you!!!

      Yay for the little yellow boat. So cool! Good luck on Sunday as well…run well. x

  7. Sharyn says:

    Vancouver is a fantastic city. I visited once for a conference several years ago and your photos brought back memories of how amazing it is. I added it to my list of cool cities I could live in too 🙂

    1. Sharyn says:

      ggod luck for your husband too 🙂

    2. Cathryn says:

      My list is getting very long and Vancouver is definitely towards the top!

  8. Kristen says:

    Looks like you are having a great time so far! When I went to Vancouver it was only for a few hours as we were on a cruise but I would love to go back and actually spend some time. I love the photo of your son pushing your husband – that is great!

    GOOD LUCK to your husband on Sunday! I will be thinking of you guys!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you! You should def go back to Vancouver, we really liked it.

    2. Cathryn says:

      Thank you so much!!!

  9. Mathieu always wanted to live in Canada and was really attracted by Vancouver. I wasn’t… I mean, I am sure I would have loved all the outdoors activities but the weather would have been really difficult on me… Anyways, it would be a nice trip to take a vacation there. It seems great from what you said here.

    What’s the story with a wall falling down during the night in the house in Wales ?? You have to tell us this story !! 😉

    It’s nice to have an update from you. All the best to the Husband !! 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yeah, the weather is the only thing that puts me off moving there tomorrow! My friend said it’s even rainier than the UK and I’ve already forgotten how miserable and depressing that weather can be! I’d def need a weekend there in bad weather before deciding if I could live there.

      The wall coming down…just a storm, a damp inner wall on the staircase and one gust too many. The outer wall kept us dry and safe but the house was pretty damp.

  10. Michaela says:

    Great photos! I’m planning a trip to Vancouver for the lululemon Seawheeze 13.1 in a few weeks. This is making me excited!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m guessing you’ve been before? Try eating at Forage (Angela’s recommendation) which was fantastic! On Robson just east of Wholefoods!

  11. Ah wow I LOVE Vancouver/Whistler area. So gorgeous. So fun! Went up there for our honeymoon and did the bike riding through Stanley Park all the way to Granville Island. Both fantastic places. Lovely photos.

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m so glad you liked the post. Yes, it IS gorgeous up there isn’t it! What a great honeymoon destination. We came to SF on honeymoon…so you may well end up living in Vancouver 😉

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