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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
And then?? Onwards and upwards. Whistler time.