Bike riding and one loose seal

So I made an Arrested Development reference, but it’s true there was (kind of) a loose seal. But I’ll get to that laters.

So with our scrapped Chinatown plans replaced with Stanley Park, we slept in a bit this morning before heading out and having breakfast/coffee. I don’t know if I just haven’t had a great bagel yet, but to me bagels are just a tad to dense for my liking. After eating we caught a bus down towards Stanley Park to hire some bicycles. Public transport buses were like the LA ones here, exact change required. Throw your coins in the box get a bit of paper, driver never handles the money. I wonder if that would work in Sydney or would people be outraged they had to have the correct funds?

After hiring the bikes we began our casual bike ride around Stanley Park, following the seawall. Unlike the botanical gardens in Sydney the cycle path is actually separated from the pedestrian footpath, and it goes one way only. Best thing? People actually follow this so there’s no pedestrians in the cycleway and vice versa.

Vancouver skyline
Vancouver skyline

 

Siwash Rock
Siwash Rock

It was along the ride that we spotted a lone seal alone in the water. I kind of managed to get a snap of it…

A lone seal
A lone ‘loose’ seal

After making it round to the other side we followed the seawall further long and crossed over a bridge to get to Granville Island. Weren’t intending to go to the island, but with the bikes and nothing else planned it seemed like a good enough thing to do. Granville Island marked our refuelling stop. I don’t really drink beer usually, but I tried 2 of the taster size beers. The raspberry beer was light and fruity, much better than my other choice.

Granville Island Brewery beer
Granville Island Brewery beer

Once done, a quick look around the island then it was back on the bike to ride uphill back over the bridge and into downtown. The cycle path system in downtown was also pretty great as well. Separated from the road and footpaths and the light sequences actually changed with the traffic lights!

Tomorrow we’re off onto the 7 day cruise of Alaska. I don’t think there’ll be much blogging as the internet on the ship is ridiculously expensive and I’m not sure what the free WiFi situation will be like in the ports we visit. So if there’s no updates, the next one should be when we’re in Anchorage in a week or so.

 

What’s one to do in Vancouver?

Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. It’s a bit pricey for what it is, but I guess that’s standard for touristy attractions. On the upnote there’s a free shuttle bus there and back.

Since we managed to make the first shuttle of the day it was fairly quiet and serene whilst we were out there. The suspension bridge spans the river and was originally built in 1889. Along with the suspension bridge there is a treetop walk and a cliff walk to fill the time.

Suspension bridge

After we’d walked all things we could there we caught the shuttle back to Canada Place and decided we needed some food as we hadn’t had breakfast. Seeing were in Canada we had to try some poutine, so we walked over the Mean Poutine to give it a try.

Poutine

Verdict: Not bad. Kinda like chips with smooth gravy and cheese that is slightly salty – think halloumi but softer. After getting our food fix it was a stroll back up Robson St back to the hotel for a rest.

Mid afternoon went out for another stroll to see the Chinatown and Gastown area. Wasn’t that impressed with it. Probably didn’t help that we somehow ended up walking through the bits of Downtown Eastside that I’d liken to the Tenderloin in San Francisco.

So tomorrow instead of heading back to Chinatown we’re going to head out to Stanley Park and hire some bicycles to ride around.

Hello Vancouver

So we made it to Vancouver. I’m writing this as I’m willing my body to stay awake to a reasonably normal bed time in an attempt to not get jet lagged (which I failed at as I had to down my laptop at 7:30PM and go sleep).

The flight over was pretty standard. Flew Delta this time and for the price I’ve got no complaints. As a bonus it doesn’t land at TBIT so you don’t have to wait very long to get through immigration. Since we’d used our ESTA within the last 2 years we were one of the few non US citizens who got to use the computer kiosks. It was okay. The fingerprint scanning struggled to match my pinky and took 3+ attempts.

Once done with the immigration and customs things we had 3 hours to kill. 3 hours soon became 4 as our connecting flight was delayed. Eventually the plane turned up and here we are now in sunny Vancouver.

What does one eat after staying awake for 24+ hours? Five Guys! Cheeseburger with everything. Misjudged the size of large fries though. Will have to make sure to hit an In-N-Out down in states to tick of both fast food burger chains.

Cheeseburger with everything

Off into the wild (soon)

There’s no denying I’m romanticised by the U.S. National Parks system (and Disney theme parks!). Every 18 months or so since 2008 we’ve made the trek over to see more of “America’s best idea” (with a Disney side trip).

I don’t really know what it is – fresh air, long hikes, bad internet, animals in the wild, dirt on my feet, impressive vistas, long drives, pokey towns, campgrounds.

Hopes for this trip:

  • See a moose in the wild
  • See killer whales
  • See Mount McKinley
  • Hike the Harding Icefield Trail
  • Hike part of the Wonderland Trail out to Summerland
  • Have a fire on the beach
  • Hike on a glacier
  • Hike Lassen Peak
  • Hike amongst Redwoods
  • See tidal pools on the Olympic Peninsula
  • Ride Radiator Springs Racer,  California Screamin’, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Indiana Jones Adventure