West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton (Part 7)

The Former Largest Mall in the World – West Edmonton Mall

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Alberta Aviation Museum – Edmonton (Part 9)

When I arrived in Edmonton last April 2008, I used to passKingsway Avenue every time I travel from my place where I live in Downtown in Edmonton to anywhere, I used to see an airport beside this road. Before I thought it’s the city’s or town’s commercial airport,  but it seems it’s kind of small for that purpose. And one thing that I noticed, few planes are landing to or flying from this airport.Then, I asked some of my colleagues that time about the place until I understand that it’s city’s airport that I used to see is not the international airport that I was thinking of. And as far as I recall, I had a long trip from Edmonton International Airport to Downtown Edmonton, and the airport that I saw is just near in Kingsway Avenue which is just a few minutes from the place  where I lived.
Edmonton City Centre Airport is also known as Blatchfold Field Airport where Alberta  Aviation Museum which I visited is located. At the front of the museum, you can see some of plane displays as a sign that the place is an aviation museum.
 I can’t recall the name for the above plane
but the small one on its right bottom is
Boeing CIM-10B BOMARC (1958)
McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo (1957)
Most of the photos I got seems I am part of the photo, and because of that I tried to crop and modified  (see some blurry part of the photo?) photo so that things that I saw inside or outside the museum are more visible.
 Canadair CL-13 Sabre I
Beech D18S-3NM Expeditor (1952)
De Havilland Mosquito B.35 (representing FB.VI) (1943)
There are more planes that I saw but I haven’t got of their pictures to show here. One of the unique things I experienced was when my buddy and I enter in Boeing 737-200 (1972), airplane, it is similar to the commercial plane we used to ride. And we were able to get inside the pilots area.
Inside Wester AirPlane (Boeing 737-200 (1972))
This plane above, I can’t recall the name, so spare me for this one.
There are more planes to see in the aviation museum, and the great thing about it, it displays earlier airplanes that we may not be able to see flying anymore in our current time because they are now just part of aviation history.

After enjoying the tour inside the museum I bought some souvenirs as my remembrance from this museum.

I hope you enjoy this little story of mine about my tour in Aviation Museum in Edmonton Alberta, Canada which happened last June 7, 2008.

British Columbia It Is Your Turn

The chance that I got to be able to visit some parts of British Columbia was not an ordinary chance. When I got a single entry visa to Canada, I knew that it was a one-time chance to see this huge country at North America. After grabbing all my opportunity to see Alberta, the province of Edmonton where I was assigned for few weeks of work and training, I tried my best to get the opportunity to see British Columbia as well.

I remembered that it was less than two weeks before I left Canada to go back to my country, I requested my boss if I can fly earlier to Vancouver since it was the same route when I fly back on the actual date of my return in Philippines. I told my boss, that my route will be Edmonton to Vancouver and then Vancouver to Manila. At first he never agreed because he thought at first that my route was Edmonton to Toronto and Toronto to Manila. After correcting his thoughts about my flight, he told me that he will think about it.

After few hours passed, my boss called me back and told me that he was going to make my travel a business official, because the team that I worked with has collaboration with the team in Vancouver, my visit becomes semi-business trip, because there were few days left and the only thing that I can do in Vancouver was to meet the team.

My last day in Edmonton was Thursday (June 12, 2008) and that was the same day my colleague celebrated the 10th year anniversary in the company and somewhat my farewell to the team as well.

When I came to Vancouver, I tried to plan ahead the five days that I spent in British Columbia.

Hidden Panorama - BC

The following places that I had been with were:

1. White Rock and Richmond
2. Whistler, Whistler Village and Blackcomb Mountain
3. Squamish – Stawamus Chief, Squamish Town, Cheakamus Canyon, Tantalus Mountain Ranges
4. Brackendale and Shannon Falls
5. Greater Vancouver – Cypress Mountain
6. Greater Vancouver – Stanley Park
7. Greater Vancouver – Grouse Mountain
8. Greater Vancouver – Cleveland Dam
9. Greater Vancouver – Capilano Fish Hatchery
10. Greater Vancouver – Capilano Suspension Bridge
11. Greater Vancouver – Burrard Inlet / Vancouver Harbour
12. Greater Vancouver – Vancouver Downtown
13. Greater Vancouver – Vancouver Airport
14. Vancouver Island – Victoria – Butchart Garden
15. Vancouver Island – Victoria – Strait of Juan De Fuca
16. Vancouver Island – Victoria – Race Rocks Light House
17. Vancouver Island – Victoria – Royal BC Museum
18. Vancouver Island – Victoria
19. Greater Vancouver, British Columbia’s Islands, and Vancouver Island

Royal British Columbia Museum

Totem Poles inside the museum

While thinking of similarities of the place that I found in Alberta and British Columbia province in Canada, I realized that Victoria is the capital city of BC. In Edmonton there is Provincial Legislature Building and Victoria has it as well, Edmonton has Royal Museum and Victoria has it as well. Edmonton is capital city of Alberta and that’s what Victoria is in BC.

As part of my tour, after whale watching activity, we visited BC Royal Museum.

Here are some of photos I captured during my visit in the museum and some learned information during the tour.

Royal BC Museum

Museum Entrance

1. Natural History Galleries (2nd Floor)

Within the Living Land Living Sea section of the museum displays the diverse geography of the province from prehistoric to present day.

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Woolly Mammoth – popular in the museum which depicts the last line of mammoth species.

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Other living things displayed in the gallery

2. First People’s Galleries

(3rd Floor)

Inside%2520Royal%2520BC%2520Museum%252049Pit House or The Kekuli – used as winter homes of the Aboriginal people of BC

TotemTotem Gallery – shows the art style of the Coastal First Nations of BC.

House of Chief Kwakwabalasami

House of Chief Kwakwabalasami

House of/Big House – Jonathan Hunt House (Chief Kwakwabalasami of Fort Rupert)

Snow Shoe

Snow Shoe

4th Floor

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Haida Canoe – was once used by Coast Salish people in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

3. Modern History Galleries

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(3rd Floor)

At Century Hall, some photos capture are the following:

Inside%2520Royal%2520BC%2520Museum%252010 Inside%2520Royal%2520BC%2520Museum%252011Hats Through The Decades

Inside%2520Royal%2520BC%2520Museum%2520311900s Cabinet – Typewriter

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1900s Cabinet Collection

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1912 Model T Ford – An automobile during 1900

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Livery – Where the blacksmith uses metal to bend, shape and cut. Based from information in the museum, the blacksmith main job are shoeing horses, making repairs for carriages and hiring horses and buggies

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Port Moody – Train Station

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Century Hall – Old Town Vicinity

(5th Floor)

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Old Town Vicinity AreaInside%2520Royal%2520BC%2520Museum%252047 Inside%2520Royal%2520BC%2520Museum%252046

Kitchen

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Hotel

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Victoria – Lovely Capital City of British Columbia

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After more than half an hour of flight we arrived at Victoria harbour. Before going to whale watching adventure I did a quick walk in the area to see the beautiful place that I was at the moment. The inner harbour of Victoria City in Vancouver Island was lovely for me, though I saw a lot of boats, yachts ferries and docking stations, I still saw the beauty of its place. This was the first harbour that I saw that feels good. It seems there was a balance in the place.

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Victoria Inner Harbour Snapshots During My Walk

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Victoria Inner Harbour Snapshots while at Stellar boat on our way to Whale Watching Adventure

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Snapshots after returning to Victoria from Whale Watching Adventure

After coming back from Whale Watching Adventure, we arrived again at the inner harbour. I walk again in the area before we visited BC Royal Museum. As I saw the surroundings of the place, I felt I like it more and more, I was amazed with the settings and design of the harbour and thought that Vitoria City is the kind of place that I dreamed to live someday. During my walk at the harbour I did not miss to see Empress Hotel and BC Provincial Legislature Building.

After visiting the museum we went straight to The Butchart Gardens, and along the way I had a chance to capture some snapshots while we were driving at Beach Drive.

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Snapshots at Beach Drive in Victoria On Our Way To The Butchart Gardens

Royal Alberta Museum – Edmonton (Part 8)

I started to write my story about this place, it’s almost a year that had been passed. But was not able to publish it in my blog immediately.
I visited Royal Alberta Museum same day when I went around Edmonton City, it was Saturday – June 7, 2008 . The tour I had that day started early in the morning, I also visited that day were Muttart Conservatory (just the vicinity area since it still under renovation), West Edmonton Mall, Alberta Aviation Museum, Government House and some historic places in Edmonton such as 24th Street. Well I considered that day as my Edmonton Day Tour.
Captured outside the museum
Captured inside the museum

For this article I will be focusing what I did and what I found in Royal Alberta Museum. Just additional information before I continue telling my story, after I visited two royal museums such as Alberta and British Columbia (in Vancouver), I quite understand that it seems that there might be another province in Canada that have their own royal museums. After checking in internet, I just found out that there is one in Saskatchewan and Ontario province. After I learned that, I felt good that at least I was able to visit two royal museums in Canada.

As far as I remember, it was more than an hour left when we went to Royal Alberta museum and it will be closed (the reason was, we visited other places and I never realized that museum’s will be closing that so soon). Because of tight schedule, we were so aware about the time but honestly, while looking to each exhibit in that museum, how I wish I have more time.

There are two levels in Royal Alberta museum. First level has portion where you can see lots of wild animals that had been preserved in some ways, they call it “Wild Alberta”. And for me, seeing those animals in up close and personal (although they are not moving anymore) was one of my amazing experience in that museum. There are lots of animals I saw in that gallery. I wish I can take pictures of all of them but that is impossible with short period of time that we had. The second level, composed of the gallery of Aboriginal Culture where you can see the earlier history of Canada. While in another room, you can view the Natural History Gallery for their beautiful stones and historic fossils.

Without further ado, lets begin my short journey in one of the beautiful museum I visited in Canada.

Wild Alberta

There are different kinds of zones in Wild Alberta.The following zones are: Borreal Forest Zone, Prairie Zone, Parkland Zone, Mountain Zone and Water Zone.

In Borreal Zone, I was quite exciting because I saw beaver that I felt like they were so real. I saw beaver while traveling in Banff but I am very far from it. Unlike in the exhibit I saw them closely and found how cute they are c”,). I also found some caribou, wolf, moose, pelican and grouse. And even I have less time to see it, I still take my time to take pictures of some animals there.

Beaver

In Prairie Zone, I had fun enjoying the view of eagles. The museum exhibits different kinds of eagles. And eagles are the raptors that I really admire. The other animals I saw were: coyote, mule deer and prong horn. I also post with huge bison, the animal that I can’t believe with an amazing size.

Coyote
Bison


Brown Bear

In Parkland Zone, I found birds and swans. This is the zone where the animals you can see in Borreal and Prairie were mixed. In this place, I enjoy the different sounds of birds tweeting in my ears. And most of the sounds soothes my ears. It’s really different in a place like nature, the only difference of the museum to the nature, animals through dioramas are enclosed in glasses and not in motion.

In Mountain Zone, I found the mountain lion which similarly look like a tiger. Honestly without notes at the front of diorama there, I will really think they are tiger. Other animals that I saw were bighorn sheep, grizzly bear and mountain goat.

Lion

Bighorn Sheep
Mountain Goat Kid

And in Water Zone, I saw different fishes that was enjoyable to watch but since I have limited time, I was not able to capture some photos from this area.

Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture

When I visited this part of the museum, I totally understand who were the first people lived in Canada. They call them “First People” or “First Nation”. While in this gallery it reminds me that this huge country of Canada has similarities in my own country Philippines when it comes to the first people. The way they live their life, like hunting is amazing. And the way they survive in the winter season. I saw a lot of unique stuff of Canada history.

snow shoe
Husky during winter season

I saw the old snow shoe and that was awesome. Then I saw the clothes that the “First Nation are wearing during winter. I was able to see the ancient tools they used for living like rocks. The life that first people did to survive during ancient times such as Bison hunting. Even the kind of shelter that they live in. I remember when I visited Fort Edmonton Park, and thinking the Fur Trading Era. It connects everything. Seeing a very old and unique stuff were wonderful. The gallery showcased the artifacts of history from Ice Age up to the modern times of Canada specially in Alberta. It’s really worth to know the Alberta history and of Canada as a whole.

Natural History Gallery


Since we just have few minutes left before the museum close, we tried to visit this gallery as much as we can. But even I tried to view all those stuff displayed, I still amazed and I can’t stop admiring the things I saw in this gallery. I took a lot of time, viewing the wonderful stones displayed. Every stones displayed there, struck me and I can’t believe I am seeing it.






Photos above are snapshot of different stones from a video since
I don’t have good photos of these magnificent rocks

Then, I saw the fossils display in the gallery where you can find the dinosaur bones located at the side of the room.




Dinosaurs bones and fossils

Photo snapshot from video
to see inside the gallery

For me everything I saw in the museums are made of artwork and passion for history. I hope you enjoy the little story I had when I visited Royal Alberta Museum last June 2008.

Whale Watching, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Race Rocks Lighthouse

After I arrived in Victoria inner harbour through floatplane, my first scheduled activity was whale watching. From inner harbour airport of Victoria I was instructed where to go next so I can meet the group that I will be joining for whale watching. It was my first time to join such an adventure and I never seen a whale for real.

I arrived at the dock station where the whale watching tours that I will be joining was located. At first, I thought I am the only one in the tour because I haven’t seen much of people where I was standing. I met the guide for the whale watching adventure and then he gave me an overall uniform. At first I was confused why I need it, but when I saw other people in other boats wearing the same thing, I just followed as what instructed to me. Then, people coming by one group and another. When all of us were ready wearing our track suit and warm jumper uniforms, we hopped on the boat. I sat near the rear side of the boat. When every body were on boarded we almost filled up all the space in the boat. The next thing happened was, we started moving away from the harbour.

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Snapshots during whale watching

After few minutes passed and we had some distance from the harbour, our captain and tour guide in the boat gave us a warning to hold on tight which I did and then we hit the sea as if we were racing with another boat. Every time there’s a big wave our boat didn’t slow down and I knew that was one of drivers trick for us to made us feel we were like riding a roller coaster. Everyone seems enjoying it, I enjoyed it. While we were looking for the whale I also took the chance to look around the surroundings and took a quick snapshots. We moved from one place to another, still trying our luck to catch a glimpse of whales. It took us a while in the sea. And I estimated 30 to 40 meters from us, we saw whales, there were two whales that we saw. They showed their selves to us trice but it’s really quick, and for those times I was not lucky to take photo shots as we don’t knew when they going to appear again. But even that was the case I was still lucky to see them in their natural habitat, in the sea.

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Race Rocks Lighthouse and surrounding rock islands

After looking for whales, we went around the Strait of Juan de Fuca at Western part of Vancouver Island. I like the sceneries from the boat. Some shots that I got were looking towards Vancouver Island, while other shots looking towards USA as we were near at the border area. We also visited the Race Rocks Lighthouse were we found small islands and rock islands in the area before going back in Victoria harbour.

The Butchart Gardens – A Magical and Refreshing Garden

When I did Victoria and The Butchart Gardens tour, the last stop in our itinerary was The Butchart Gardens. After coming from Royal Museum in Victoria, we went straight to the garden. At first, I don’t really know what to expect in the garden which of course plants and flowers, but I had this high expectations because the garden is part of a tourist itinerary tour.

We arrived at the garden, I walked from the entrance, along the way I saw the gift store and I decided to look inside. While checking out things, I ended up shopping some souvenir stuff. When I got out the store I looked around, I immediately like the ambiance of the place then I passed the cafe and visitor centre. Next, I saw the big name of The Butchart Garden but I bypassed it as lot of people stopped in the area to take photos and I knew I it will take sometime before it cleared out with people, that’s why I decided to take photos once I’m done with the garden which I did before leaving the garden.

 

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I followed the track from the start point of the garden which starts from the big name “The Butchart Gardens”. Along the way, I saw Snail Fountain, Roses and Orchids until I saw the sign the direction of the Sunken Garden. The first part of the garden that I visited was the beautiful and amazing Sunken Garden. The view from the top was lovely. It’s like a magical garden place, it’s really a refreshing scenery.

 

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Sunken Garden

I went down as I was excited for what I saw, then I walked along some tracks in the Sunken Garden. I saw  shrubs, towering trees and Quarry Lake where I got scenic photos of it. After reaching the corner side of the garden, I found the Ross Fountain. I spent few minutes in taking photos of Ross fountain and then continued strolling the garden until I saw a statue of woman.

 

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Ross Fountain

After enjoying my eyes in Sunken Garden, I moved to Rose Garden where I found a lot of beautiful and colorful flowers. I did a lot of up close and personal photos of some flowers that I found in the garden. There is a nearby fountain as well that I saw in Rose Garden and it’s called Sturgeon Fountain.

 

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At Rose Garden

Sturgeon Fountain

Sturgeon Fountain

After enjoying the fountain view I continued my wandering in The Butchart Gardens until I entered in another type of garden called Japanese Garden. Here the design of the plants, trees , flowers and overall atmosphere in area was oriental and I amazed on the picturesque of the garden.

 

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At Japanese Garden

I kept my pace and move along until I saw the Star Pond which surrounded by flowers in its edges. Then, I walked again up to the Italian Garden.

 

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I was fascinated with my walk in the garden, beautiful and colorful flowers with green grass, plants and trees compliments each other made the garden even better. While inside I felt I were in a magical place and I felt I was a princess which lives in a wonderland, well that’s just for a moment.

Greater Vancouver, British Columbia’s Islands, Vancouver Island and Float Plane

Even I was tired from full and jam pack places that I had seen during my Whistler tour, I was still excited for another day tour just to see more of British Columbia. As I checked and compared tours available for Vancouver Island in the end I booked myself for Victoria and The Butchart Gardens which includes Whale Watching and Float Plane. The tour might be quite pricey compared with other Victoria tour but I wanted to experienced a lot and see a lot in one day as I am not sure if I will be given another chance to come back in Canada in the future.

From my hotel in Kingsway in Burnaby, I traveled to downtown of Vancouver by taking bus #19 from the nearest station in the hotel which is  WB Kingsway FS Melbourne St and went off at EB W Pender St At Burrard St. From the bus station I walked towards Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre until I reached the station of the float plane that will bring me to Victoria in Vancouver Island and I flew to the island via Westcoast Air. I decided that time to choose the float plane instead of regular ferry that goes back and forth from Vancouver to Victoria so I can see the islands from the top on the way and to save time so I can spend the morning time in whale watching.

 

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At Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre

It was the first time that I took a float plane. From the station I met the other tourist, one were senior couple and one are middle age couple, then we introduced ourselves to each other but honestly I can’t remember their names. Traveling in a seaplane or floatplane was a challenge because I thought before we travel it will be the same with regular commercial plane that was silent but to my surprise it was not. The propeller sound from the front of the floatplane was quite loud and the plane was just small where all sounds around the plane can be heard inside. At first I was not comfortable but when we were at the top and I was able to see the Greater Vancouver, lots of islands, Vancouver Island and surrounding body of water which is Georgia Strait I felt excited and relieved . I just thought that even the sound was not so nice, I did enjoy the sceneries that I was able to view from the float plane.

 

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Greater Vancouver Sceneries

 

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British Columbia’s Islands and Vancouver Island

Last Hours in Canada – Vancouver Airport

After my half-day and last tour in British Columbia which was the North Shore Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain, my bus tour dropped me off at Vancouver Airport which located at Richmond. Here I met my colleagues assigned in Vancouver team and another one assigned in Toronto team.

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All the three of us took sometime to catch-up for everything happened to us while staying in Canada, we chat about who were the people that we met in the team, who we thought were really good in their job, who looks good, who was accommodating and a lot of stuff. We spent sometime to walk a little bit around the airport and we took some photo of us and the place as our memories. All of us told each other how we were really going to miss this beautiful country of Canada and all of us wished if we can go back again.

Passing Vancouver Downtown

Honestly I was not able to spend a lot of time walking around Vancouver itself, as I was fully preoccupied of arranging my tour and five days were not really enough to see British Columbia.

BC Place Stadium in Downtown Vancouver at Georgia Viaduct
BC Place Stadium in Downtown Vancouver at Georgia Viaduct
Telus World of Science in Vancouver Downtown at Quebec St
Telus World of Science in Vancouver Downtown at Quebec St
Telus World of Science in Vancouver Downtown at Quebec St
Telus World of Science in Vancouver Downtown at Quebec St
At Coal Harbour
At Coal Harbour

I got a few chances to see some of Vancouver Downtown. First was when I came from Whistler Tour, next when I was on my way to Victoria in Vancouver Island because I went to the Floatplane station at Coal Harbour. Then when I was came from walk in Stanley Park. And the last chance was while I was inside the bus on my way to the airport in Richmond flying back to Manila.

Canada Place (captured near at seabus station in Vancouver)
Canada Place (captured near at seabus station in Vancouver)
Vancouver Lookout at Cordova St near Burrard St in Vancouver Downtown - I'm on my way to the Airport
Vancouver Lookout at Cordova St near Burrard St in Vancouver Downtown – I’m on my way to the Airport
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Vancouver Lookout at Cordova St near Burrard St in Vancouver Downtown – I’m on my way to the Airport
Vancouver Centre Mall at Vancouver Downtown - I'm on my way to the Airport
Vancouver Centre Mall at Vancouver Downtown – I’m on my way to the Airport
Pacific Centre Vancouver Downtown - I'm on my way to the Airport
Pacific Centre Vancouver Downtown – I’m on my way to the Airport
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At Howe St looking towards Toronto Dominion Tower and Vancouver Ceter Mall Vancouver Downtown – I’m on my way to the Airport

All the chances were quite unplanned because I was just passing by Vancouver Downtown, as I was already came from some tour or some place. All chances was not really intentional because of the situations at that time. Even all those were just unexpected chances I was able to see some places in Downtown.

From North and Vancouver

My North Vancouver tour was officially over after we left Grouse Mountain. Before I joined the tour that day, I did checkout in my hotel because after the tour, the bus will drop me off at the airport and because of that all my luggage were in the bus as well.

In my tour as I wished to experience more and see more because I had few hours left before flying back to Manila, I was happy that the tour includes a seabus ride to cross Vancouver Harbour from North Vancouver to Vancouver.

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The trip started at Lonsdale Quay at North Vancouver and then the ferry crossed Burrard Inlet or Vancouver Harbour. Along the way I had time spent viewing the coastal side of Greater Vancouver. I enjoyed the whole trip. After exiting the seabus, the bus tour was waiting at the Waterfront station. The seabus experience was the first time while in Vancouver.

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Vancouver Downtown and Vancouver Harbor (captured while at seabus) on the way to Waterfront Station

Canada Place
Canada Place
Pan Pacific Hotel near at Canada Place
Pan Pacific Hotel near at Canada Place
Vancouver Lookout Tower at Harbour Centre
Vancouver Lookout Tower at Harbour Centre

After returning to the bus, a realisation came to my mind that I had few hours left to see more of Vancouver, that’s why on the way to the airport I enjoyed Vancouver Downtown inside the bus.

I still wish I can come back in Canada in the future.

Capilano Fish Hatchery

It was my last day in Vancouver or let say my last day in Canada, though it was not a full day tour as I still went to office in the morning to say goodbyes to the Vancouver team, I was still able to arrange my tour in the afternoon. I booked a North Shore Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain Tour. The half day tour includes 4 places such as Capilano Fish Hatchery, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Cleveland Dam and Grouse Mountain.

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The first stop was Capilano Fish Hatchery. The location of the hatchery is just beside the Capilano River in Capilano River Regional Park. The river was the same river that I saw when we went to Capilano Suspension Bridge. When we arrived at the center, there was a personnel approached us and explained the process of growing the fish in the hatchery and that includes telling us that if the right time, they release the fishes into the river. But at the time we visited the place, there was no schedule of fish release in the river.

After spending time inside the center, I walked around the area of the hatchery and I was fascinated in the surrounding areas as I felt the nature is within the hatchery. And the Capilano River was really adorable. I fell in love with the river.

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