Chromatic Outlook (Post#21) : Vancouver Downtown And Vancouver Harbour
During my short visit in Vancouver, one of the public transportation that I had a chance to experience was sea bus. After my half day tour in North Vancouver, I took sea bus so I can immediately cross the harbour to reach Vancouver Downtown straight to Vancouver International Airport located at Richmond. Photo captured last June 2008.
View At My Window (Post#17): Telus World of Science (Vancouver)
As I passed this noticeable, shiny, amazing and unique building I was quite surprised to learn that a similar museum that I found in Alberta does exist in British Columbia with its own identity. Traveling in Canada, I found three buildings that both existing in two provinces. The following buildings such as Royal Museum, Telus world of Science and Provincial Legislature are existing in Alberta and British Columbia. Photo captured last June 2008 while inside the bus.
During my walk around the famous Stanley Park in Vancouver with my colleagues at work, I had a chance to see Coal Harbour. Photo above captured last June 2008 which shows the Vancouver skyline at Coal Harbour.
View At My Window (Post#10) : Some British Columbia Islands
From Vancouver, I took a sea float plane to Victoria City. The photo above was part of photos that I took while we were up in the air. Snapshot taken last June 2008. I tried my best to name all the islands as I can (please bear with me if in case I named some incorrectly).
Before flying back to Manila, while roaming around in Vancouver International Airport, I saw an interesting thought which says “thinking canada”. It was true that while we were waiting for our flight schedule we already missing Canada. For a short period of time, I saw a lot of beautiful places that inspires me to continue exploring the beauty of nature that existing in our world. I never regret starting traveling and discovering the world we live in.
I have many posts that tackles my travel experience in Canada, both in Alberta and British Columbia province. As too many posts just visit Countries page to check one of them.
The photo above is Lions Gate Bridge located in Greater Vancouver. The bridge connects Vancouver (South) to West Vancouver and North Vancouver. Under the bridge is Burrard Inlet and Vancouver Harbour. I captured this photo during my Whistler Tour last June 2008 in British Columbia, Canada while inside Whistler Mountaineer train.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vancouver Downtown and Vancouver Harbor (captured while at seabus) on the way to Waterfront Station
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.
During my last tour, the third itinerary I had in North Vancouver was Cleveland Dam. As I walk out the bus and walking approaching the dam, the surrounding areas were really lovely. The natures that encompassing the Capilano Lake or Capilano Reservoir were magnificent that made me really adore it. I felt how natural the place was and felt to believed the water flowing in the dam were indeed fresh.
Surrounding area of Cleveland Dam
After visiting the place, I learned that the river I saw in Capilano Suspension Bridge and Capilano Fish Hatchery were coming from Capilano Lake which being hold by the dam. The water in the lake was not still or stagnant water, I learned that a lot of rivers and streams are flowing down into the lake coming from surrounding mountains. The lake serves as freshwater to the lower area of Great Vancouver.
Capilano Lake or Capilano Reservoir and surround mountains
I just realized as well that the Capilano Lake was the lake that I saw while I was in Grouse Mountain Skyrides. The Cleveland Dam serve as to hold the water in the reservoir and used to control the water spill down to the Capilano River.
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.
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.
I knew that Canada has a lot of wonderful mountains to offer that you can’t even count. I learned that since I went to Banff in Alberta province. While traveling in Greater Vancouver area, there were lots of places to visit that involves mountains as well and Grouse Mountain was just one of them.
Grouse Mountain is located at North Shore in North Vancouver, strategically located at the heart of Greater Vancouver. I learned that this mountain is popular for skiing during winter season and popular for tourist in any season. The great thing about this mountain is the overlooking of Greater Vancouver while at the top of it. It has skyrides where people enjoyed the surrounding scenic views without doing the difficult option of trekking the mountain.
The mountain was the last of the four places that we visited in North Vancouver as part of my more than half day tour, before my late night flight that day back to Manila. After the bus tour dropped us at Skyrides station, I hopped on in the Red Skyrides. During my rides to the top, I had a chance to see North Vancouver area. Like what I felt when I was in Whistler when riding gondola I got excited as I saw Capilano Lake, some part of Cypress Mountain and North Vancouver.
After reaching the top of the mountain, I felt cold as I saw the surrounding with snow and iced which was a sign of winter season just over recently. Then I went where the grizzly bear can be seen, all people and myself had difficulty to see them clearly because they just keep hiding and hibernating in some branch of trees and logs in their cage, but I still I had a chance to see them though it’s just a quick one.
I spent sometime walking around the area and then I went back as per the timing we had in the mountain. I enjoyed my short trip in Grouse Mountain as another great places added to my discoveries. I rode the skyrides again to go back to my bus tour.
It was Monday, June 16, 2008. I went to the office at Burnaby for a day of work and training. Then I met new people whom a friend of my colleague in my team. Without any careful plan that night I went out together with new friends that I met after inviting me to a walk in Stanley Park. I can’t be in a tour on that day because I’m still officially in business trip. These new friends invited us in a walk as they were aware that I just arrived few days ago and they knew that myself and my colleague were flying back to Manila the next day.
I remembered that our walk in Stanley Park took us few hours as the park is huge. Most of stroll that we did was walking around the edges of the park.
At the entrance of Stanley Park Aquarium
There were many things and scenic views that we saw while walking in the park. We started our journey from Stanley Park Aquarium which is the largest aquarium in Canada. We never went inside as we planned was to walk around the park and not inside the aquarium. We just took photos at the entrance of the aquarium as a memories in the place. Then we moved forward towards the walking trail facing Coal Harbour where Vancouver Downtown was visible. When I saw the area, I loved it. I got excited in the walk with a thought that the walk we were doing that time leads to some more discovery in the park.
After enjoying sometime of panoramic views of Vancouver Downtown with Coal Harbor, we passed the 9 O’clock Gun and approach it shortly to had a glimpse of it since it was housed with rocks and metals which transparent to be visible outside for people who wanted to see what it looks like. We also stopped at Brockton Point Lighthouse where we spent some time to appreciate the place and played around the area.
Next, we found the Totem-pole display in the park. Staying for a while in Canada made me learn that even though most population in Canada come from Europe countries, in their history, they respect the local people before European discoverer came along. They call these first local people as First Nation and totem pole is one of the symbol of showing allegiance of the whole country to their culture.
The walk continues and we had a beautiful sceneries of Vancouver Harbour and North Vancouver area. At this side of the park, I got a chance to see from a far one of the historic bridge in Vancouver which is the Lions Gate Bridge.
At the walking trail at the Seawall in Stanley Park, we found Water Playground, which is a great place for fun not just for kids but for adults as well.
We kept on walking at the edges or seawall of the park until we reached the bottom of Lions Gate Bridge. In this walk I had a chance to have up close and personal to the bridge. And I can say that the bridge is one of the magnificent bridge existing in the world today. The stroll continues until we witness the sunset at Burrard Inlet. After passing the bridge, we were facing West Vancouver and Vancouver Downtown.
With Lions Gate Bridge Sceneries
After passing the Lions Gate Bridge, we got a chance to witness the sunset while walking the park. Along the way, we saw Siwash Rock and then we reached the Third Beach where we found many displays of stacked rocks nearby.
Sunset from Stanley Park, looking towards West Vancouver
After Shannon Falls, we had an almost an hour in the road enjoying the sceneries along Sea To Sky Highway on our way back to Vancouver.
Scenic Views along Sea To Sky Highway after coming from Shannon Falls
I thought that Shannon Falls was the last stop for my Whistler tour on that day. And yet we had another stop which was the last stop for the tour. We ended at Cypress Mountain Provincial Park. At first I did not know what to expect until I saw beautiful sceneries in the area. I can call the place a great lookout for the main reason that it has amazing location to appreciate the skyline and surrounding area of Metropolitan of Vancouver. The area we stopped in the park has a picnic area to enjoy time and great views. The provincial park is part of Cypress Mountain itself and located in West Vancouver near at Howe Sound.
My Saturday ends so great for me. I had an amazing time for all the places that I had been to. I was satisfied that I had seen so much for one day. And I was really thankful for the wonderful chance that I had because I know I may not be able to do the same tour again in the future as I’m allowed to enter Canada once. I wish I will be to come back in the future in this beautiful nature country such as Canada.