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A Fool Visits Vancouver. 2. Wreck Beach, M of A, Kits, Grouse, Capilano, Bowen

A Fool Visits Vancouver. 2. Wreck Beach, M of A, Kits, Grouse, Capilano, Bowen

Jul 31st, 2005, 07:51 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,060
A Fool Visits Vancouver. 2. Wreck Beach, M of A, Kits, Grouse, Capilano, Bowen

Day 1, I felt I'd explored a good portion of downtown, so my second day I took the pretty frequent #4 UBC bus (every 15 minutes, with Sat./ Sun. service) from downtown out to the UBC campus. Day bus passes ($8) or individual tickets ($2 for Zone 1) may be purchased at 7-11s for example. The bus ride ends in front of the gymnasium there; it's maybe a good 15 minutes walk from the bus stop to my two destinations, Wreck Beach and the Museum of Anthropology.

The steps from the road to Wreck Beach were numerous and quite a vigorous exercise coming up! I was simply in awe of the majesty of the temperate rain forest I passed through going down to the beach. The omnipresence of ferns and enormous trees gave this forested path a look like nowhere I've seen on the east coast before. Wreck Beach itself had beautiful generally unspoiled views of the Georgia Strait with logs to sit on. Wreck Beach is clothing-optional and is legally and socially accepted in Vancouver as such. It was too cool & overcast the day I went, so stripping just wasn't going to happen on my first time to a clothing-optional beach . However, it was probably better I went when I did because there were very few people there. I felt great peace and contentedness sitting watching the majesty of the Strait.

The Museum of Anthropology was next; $9 was very reasonable I felt to see some of the great accomplishments of the Pacific Coast First Nations. The totem poles and double-eyed monsters on storage boxes (both tell a story, something I didn't know) of the Queen Charlotte Islands Haida and the hairy masks of the Vancouver Island Nuu-chah-nulth, amongst others, revealed the rich cultural traditions and incredible skill of early BC peoples. The Museum of Anthropology is on Musqueam land and the weaving of the Musqueam people showed great skill and precision.

On the way back, I stopped on 4th St. in Kitsilano. This area has lots of locally-operated shops; I went to Terra Organic Breads for a sandwich. Coming from a bread-snob city like Montreal, I can honestly say that their bread is top-notch and the sandwich on herb/cheese foccacia bread was phenomenal! Strolling the equally-charming-as-West-End streets to Kitsilano Beach, I again was awed by the peaceful, relaxed ambience and the beautiful views of English Bay from a different angle, this time with downtown Vancouver and mountains behind visible.

Day 3, I rode the Seabus from Waterfront Skytrain station (can ride using the Day Pass for the bus) across the Burrard Inlet to Lonsdale Quay. From the interesting Lonsdale Quay market with local produce, I took the #236 bus to Grouse Mountain (timed with Seabus). Although I nearly turned back upon seeing the $29.95 + tax extortion to ride the cable car to the top of Grouse, I decided I should do it once, so I paid the fare begrudgingly. The views from the Observatory were breathtakingly spectacular of Vancouver, the Georgia Strait and Vancouver Island in the distance. The surrounding forest was just so incredibly untouched here, I found myself moved. The air at top was so fresh, I could taste the difference. I'd recommend bringing your own food if you go though because even after the hefty cable car fee, they still ask $4 for a hot-dog and $3 for a water...

Next I went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge (on the #236 bus also), again overpriced at $24.95 + tax, but again I thought "when will you get a chance again?". The longest man-made pedestrian-only suspension bridge passes at great height over the Capilano River. I walked over my first suspension bridge ever. I thought since I paid this much, I'd try to get as much out of the trails in the park as possible and enjoyed the info on the treetop mini-suspension bridges and the observation points. Both here and Grouse are quite busy on a nice day.

Day 4. I felt equally beautiful and much more reasonably priced was my excursion out to Bowen Island. Taking the express Horseshoe Bay bus (#257) from Georgia Street, B.C. ferries goes from Horseshoe Bay (mainland) to Snug Cove on Bowen Island for only $6.80 RT. The ferry ride with the gorgeous mountainous Gulf Islands and Mainland views brought me much peace & content. Snug Cove is small but has a few eating options; some are expensive but my friend & I went to a healthful sandwich place and got sandwich & salad for $5. Bowen Island was an enjoyable place to hike, with its wilderness temperate rain forest trails. I'd recommend picking up a map at the Tourist Info center and heading to Killarney Lake; for much of the trails (mind you, it was a Monday), my friend & I had the glorious forests to ourselves.

Amazing to think how accessible such beauty, majesty and solitude are available to the urban dwellers of Vancouver.... how many cities can offer that?

I'll do one more conclusion post...


Daniel_Williams is online now  
Jul 31st, 2005, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hi Dan,

I am very much enjoying your ongoing reports.

I'm drooling as I relive things you write about. I love the Museum of Anthropology. In addition to the amazing contents, one of the things I admire about the museum is the building itself and how well suited to its purpose it is. The view from there is not shabby either.

>>>Next I went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge (on the #236 bus also), again overpriced at $24.95 + tax<<<


>>>but again I thought "when will you get a chance again?"<<<

The solution is free Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, set in a lovely forest in which you can go for nice walks, and also accessible by public transportation.

Oh well, I have never gotten everything perfect on vacation. Much as I might enjoy a city, I almost always return to discover that ABC place would have been a better use of a couple of hours than XYZ place that I visited. I usually win some and lose some.

Thanks again for sharing.

Looking forward to last installment.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 31st, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Posts: 3,060

I'd actually heard about the Lynn Valley Suspension Bridge. As things unfolded though, the Capilano Bridge was a stop on the bus ride back from Grouse Mountain. I had a sneaky suspicion they would have price-gouging at Capilano after my experience at Grouse Mtn., but on an impulse decided to get off the bus and bite the bullet anyway. Even though the Capilano Suspension Bridge is theme-parky, I got the most out of it as possible and am glad I saw it once. I'm glad you mention Lynn Valley for future visitors, as it does seem like a better option.

Cheers! DAN
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Aug 9th, 2005, 08:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 189
Hi Dan,
Well, I'm stunned ... you've seen more of Vancouver and its environs than I have in my entire life!!!! I'm ashamed to admit that I've not enjoyed some of the fabulous spots you visited - Wreck Beach - yes, I'm modest and shy - nudity doesn't bother me, but I had no idea it was "clothing optional"! Capilano Suspension Bridge is literally in my back yard, but I never ventured there thinking it was only for tourists!

But, (as my screen name will attest) I was thrilled to read your report of Bowen! So happy to be reminded of that wonderful little island I called home for twelve years!

You really covered so much ground while you were here and I'm happy you tasted the best of it! Now, I'm inspired and intend to be a tourist in my own city - starting this weekend!! But first, I'm on my way to read your Conclusion Report!
bowen is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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This was the hardest one to find
yeadonite is offline  
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