Jordan and I got into Vancouver some time around 1:00 pm, we didn’t know how jet lag would treat us, so we wanted to do something that wasn’t too far from our hotel, and we’d still be able to explore Vancouver. So we started off in Stanley Park. I saw a lot of mixed reviews on the Park, and so I was a little hesitant to visit, it Jordan and I love the outdoors, and we wanted to give it a try. We were staying in North Vancouver, and so the park was only a 15 minute bus ride / walk over the Lions Gate bridge.
When we got to the park, we knew we just wanted to wander; we had no desire to go to the aquarium just yet, and we really just wanted to wander. Ultimately, we wandered for over 5 miles, by foot. We walked all around the Seawall on the east and north side of the peninsula. Granted, we had just spent several hours on a plane, so walking definitely was necessary. We could have taken one of the horse drawn carriages, but it was much better to just walk around and take our time. Our first stop was at the totem poles, seen above. They were fascinating, more so than I had anticipated. Jordan really liked them too. The Vancouver Parks Board has been collecting these poles since the 1920’s. Some of the poles were actually carved in the late 1800’s, and they are still standing strong! Granted, given their age, some of the poles have been moved, or replicas have been made, but that does not take away from their beauty! Each pole has a meaning. My favorite was the Ga’askstalas totem pole. Ultimately, this pole serves as not only a “beacon of strength for our young people”, but also as a reminder for young ones to respect their elders, and to people who have contributed to the culture.
After the totem poles, we continued to walk along the edge of Stanley Park. There were a lot of geese, Canadian geese to be more specific. It was pretty enlightening to see how the geese could really care less about people being so close to them. I’ve always lived in the northeast region of the United States, therefore, I’ve definitely seen and interacted with Canadian geese. In America, they will not hesitate to bite you. I actually have been chased by a goose. I did not provoke it; I was just walking in the park near my house. I know it seems weird to be talking about the characteristics of the geese, but it tells you a lot about the environment, and how the people treat their surroundings. The geese trust the people. They aren’t scared. It was pretty eye-opening. Canadians always get a made fun of for being too nice. I admire that, and it was evident that the stereotype was very true.
Eventually we made our way up to Prospect Point (seen above). It was not an easy climb up to Prospect Point, as I was not wearing hiking shoes, or even lose fitting pants. I was definitely sweating by the time we got to the top, and as usual, Jordan was bone dry. I don’t know how, but that man never sweats. Anyway, I digress. The trip to Prospect Point was definitely worth it. The view is amazing. You can see out on to the Atlantic Ocean, or you can look northeast and out to North Vancouver. It must make for a very lovely sunset. Next time we will have to check it out.
After our climb to Prospect Point, we decided it may be best to hitch a ride down to the main entrance. Thankfully there is a trolley that picks up every fifteen minutes or so at various spots in the park. For $10 a ticket, you get a ride around the park and an energetic tour guide. Our tour guide told us a bunch of nifty facts, and was thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately, we had hopped on the shuttle a little too late, and didn’t get a full tour, but still it was well worth the money, considering how exhausted we were.
We concluded our day with dinner at Stanley’s Bar and Grill. We wanted to go to Propesct Point Cafe, but unlike the USA, cafes in Canada actually have cafe hours. Odd, right? So they closed by 4:00 pm. Now, back to the bar and grill: while they get good reviews on Google, nothing really stood out to me. I take that back, one thing did stand out. The waitress brought me a red wine sangria. Now I love sangria, but she specifically said their special was white wine, which I love. I was quite disappointed when I was given red wine, but I didn’t want to complain, because it was busy, and I was hungry. I didn’t need to give her any reason to delay my food order any longer than needbe.
After dinner, we headed to the bus stop to catch our ride home. I am extremely impressed by their bus system. It is definitely the best system I have ever had to use. Buses were on time, and they run very late. Also, the majority of the buses in Vancouver are actually electric! How cool is that?!