Beautiful British Columbia
Trip Start May 03, 2011
31Trip End Oct 27, 2011
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We arrived at my cousin Claire's place in Squamish, a nice town in the middle of Vancouver and Whistler. Within 2 hours of our arrival we were greeted by the local wildlife - a young, but not so little, black bear that came wandering across the road by the house and into the neighbour's garden looking for some dinner. He soon got scared up a tree and I managed to get a closer look at him for a bit... well, until he hissed at me anyway!
We had 10 days in Squamish so we spent the first couple of days relaxing, catching up, and planning what to see while we were there. Our first trip out was to Shannon Falls (which is what Shannon does if you push her HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!). It was a really nice waterfall and easily accessible to view, although I went trekking through some woodland to get up close with it.
The next day was Labour Day so everyone had the day off. Me and Stanzi went to Alice Lake, a popular spot for the locals to picnic, sunbathe, and try and avoid the wild cougars that roam in the area attacking people! Thankfully it was really busy so we didn't see any, but we did have nice stroll in the sun before going back to the house for a BBQ.
We started to venture out further the next day, and took a trip on a ferry across to another part of British Columbia. We went to a couple of towns along the "Sunshine Coast" called Gibsons and Sechelt. Sechelt was a bit of a sleepy town with not much going on, but Gibsons was beautiful and very much like Ramsgate (if Ramsgate had mountains around it). It had a great little harbour, seafront shops, and a fish and chip shop called The Codfather. Throw in a few chavs and it would definitely be Ramsgate.
That night we met up with one of Stanzi's brother's friends who happened to live in Squamish. We met Glen (after hunting for his apartment for a bit) and had a few beers with him at his place and then the local watering hole - The Cliffside Inn. Glen was a real hoot and it was nice to meet up with a local, and especially one who was passionate about where he lived. He had just celebrated 10 years in Squamish and loves it more than ever. The other locals in the pub seemed happy to be in the town too, and it was easy to see why. It is a place filled with natural beauty, and lots of opportunity for adventure - rock-climbing, kite surfing, hiking, and all kinds of other sports. Thanks for a great night Glen - perhaps a job with the local tourism agency awaits you!
The next day I shook of my hangover and we took a trip down to Vancouver. We walked along Kitsilano Beach, which also has a great huge public pool, beach volleyball areas, and a public park attatched to it. Also loads of joggers and bicyclists roaming around too - a theme we'd notice alot in Vancouver. After the park we went to a Chinese restaurant for Dim Sum with Claire, her baby Daniel and my uncle Ken. The food was OK, different to in England, but they wouldnt give us any knives and forks! 3 times we asked! Grrrrr! Daniel got revenge for us though by doing the biggest, smelliest poo I've ever seen in my life. I wouldn't want to be the baby that sits in that high chair next hahaha.
Then we visited Granville Island which isnt really and island (but almost is) and has a really nice traditiona foods market on it. If I was rich I would love to shop at that place... even though we'd just eaten we wanted everything we saw! In the end we just had dessert - a napoleon slice and NY-Style mini cheesecake. DELISH! We will definitely be returning there for lunch al fresco next time we're in Vancouver.
After taking a day to recover from our days of walking around, we did return to another part of Vancouver which is very picturesque - especially at 7.30am! Stanley Park is right by the main city, but a huge parkland which from around the edges you can see the city skyline across the harbour... and it shows why Vancouver is one of the nicest cities in the world. We walked all around the park for about 4 hours (about 13km covered), but stopped and had a nice breakfast at the Propect Point Cafe too. Then we made our way across Coal Harbour which runs alongside the downtown are of Vancouver. Lots of nice buildings, nice boats, seaplanes, and huge cruise ships to be seen in this area. None of them were damaged during the earthquake that happened while we were walking around, but some people in office buildings felt the building swaying. We felt absolutely nothing and were shocked when we sat down to eat lunch and found out that one had hit Vancouver Island. Still, I had 3 beautiful pints of draught Guinness to steady my nerves after reading about it! Plus it was a nice reward for walking around for 8 hours!
The next day we recovered, lazed around and got ready to pack for leaving for Whistler the next day. It was such a nice time in the Squamish area - weather was great, food was great (whether out or at home), and company was great. We'll be back again soon!