Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Archive for ‘October 6th, 2017’

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver Aquarium

October 4, 2017

Riding our bikes north along Capilano Road, we came to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park where the Capilano River cuts through a gorge. Huge cliffs stand on the east side of the gorge. A cruise ship must have just come into Vancouver, as it was crowded with people speaking Japanese. I’m sure this swinging bridge will support all the people you could cram onto it, but it is also a long way to fall if something goes wrong. Of course there is always someone who wants to make it swing more. Others stop to take pictures of themselves or their families. Once on the other side there are wooden walkway trails and canopy walks. Except for the masses of humanity, it is all very pretty amongst beautiful, big trees. Back on the starting side, is a cliff walk that is cool. At least it doesn’t move. It’s $40 to get in, but they have done a fabulous job of building it, while minimizing the impact.

We rode back to camp, which was all downhill. I don’t know which is more frightening, the swinging bridge or biking in the city. After lunch, we took the more frightening route across Lion’s Gate Bridge. Traffic is always busy across the bridge that goes into Vancouver, but the bike/walk trail is protected by cables. The scary part comes when other bikers want to pass, and you have to move over toward the right where there is a slot big enough for your tire to go through. You wouldn’t go through, but it would cause a fall, which could knock the other rider into traffic. Thinking of all that makes it difficult to hold the bike steady while someone passes.

Vancouver Aquarium gets an A+. It is a great aquarium with the usual porpoises, sea lions and fish in tanks, but they do some cool things. They have a 4-D movie about the great sardine migration and all the animals who depend on them for food, complete with water splashing in your face and whooshing wind at your back. They also have lots of very cool jelly fish displays. There is a room where they have pictures of different places in British Columbia with a tank below showing what lives in the water. There was a good video on sustainable fisheries. I know wild-caught is the rage and probably better for you, but it is not sustainable. How there are enough fish to feed the masses of humanity, I just don’t know. Then there are all the other animals that need to eat.

Getting back on the bikes and riding through beautiful Stanley Park, we agreed we could have spent a month just exploring this great park. I am getting excited about leaving tomorrow for Vancouver Island.

Hop-on-Hop-off Tour of Vancouver

October 3, 2017

It is sometimes best to get the big picture of a city with a bus tour. We should have stuck with the first lady, who was quite good, but we got off at Granville Island, an area that was converted from warehouses into shops, food markets artisans and restaurants. It’s fun to walk around the busy area with music playing in parks. There is a huge market area, where you can buy any food imaginable – baked goods, seafood, vegetables and fruits. We had a nice lunch at the Sandbar Restaurant overlooking a busy waterway with its cute little water taxis.

Hopping back on the trolly, we got the worst driver. We should have gotten off. He was a poor narrator and he hit one car and ran over a few curbs. I can’t imagine driving that big thing in this busy city, but he was pitiful. We walked back to Bella Gelateria that won the best gelato in the world award. I don’t know how they won. It wasn’t that good.

Back in town, we went to a very nice grocery store and got some cheese and crackers and wine, hoping we could get together with another Airstream couple from Germany. Heinz and Birgett accepted the invitation, and we had a very enjoyable evening trading stories of where we had been and of places to go. They are retired physicians who keep their Airstream in California. They explained the complicated rules they must follow in order to keep coming back to the US. They must leave the country after 3 months, which is why they come to Canada. They will go back to Bavaria for the winter and return next year. We talked about the shooting in Las Vegas, the problems in the US as well as the problems Europe is having. They like to bike and showed us on the map where they like to go. If we had another day it would be fun to do, all along the water past Stanley Park. Being the only campground in the city, this is a busy place, and you can’t just add a day. I’m sure there will be other biking opportunities. We enjoyed our evening with Heinz and Birgett.

IMG_1081