When flying back to Australia from the Americas, all the flights leave late at night so I’m often traveling back for work that finished the previous night and I will have a day spare where I typically do some sightseeing (and stretch my legs before a long period of sitting down).
Last year I had one of these days in Salt Lake City and I unfortunately decided not to hire a car which meant I had to lug my suitcase around the city for a full day. Yesterday I had one of these days in Vancouver and I thought I’d be smarter than last year by hiring a car this time around but this meant I spend a lot of the day sitting in Vancouver traffic 😳 in a pimped out Chrysler 300s with Beats sound system 😎
I didn’t realize how bad Vancouver traffic would be. To access anything on the Northern side of the city meant crossing one of two very small bridges and driving through downtown. The standard Google map driving time estimate would often double or triple with traffic.
I started the day driving through Stanley Park. It’s quite a large park close to the city and would be great to explore on a bike but there’s a one-way road you can drive around the park on and the highlight for me was stopping and seeing Lions Gate Bridge.
After this I drove to the base of Grouse Mountain. I had initially considered walking to the top but a lack of sleep from the previous night meant I decided to catch the Gondola which was pretty impressive (but also pretty expensive at $48 for a return trip of six minutes each way).
The views at the top were pretty nice and I stopped to sit and have a nice cup of tea, but there wasn’t much to see once you were up there and I really couldn’t see the value in the price of the ticket.
The other thing about Grouse Mountain was how busy it was. It was a Wednesday but jam packed with people including bus tours and school groups.
My next stop was originally planned to be the Capistrano Suspension Bridge but having driven past the entrance (and its six large parking lots) on the way up I decided against visiting another expensive tourist trap so I researched and found another suspension bridge nearby but a little more off the beaten track.
This was called Lynn Canyon Park and I am so glad I visited it as it was definitely the highlight of my day. It was great to see lots of people enjoying it without it being overcrowded and not only was there a suspension bridge, but a lovely river with huge amounts of pebbles and a great forest to wander through. A pure delight.
After some exploring I drove (through congested traffic yet again) across the bridge to the Commercial Drive strip which unlike it’s not was a little bit non-mainstream and grungy which I liked. I found the ultimate shop to buy some Mexican gifts for Kitty.
I also found a little bit of street art:
My final stop was the Gas Lamp precinct where I spotted some cool street art, my favourite being this electricity box:
There were also some cool train carriages and sticker art:
I headed back to the airport to return my car and prepare myself for the long flight back to Brisbane. Whilst I had some enjoyable moments; I wouldn’t choose to return to Vancouver in a hurry.