Tag Archives: north Vancouver

Horseshoe Bay

Our trip to Nanaimo meant a ferry ride with BC Ferries.  Normally we end up going from Tsawwassen but, because reservations were already getting hard to find, we took the ferry from Horseshoe Bay.  It has been a while since I departed from there and I didn’t remember much about it.  The waiting area was rather busy and not the most relaxing spot to wait for a ferry.  However, once on the boat, we got a nice view of the bay and the surrounding coastline.  It was a rather picturesque spot.  Figured I would share some shots of it here.

Walking Through the Treetops

Aside from the suspension bridge at Capilano, there is a treetop walk.  This is on the opposite side of the bridge and is an interesting attraction.  They have built a number of walkways that run through the treetops.  These are old growth trees that are really substantial.  Without cutting in to the trees, they have mounted platforms around the trunks and strung walkways between them.  You get to walk along these walkways from tree to tree.

You are up in the higher parts off the tree so you have a different perspective to that which you would normally get walking along the ground.  Indeed, you can get so used to being up there that you forget you are off the ground.  Every once in a while, it is a good idea to look down to see just how far you are from the base of some of the trees.

There are so many people up there with you that it is easy to become a bit fixated on keeping going.  The walkways are one way so you are all moving along in the same direction.  You can start following the person in front and lose perspective on where you are.  However, at each tree there is space to step aside and let people pass.  Then you can take a moment to look around and embrace your surroundings.  I highly recommend you do this if you visit.  Look up and look down and see exactly where you are – up with the squirrels in the treetops.


Cliffwalk – A Feat of Engineering

One more post from our visit to Capilano.  The deep valley that the river runs through and that the bridge crosses has some steep, rocky sides.  These have provided another opportunity for the owners to add some interest.  They have mounted a walkway along the cliff face.  I don’t know what inspired this but if you have seen the walkway at the Grand Canyon or the glass boxes on the Sears Tower (watcha talking about Willis) then you see a similar them.

These paths run on structure built in to the cliff face.  They are shaped so, while you have normal width handrails, the foot section is narrower so you have a more obvious view downwards.  You have no doubt how high up you are.  Meanwhile, you get to see the mounting points that have been driven into the cliff face to support all of this.

One section of the path is a semi-circle that is suspended by cables mounted on the cliff face.  It is a dramatic part of the structure and everyone is fascinated by it when they get there.  Don’t anticipate moving through this section too quickly because it does tend to back up a bit.  A little later I walked above this section and found a spot where you can look directly down on the curve and it takes on a whole new perspective.  I think it is quite beautiful.  Winding your way along the face of the cliffs on these walkways is very cool and is definitely not to be overlooked if you visit.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

The arrival of some family members in Vancouver as part of a vacation gave us a reason to make a day trip up to the city.  It is a pretty easy run to get there so we were pleased to head up.  Since the visitors were on vacation, they were keen to explore different things so we decided to head across the Lions Gate Bridge and visit the suspension bridge at Capilano.  This was not something I had been aware of before we planned this.

The bridge has apparently been there for many years.  It is suspended across a deep valley with a river running through the bottom.  It is a very popular attraction and, while we headed there in the morning, we were certainly not alone.  The people that own the bridge have expanded the facilities to include a number of other attractions and these will get their own posts in the coming days.  However, this is just about the bridge.  As it covers quite a distance, the bridge has quite a drop between the ends and the middle.  This makes each end of it quite steep.  Combine that with the number of people crossing, the desire everyone has to look around/get some pictures, and the amount it moves around which unsettles the first-time user and it takes a while to get across.  It is interesting to see that the return journey is a bit quicker!

Being on the bridge gives you one perspective.  Looking down into the valley below is a different point of view.  At various other times, you get a chance to check the bridge out from a distance (when you see how long it is and how many people are on it at any one time) when it also seems rather dwarfed by the surroundings.  You even get to walk underneath it at one point and then it has a very different feel.  If you are spending any time in Vancouver, I do suggest you head to North Vancouver and check the bridge and its associated attractions out.