Friday, 22 June 2012

Visiting Vancouver - Part 3

by Keith and Heather Nicol

Looking down on the "Cliffwalk"
     After our short trip to Victoria we had a few more days scheduled to see the Vancouver area.  We had been to the Capilano Suspension Bridge before but since our last visit they have added a new “Cliffwalk” which we were interested in seeing. This new element really adds to the already impressive facility which includes a suspension bridge and elevated forest walkways which allow you get a “squirrel’s eye” view of surrounding forest.  The “Cliffwalk” gives you more of a mountain goat’s view since it has been created along some very steep cliffs. Another nice bonus which we took advantage of is that there is a free bus that leaves from Canada Place in downtown Vancouver that brings you directly to the Suspension Bridge. This is very handy for anyone that is visiting Vancouver without a car. See   for more information.
Looking toward the suspension bridge
         We then took a city bus to Grouse Mountain, which is best known for winter activities like skiing and snowboarding. Come summer, Grouse has a wildlife focus and a real attraction are 2 orphaned grizzly bears that put on quite a show for us. They wondered around their enclosure and although it was quite foggy they were visible all the time. Try to catch the warden’s talk which provides a good commentary to how the bears got to Grouse Mountain and how they live. They also a raptor’s show with eagles and owls but this was scaled back due to the foggy, misty conditions. Like Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain also offers a free bus shuttle which we took back to Vancouver.  For more information contact:
The grizzly bears on Grouse Mountain are a real attraction
        Another new museum that we had heard about and wanted to check out was the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia. Their centre piece is a large blue whale skeleton that came all the way from a beach in PEI. The museum houses loads of examples of the earth’s biodiversity that can be used for research and many examples are displayed for the general public. Although there is a focus on B.C. plants, animals, fish and birds, there are examples from around the world. We also took advantage of a guided talk which really brought out fascinating sections of the museum.  We will always remember our guide’s explanation of how to distinguish between hunter and the hunted in the animal world-“Eyes to the side-better to hide, eyes to the front-better to hunt”.  For more details see:   
The Blue Whale skeleton is the centre-piece of the Beaty Museum

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