I really wanted to see as much as I could in Vancouver so I decided to take the advice of the locals and check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. I took a bus as that was the easiest way to get there from the Four Seasons Hotel. It was actually really good for checking out Vancouver from a higher seat in a bus.
The bus ride takes about 20 minutes and it leaves every half hour to hour, depending on which season it is and what time you wish to get there and leave. The park is opened between 9am and 7pm. The whole park was bought by a lady called Nancy Stibbard. The actual address is 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC V7R, Phone number +1 604 985 7474. Vancouver is part of Brittish Columbia.
I was on my own and most people on the bus kept to themselves with their own company. I was happy to look out the window. I couldn’t help but think how similar Vancouver was to Sydney. It had a similar feel in terms of the harbour, boats docked, the big Stanley Park, the bus rides around, the city buildings, different sections like China town etc. Although, I believe there is a china town in every city. Without being biased, I still find Sydney is on my top list of cities because of the weather factor. It rains alot in Vancouver.
Back to the bridge. It is special because it is so close to the city, however it is this pristine natural habitat park that they have literally built a bridge to join one side to the other. Looking at how long the bridge is, and how high it is suspended above a flowing rapid fall, I was gob smacked about how on earth they built it without damaging the nature around it. It apparently started back in 1988 when George Grant Mackay, a Scottish Engineer bought 6,000 acres of land and they used horses to take hemp ropes across the river so they could build a little cabin on the other side and use a small footbridge made of hemp rope and cedar planks to get across. When you start to walk along the bridge, you need to just walk steadily across and not move side to side or else you rock the bridge and others walking tend to find it hard to walk when it’s rocking. I love to push the boundaries so of course, I secretly tried to see what I could get away with rocking. The next minute I hear through this speaker mid way on the bridge “Rocking the bridge is forbidden”. Oops, I pretend of course, it isn’t me, and then look ahead to see a bridge officer at the end watching over the bridge. It is fun to experience. When you get to the other side, they have some information signs posted up about the animals in the area etc. There are more wooden bridges set up to allow you to walk around and also experience what it is like looking over the top of the treetops. The energy at the place is really beautiful and a nice day out. Keeping in mind that it mostly rains in Vancouver, they give you rain ponchos that are bright yellow, in case you get stuck in the rain. If you go to the three main attractions at the site, you get to see the bridge from another angle by walking along other bridges that give you a different look of the nature reserve. It is really peaceful. I had my Mark III and enjoyed taking photos and filming.
There is a cafe just past the entrance where you can have some lunch and coffee and just take your time. If you are by yourself and are on a mission, you can do the whole thing in 2 hours with great photos etc. There is a tourist shop next to the cafe and it stocks lots of Maple Syrup products (Which Canada is known for their Maple Syrup). It also has T-shirts, jumpers etc with ‘Vancouver’ and ‘Suspension Bridge’ on it. They actually allow you to order their products if you email firstname.lastname@example.org
I couldn’t help myself and checked out the Fudge section in the shop and aren’t I glad I did. I ordered the dark chocolate and caramel fudge combined with sea salt on top. It would have to be the best fudge I have eaten in my life. It was amazing. In fact, after writing this blog, I am about to ring them and see if they deliver the actual fudge interstate to Montreal. I can’t stop thinking about how good it was. I really regret only buying one piece. I broke it up into small pieces so the taste would last and I could remember how good it was.
When you finish the tour and bridge walk, you go out through the entrance and if you managed to participate on the ‘Collect the stamps’ game they run, you hand it in, and get a certificate for making it over the bridge. The game is really set up for kids, to make sure they reach each point they need to locate and get their form stamped to verify they have been to that location. I secretly think adults have more fun doing this and it’s funny to see how committed adults are to making sure their kids get the stamps. I got a certificate too. Not because i participated in the stamp game, but because I played dumb saying I didn’t see the actual form and I really wanted a certificate because I crossed the bridge hahhaa. He gave me one with a smile. Here it is below.
Below are all the photos I took of the trip at the actual park and some of the displays they have presented on site.
Next time you are in Vancouver, check out the bridge, save some money for the actual fudge experience of the dark chocolate and caramel one specifically and order a whole heap of it. Enjoy!!!!
On the way back down, nicely ask the bus driver to drop you off at Stanley Park and hire a bike and ride around the park. It is a must see, very beautiful. The bus drivers are not meant to drop you off, but if you are nice enough, they may just throw you out hahaha.