Saturday 13th January 2018
I’ve been really good at getting out of bed this week to head downstairs for Breakfast.
Usually when you stay at hostels they give you free breakfast and the one I’m staying at provides bagels, little muffins, toast and juice. To save myself a bit of money, I’m trying to get up before 9:30am to attend breakfast every day so I don’t go out and buy it!
Plus, it usually fills me up for most of the day so I don’t have to go and buy snacks 🙂
So this morning I had my usual Toasted Bagel with Cream Cheese and orange juice then it was off to get ready for my day of exploring.
I’ve made friends with a couple of girls here, 1 from Germany, 1 from Australia and 1 from Holland.
Germany was off to look at a Room, Aussie had to go set up a bank account and Holland had some stuff to do so I set off to the Vancouver Police Museum by myself in Gastown.
It was about a half hour walk away but I thought it was a good opportunity to explore some more of Downtown Vancouver.
On my way to the museum, I saw the absolute CUTEST dog!!
I tried to take a picture but he kept moving so I took a quick video instead. (Which unfortunately isn’t the best quality)
His ears were just so so soft.
The thing I love about Vancouver is everyone seems to have dogs. I love how they take them inside too! Like I went to go and buy an Umbrella the other day from a big department store (like David Jones) and two people had their dogs in there while they had a browse.
The Police Museum was small but quite interesting. It was $12 to get in and took me about 40 minutes to walk around. They had a ‘Feature Exhibit’ which I enjoyed. You look around the former city morgue and read about some of Vancouver’s most chilling cases. They also show original crime scene evidence, rare photos, and detailed information about the events and investigative techniques used in each of the cases.
I wasn’t sure what to do after the museum so I just started walking to see where I would end up.
Probably not the best idea as I ended up walking right through the East Side of Downtown Vancouver (also known as one of city’s oldest areas, notorious for it’s level of drug use, poverty, mental illness, sex work and homelessness)I’m pretty sure I stood out as literally everyone around me was homeless. I wasn’t sure where to go and I didn’t want to take out my phone and have to stand there and Google Map where to go so I kept my head held high (as I always do when I get myself in these situations) and veered off down a street that looked like the Chinatown of Vancouver. Luckily it was Chinatown so I had a very brief look around and found a Garden called the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Upon entering, I had about a 3 minute look around and then left – sorry but there wasn’t much to look at it!
The day was a bit gloomy and none of the plants were really in bloom. However, I’ve read online that in February they do ‘Lanterns In The Garden’ where they have a display of handmade lanterns showcasing various Chinese legends and have live performances and activities like lantern riddles and Chinese sugar painting.I gave my boyfriend a call while I was walking (who’s still all the way back in New Zealand) and just talked to him about Vancouver and how awesome it is etc 😉
In the midst of my talking (again I didn’t really pay much attention to where I was going) by the time I got off the phone, I had to backtrack to get back on route to the Hostel.
I did pass Science World on my walk though, it’s situated on the edge of False Creek (a small harbor of water) so I took a few pictures of the Vancouver city while I was there.
By the time I got back to my hostel, I’d done about 11,000 steps for the day so had a quick sit-down (I’m so old, my back was hurting so bad haha) and then got ready to head out again.
The girls and I had organised to catch a Free Shuttle bus to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver around 4pm.
It costs CAD$43 to enter the park but it’s sooo worth it.
At the moment, they have a Light Show at night so when we arrived it was still day-light (much better for picture taking) but by the time we’d crossed the bridge and started walking, it had turned dark and the lights were so magical!!
Unfortunately they’re finishing the lights on the 28th of January but hopefully if you’re coming to Vancouver, they’ll do it again because I defiantly think it made the whole experience better.
As you enter the park the whole little ‘village’ is lit up by lights, there’s live music, people are drinking hot chocolate – it’s just so so cute!
Luckily as I’m a “BC resident” now, the $43 I paid can be turned into an annual pass so I can come and go to the park as often as I want this year – yay!
A little bit of information about the The Capilano Suspension Bridge if you’re curious:
- It’s 137m long and hangs 70m above Capilano River!
- The park is 27 acres in total.
- ‘Cliffwalk’ is the newest attraction which is a walkway clinging to the granite cliff, high above the Capilano Canyon.
- There’s 7 other suspension bridges that take you through the evergreens called the ‘Treetop Adventures’
- You can see squirrels! (more likely in the day time)
- There’s seasonal musical entertainment
- They sell hot chocolate and ‘beaver balls’ across the bridge which are like little pancakes drenched in Carmel or Chocolate sauce
If you’re ever in Vancouver, I highly recommend going here!
It’s been one of the highlight of my trip so far.
The bridge definitely swings when you’re walking across, however from what I know (if you’re afraid of heights) no one has ever fallen off the bridge by accident.
When we got to the other side, we took lots of pictures and then walked through the Treetop Adventures which are smaller swinging bridges (but only about 30m high above the forest)
I tried to take good pictures but I’ve just come to the conclusion that if I ever want good photos at night, I’m going to have to invest in a proper Nikon camera or something.
There’s some beautiful lanterns hanging around the park, just above the water which was nice 🙂
We also all took a picture on this Santa’s sleigh they still had set up from Christmas. Even though it was pretty cold, I can just imagine how wonderful this experience would be if it was just before Christmas time and they had Christmas Music playing.
Once we’d experienced all the lights, Aussie and I got a Hot Chocolate from the little cafe they had.
When I saw it was filtered Hot Chocolate, I inwardly groaned as I knew it’d just taste like watery chocolate but surprisingly it was really good!! They even put “whip” on top.
We headed back across the bridge after buying out Hot Chocolates. This time round, I was a little more confident and didn’t grip the railing as much when we crossed – well I like to think I didn’t!
We had some time before the free shuttle bus arrived to pick us up so we did the Cliff-Walk and took some more pictures.
Personally I think the Cliff-Walk would be better in the day-time or when it’s still light out as there’s a few fact’s and information written along the way that was a bit hard to see in the dark. Plus the views would be amazing!
The bus back to the Hotel was short (only about 15 minutes) and then we walked back to our Hostel. (Quick note: the Free Shuttle bus only picks up people from 4 different places in the city, one of them is the Hyatt Regency Hotel every half hour which is where we caught it from)
Once back at the Hostel we all ordered some food from the Beaver Bar downstairs and had a few drinks. Even though it was Saturday night, I was in bed by probably 9pm as I was so tired!
I did try and finish this blog but I started to get a sore tummy (probably from all the tomato I ate at dinner) so turned my light off and went to sleep.
Tomorrow’s blog – Granville Market!