A Travellerspoint blog

Vancouver and Environs

some pictures

sunny 19 °C

Just a few pictures for you to peruse of Vancouver and it's local surroundings. Most impressed when Mr Timberwolf decided to pop by and say hello at the base of Grouse Mountain...if you have seen the film American werewolf in London..does this remind you of anything?
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and his two mates...
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the gondola route up Grouse mountain:
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and the top of the ski lift on Grouse mountain:
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my brother at Lynn Creek:
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yours truly taking a rest at Lynn Creek:
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Linda Ackerman, Laurie and Mum:
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Lynn Creek waterfalls:
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Vancouver Skyline:
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a black Squirrel leaps by to say hello in Stanley Park:
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and finally, a lovely fir tree in Stanley Park:
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Posted by ackers888 14:45 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Taking history for granted

and differing viewpoints between Canada and UK

sunny 20 °C

We arrived in Trail yesterday after another epic drive of 11 hours from Vancouver. This time, the scenery was relentless, mountain after mountain, forest after forest, lake after lake and river after river. This kind of scenery makes a long journey of this length fairly easy to cope with. We headed up Route 1, via Chilliwak and Hope, where we turned right on the Route 3 that leads up through the mountains to Trail via, Manning Park pass, Alison Pass, Princeton, Bonanza Pass, Kerimeos, Osoyoos, Bromley Rock, Midway, Grand Forks Christine Lake, Nancy Green, Rossland and finally Trail.

We arrived at Dave and Merna's house in the evening and promptly sat down to a sumptuous meal. Then I crashed out for the night. Today I got in touch with my feminine side, much to my brothers disgust, and went for a haircut, shave and pedicure at the local hair salon.

One thing I have noticed since being in Canada and visiting relatives is that they value their heritage much more than we British do. Maybe we do take our roots for granted, possibly because we have such long family lines that go back to the dark ages. Here in Canada, everyone seems to know their lineage from the point of their ancestors arriving in country right through to the present day and proudly show you pictures of Great Auntie/Uncle or Grandparents, arrived in this or that year, and staked this or that claim.

Maybe it's because they want to set the baseline for this fairly new nation, and by talking about their ancestors, they are establishing a credible beginning that will be recorded for millenia. Either way, it was quite sobering to have my second cousin Laurie, tell me about my family tree on this side of the pond with so much detail. It was very good of her to draw me a family tree and put them in perspective with the family we have visited and stayed with so far.

I asked my Mother to describe the German side of my family and she could barely remember her father's name.... but then she can barely remember where she put her false teeth. :o) some work to be done on that side of the family tree me thinks...

Posted by ackers888 14:06 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Up, Up and Away

Beautiful British Colombia from 9,500ft

sunny 20 °C

Today Don suggested we take a scenic flight from Chilliwak airport. So Dad, Laurie and I opted for the "ultimate flight" on Principal Air using a Piper Cherokee 4 seater aircraft.

I could not believe what we saw when we got up there, and I am indebted to Don for suggesting it as an activity for the day. At one point all we could see in all directions were mountains. Bearing in mind, whenever you mention mountains and Canada, people naturally assume you are talking about the Rockies, but these were the Cascade mountains, which stretch from way down in the USA, North along the coast, through British Columbia and up into Alaska, barely getting a mention.

Enough said, I will just put up some photographs for you and let you see what we flew over.

Here goes:
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This is Mt Garibaldi, at 10,000ft+ one of the highest peaks in the area. We saw some heli-skiers making their way down from the top of the mountain:
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This is Whistler and Blackcomb ski resort, the venue for the 2010 winter olympics:
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Posted by ackers888 21:29 Archived in Canada Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Honey They Shrunk My Mom

at Hells Gate

sunny 21 °C

Yesterday we started a couple of what I call "transfer days", driving out of Banff towards Vancouver with a stop at Cache Creek, somewhere in the Cascade Mountains before finally landing at Don and Barbs (relatives of the Ackermans) town at Chilliwak, about an hour East of Vancouver.

We were all sad at Leaving Banff, a great town in the heart of some magnificent, jaw dropping scenery. The Fox Inn hotel is a very good place to stay if you pass this way.

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we travelled North for a while and encountered our first bear:

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a big bugger, looking slightly interested in the tourists and pondering whether the leap over the fence onto the highway would be worth the risk for a light snack.

We watched him for a while, but when the traffic jam got too silly we moved on, via Lake Louise (to see if the ice had melted)
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answer = no.
before heading West to Cache Creek via Kamloops for the night with a stop or two to admire the scenery and stretch the legs:
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Today, we continued along highway 97, or was it 1 Des (or 97C Laurie)? Anyway, to much amusement from the back, Des and Laurie headed off back towards Kamloops, even after Paul "I haven't even looked at the map" in the back muttered something like "we need to drive past the Sandman Motel to get the way we need to go, it feels right to me".

I had to bite my tongue hard so as not to say "I told you so" when we went past the Sandman Motel following our U-turn after 10 minutes of going back the way we had arrived the night before. I must admit, the slightly heated discussion at the front did keep us passengers somewhat amused for a while.

Actually, the reason I shut my mouth was because both Des and Laurie have done a sterling job with the driving so far, and have shown incredible stamina at the wheel hour after hour.

Anyway, after a couple of hours, we arrived at Hells Gate, a well known tourist spot round these parts. Almost immediately, my mother was overwhelmed by the sheer grandeur of the valley with the cascading torrent of the Fraser River below, and she felt very small in the surroundings:
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The trip down the gorge on the gondola:

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gave us spectacular views of the rapids below.

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There were plenty of photo opportunities to snap the river and gorge, even down through the iron grid of the bridge below our feet:

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a sight my mother found hard to stomach.

A great place to stop and wonder at the power of nature:

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yes, as the REM song says, that's me in the middle....

oh, and i forgot to mention, gone are the winter clothes, we're in our shorts and T-shirts, wondering when the mosquitos are going to make an appearance now that the weather has warmed up by 20 degrees.

Posted by ackers888 22:18 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Banff Springs Hotel

...and Johnston Canyon followed by some light relief at Lake Minniewanka

sunny 16 °C

Today spirits were lifted by the weather, and we took a bit of a tour of the local sights, namely Banff Springs Hotel and waterfalls, Johnston Canyon and finally, to much sniggering from the back of the car, Lake Minniewanka.

For those of you who have never been here, and I haven't, to go and visit a hotel might seem a bit strange, and it wasn't until we drove up to the Banff Springs hotel that I realised what people raved about. It's basically a very gothic building, and wouldn't look out of place if it was transported to the central highlands of Scotland. Even the conciegre, a very jolly chap called Tony, wore a kilt to set the scene.
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The building itself is quite magnificent, and the setting, nestled in the valley with towering mountains all around and a back drop of the most spectacular golf course I have seen. It's definitely on my bucket list to stay at this place, play a round of golf and take in the atmosphere.
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We then wandered down to the river Bow just below the hotel to gaze at the waterfall, which gave the hotel its name.
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After a short stop at Safeway to get some lunch, The Safeway car park has the most impressive scenery I have seen in any supermarket...

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with views like this, I could shop every day....

We then drove to Johnston Canyon, about 20 minutes away. Here there is a deep gorge with several waterfalls up a 2.9km track by the river.
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and one very cute chipmunk..ignore the scenery behind him, just look how nosy he is, he was so inquisitive..
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this little fella made my day...

We finally decamped to Lake Minniewanka and watched the local animals wander b. Much sniggering could be heard from my mother in the back of the car who could be heard muttering "I've seen a big horn at Minniewanka". I'm not quite sure what the joke was, but we had a bit of light relief looking at the scenery anyway.

Lake Minniewanka:

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and a Big Horn:

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We set off back towards Banff via Lake Two Jacks.

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All in all, a very good day but you do tend to get a bit blaze about the scenery, and we mustn't forget what a beautiful place this is, and how nature can throw up some stunning sights.

Posted by ackers888 18:34 Archived in Canada Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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