Vancouver, voted the number one city in the world (Year 2000), naturally becomes the gateway for my journey into the
Canadian Rockies. It is a popular destination, with plenty of tour packages
and so, getting a decent deal on airfares and accomodation is not difficult.
(Summer being the peak season, getting a cheap deal would have been
Before embarking on the drive into the Rockies, we have a day and a half to
explore Vancouver city. On arrival, we wasted no time and took to the streets
once we have settled our luggage and stuff. Our first stop, Stanley Park is a
world renowned park, and is the largest city park in Canada. It boasts 1000
acres of forest, lakes and meadows. Needless to say, we do not have the luxury
to fully explore this beautiful park. However, we did take a leisurely stroll
in this park and is indeed an enjoyable pastime!
In one part of the park lies several totem poles that belongs to the First
Nations. They are the aboriginal people who first settled in this land that
is now called Greater Vancouver & its regions. Many of the decendants still
practise their traditions and their history and culture have certainly
Besides Stanley Park, another place for a nice leisurely walk would be along
the beaches - from English Bay to Sunset beach; it's something akin our East
Coast Beach area, with young folks roller blading, cycling and beach goers
suntanning etc. And esp in summer, there're quite abit of activity about.
We have a short halfday city tour as part of the package the next day. There're
plenty of attractions around the city. Basically, this half-day of guided tour
serves as a reference point for further exploration. Highlights include a
stop at Granville Island, Gastown etc to name a few. These are all part of
Vancouver's attractions that you'll find in any guidebooks or websites. For
the sake of a little bit of trivia, here you'll also find the world's thinnest
office building; the Sam Kee Building is only 1.8 metres wide! As the coach
cruised across, I managed only to get a glimpse of it. Well, the front of the
building looks like any other.... So, did not
react fast enough to take a snapshot.... If we had spare time, we could come
We took what little time we have left to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Spanning 450 feet (150 metres) and 230 feet (75+ metres) above the Capilano
River, the current bridge is in its fourth incarnation, where the first was
built some 100 over years ago. The wire cables used in this bridge is encased
in 13 tons of concrete at either end, and as trivia goes, is able to support
a Boeing 747!
As the day comes to a close, we checked out our car rental location so that
early next morning, we will lose little time setting out our journey proper!
Part II: Kamloops
Text and pictures >copyright 2001-2002 Swee Ong, Wu