After Victoria, I hopped back on the ferry to Vancouver. I loved this city – it really only has two things against it: rain and $$$. If it rained money then it would be perfect. I stayed at an Airbnb in Arbutus Ridge area which was in between Kitsilano Beach and UBC. This is going to be a bit of a long post, sorry!
Kitsilano Beach & Stanley Park
On my first day, my cousin and I ran/walked around Kitsilano Beach and Stanley Park. We covered a lot of ground and it was a great way to see the city and take in the gorgeous scenery. I love how you never feel out of place if you’re wearing workout gear – I think I mentioned that Vancouver contains 90% of the world’s kale but it is also home to 95% of spandex and 99% of Lululemon apparel. Facts. Anyway, both of these places were beautiful and running or walking along the sea wall is amazing – do it.
This was a great park and really close to where I was staying. I walked a lot again this day, starting with a nice stroll through Pacific Spirit then meandering around UBC and down to Wreck Beach. Everything was so green in this park! Another highlight was the sheer volume of dogs – some areas were off-leash and there were so many dog walkers (commercial walkers had to wear vests – sweet job though) with up to six dogs each! I had a little dog friend named Kiefer walk with me for a bit (but I think he really just wanted to hang out with this cute girl dog that was also near me). Really though, how can you not be in a good mood when you’re surrounded by this scenery and a million (slight exaggeration) well-behaved dogs?!? I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole time haha.
University of British Columbia (UBC)
What. A. Stunning. Campus. And to think that I stayed landlocked with zero mountains for university… both times 😦 There are a few museums on campus, including the Museum of Anthropology, which is supposed to be really good. I would have liked to visit but there just wasn’t enough time for everything! There’s also the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (didn’t go) and one I did pop into – the Belkin Art Gallery (it was free – that was the main determining factor, not going to lie). “Candle” – the Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition – was…interesting. My favourite was a video of a guy sliding a trombone on repeat for like 15 minutes. The explanations of these pieces made my brain hurt – “….negation qua critique is nothing but an attachment to modernity’s ontological impoverishment; moreover, it is negligence in practice – of the surround; of what lies beneath the Ground that conditions the agony of your critical agency”. Um, I’ll take your word for it. Also, that’s a really long sentence.
Follow the looong staircase down to this nude (ahem, clothing optional) beach! It wasn’t exactly what I would consider “naked temperature” today, but that didn’t deter some people. This was a really nice spot, a good place to hang out (hehe). I feel I can’t really say much without my words getting misconstrued so I’ll just let you look at some (appropriate) pictures:
Meh. Went here on a rainy day…it was alright. I think Toronto’s is better to be honest (more sharks) plus I’m not a big fan of zoos or aquariums in general. I would much rather spend my time outside but you could go here if the weather is crappy. Things I liked: 4-D ocean predators ride was kind of fun (and included in the admission price) and the otters were cute (they held hands, awww). That’s my ringing endorsement…kids would probably like it (I’m guessing? This is based on observation – I don’t really know much about these small humans).
Whistler and Sea to Sky Highway
This drive was beautiful! It was gray and raining on our way up to Whistler so we didn’t get to see too much, but the drive back was clear and sunny 🙂 It would have been nice to take more time to do this drive and hike and/or camp along the way but was still worth it for a day trip. We made stops at Brandywine and Shannon Falls, which were gorgeous, and stopped to eat our treats from Purebread in Whistler (yummmmm) at lookouts along the way. Whistler was nice too; it was off-season so wasn’t too bustling. It was very tempting to shop at all the outdoor/athletic gear stores. I was excited to introduce my Welsh friend to poutine here, but was also nervous since I didn’t know how the quality would be. The curds could have definitely been squeakier (that’s the most important part!!!), but the fries had a good crisp to them. The gravy was mysteriously dark. Conclusion: the Alban chip stand does it better (obviously).
That’s about it for this week! I have a few more things to talk about but I’ll save that for Week #20 (where does the time go?). Thanks for reading!