Category Archives: Tourist

A Busy Little Bee is Me

Yes, I realize the grammar of the title is wrong, but I enjoyed the end rhyme.

These past two weeks have been a lot of fun, and very instructive.

First of all, writing is difficult. Not the writing per say, though that certainly can be a challenge, but rather the selling yourself to potential clients. There are a few clients I am waiting to hear back from, including one very promising lead of a job translating between French and English, but so far I have made most of my money writing for a general article mill company. Although the rate per article is low, selecting articles that can be properly researched and written quickly makes it a fairly reasonable source of income at the moment.

The fish in the Vancouver area is excellent. So far we have purchased lingcod and sole from a fishmonger at the local market.  The lingcod was absolutely fantastic, easy to cook and prepare, with a very meaty texture; we cooked it by covering it in bread crumbs and pan frying it in sesame oil. The sole I will be preparing tonight, using a baked lemon sole recipe. I will also be preparing a black rice risotto to go with it, along with some pan-fried burdock root.  These are all new recipes, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out, but I expect it to be delicious.

Last weekend we visited the Vancouver Aquarium, and it is an experience I strongly recommend. The layout of the aquarium is excellent, with areas for the various animals. My favourite of the outdoor animals was likely the lone sea otter in one tank, which was continuously spinning around in the water while grooming itself. The indoor exhibits were also a lot of fun; the tropical area completely astounded me with how well it was done. There is a section of it that you can actually walk through, with various birds, butterflies and apparently sloths (we never saw any) all moving through the trees around you.

This weekend we plan on hiking up Grouse Mountain, a trail nicknamed the Grouse Grind. We expect it to take us two hours; it will be interesting to see how well we will manage it.

A Squirrel’s Eye View

It was our second weekend in Vancouver, and with the nice weather we were having we decided we wanted to do something outdoors.  Capilano Suspension Bridge was the outing we decided upon, and with my trusty smartphone in hand to help get us there, we were quickly on our way.

Of note, getting there was quite easy.  After an intial Skytrain ride from New Westminster to Waterfront Station, it was just a short walk to the front of Canada Place, from which we were able to catch a free shuttle to Capilano.  The shuttle was certainly…interesting, using old park benches, screwed into the floor of the bus, as seating.  Not the most comfortable of seats, but they did the trick during the 20-30 minute drive.  The driver was friendly, giving a quick touristic description of the surroundings as we drove by.  I did feel bad for some customers that had to be turned down, all the seats on the bus being filled, but the driver made certain the company would be contacted so that another shuttle could be sent.

Capilano Suspension Bridge was beautiful.  I’d never seen trees as wide, or as tall, as the Douglas Firs that grew in the park.  The Western Red Cedar and the Western Hemlock were also very beautiful, and nearly as big, and a tour guide provided interesting information about the importance and uses of the various trees.  I would have loved it if some of the Red Cedar Tea they talked about had been offered to try.

The main suspension bridge itself was fun; walking on a moving bridge is a very different experience then walking on the standard static bridges we primarily use today.  However, my favourite attractions were the suspended walkways and the cliffwalk.

The suspended walkways are a series of suspension bridges installed on average several meters above the ground.  Attached using a compression ring system, rather then by drilling the tree, they offer a very different view of the forest.  A squirrel’s eye view, as our tour guide put it.

The cliffwalk was another fun attraction; it’s a walkway attached to a sheer cliff wall, likely a hundred feet above the ground.  Vertigo was felt a lot more strongly here then on the other bridges, so perhaps not what I would recommend for people afraid of heights.

Capilano Suspension Bridge turned out to be smaller then we expected, and we managed to tour the park in a few hours.  It was an afternoon filled with beautiful, breathtaking scenery, and we definitely recommend it to anyone who has yet to visit it.