The best Christmas Eve – ever!

After several days of almost relentless rain we finally got some sunshine yesterday. We’d been intending to head over to Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain for a few days so we really couldn’t miss the chance of visiting those two places while the weather was so good.

Both Capilano and Grouse Mountain are over on the North Shore while we’re staying on the south side of Vancouver. It’s not far in miles but you have to battle with the appalling traffic downtown to get there. Most people seemed to have stayed at home though, so the journey wasn’t as bad as feared.

We arrived at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in decent time and paid the $25 entry. It’s well worth visiting if you’re in the area – it’s a 19th century rope suspension bridge over a spectacular gorge.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

It’s rather bouncy! The span is quite impressive considering the age of the bridge and the view on both sides is lovely. It heads over the other side of the gorge where they’ve also built a very interesting and beautifully designed Treetops Adventure where you walk across some more rope bridges up amongst the impressive firs. There are some small ponds filled with rainbow trout too, along with some slightly tacky reindeer made out of wire and Christmas lights.

On Reflection

I could have spent hours in here but daylight is short around this time of year and so after a quick lunch we headed over to Grouse Mountain, a rather spectacular snow-topped peak for skiers and snowboarders. Well, we weren’t going to be doing either of those things – we were just going for the view!

Grouse Mountain

What a bloody view! I don’t think I have ever seen anything as beautiful in my entire life. The weather was perfect and even with the sun shining fiercely into our eyes we could still see Vancouver over the tops of the snow-laden trees. Boy, did I get snap-happy!

Just.... wow!

Everywhere I looked there was something breath-taking to admire. Even with so many people up here (the ski lifts were very busy) there was still plenty of unspoiled vistas for me to photograph, like the one above which is probably my favourite shot of the day.

I’ve not been skiing before but it looks like a LOT of fun. We’ll be trying the ski thing down in Oregon in a few days but today was just all about the view. It wasn’t too cold (a tropical -2 centigrade) so I was able to wander around without wearing my gloves, thus making it much easier to press the shutter on my camera.

It’s a shame that we didn’t see too much in the way of wildlife but I did see a couple of eagles flying around one of the peaks while we were waiting to ascend and there were three of four wolves near the car park. Wolves!

It was a shame to have to leave but as it was Christmas Eve the last lift down was at 6pm, and with at least an hour wait to get down we decided to get in line early. I missed the main sunset but I did get some decent shots while the sun was quite low in the sky.

The sun sets

We were expecting to have to wait for two hours to get back across from the North Shore (the traffic is usually that bad!) but the Christmas traffic was quite light and we were home within the hour. I can’t wait to get back up there though! I’ve been told to expect some more impressive scenery around Mount Hood. Looking forward to that!

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