Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Western Canada Diaries - 17. Vancouver's Capilano Suspension Bridge

[ Continued from Part 16 - Route 99 to Whistler  ]

Right at the beginning of the eminently forgettable movie Neal N Nikki, there is a song montage of Vancouver, played to the tune of "Yeh Ladka Hai Allah". It's one of the few good things from that movie.

Vancouver is an amazing city. It is one of the few cities I would consider moving to in a heartbeat. Mountains on one side, the sea on the other, glorious ravines, rivers and nature all around, a city made up of many islands connected together by bridges, beautiful weather almost all year around, full of life and fun. The city just feels vibrant and the natives embody the sporty feeling.

There are many things to do and see in Vancouver, so this post is about the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Now it may seem odd that a bridge suspended over a huge canyon would be a notable attraction, but it's not just the bridge. And believe me, the bridge is an experience by itself.

In addition to this bridge, there's another bridge some distance away over Lynn Canyon that is also a popular attraction. That one is free, but Capilano is not. Despite that, Capilano is always the more popular attraction.

One of the reasons is because Capilano is more tourist friendly, and they have lots of things to do beside the huge bridge. Lynn canyon is more outdoorsy, and more "natural". It has less safeguards, for example, and is less kid friendly. It's more for hikers and nature lovers.

When you get on the Capilano suspension bridge, it sways. It's a suspension bridge after all ... and it really sways. So you have to hold on. They only allow so many people on the bridge, but the line wasn't long (even though it was a busy day) and it kept moving along fast.

Just like Banff, there were a lot of tourists from China. Vancouver (and Western Canada in general) is very popular with the Chinese and there's lots of flights from the mainland. Once you are on that bridge though, you realize there's really nothing between you and the water that's a long way below.

The Capilano also has something called the Cliffwalk. 

Basically they built a platform on the side of a cliff, and you walk along it to explore the ravine and the waterfalls. And oh, it has something to do with conservation.

The path was really narrow, and at any time you were reminded that you really were walking on a thin piece of wood hundreds of feet in the air beside a cliff. And we did it with a one and half year old baby that had just learnt to walk (and it was no big deal, really).

There was also a treetop trek tour, where you climb up high amidst tall trees, and use the platforms between the trees to get a sense of the forest from way above. Again, all done easily even with children in tow.

And for those who love to remain on ground level, there were lots of boardwalks and beautiful scenic spots with (tiny) waterfalls and small reflective ponds with fishes.

Overall this is a must do in Vancouver, and we seriously underestimated the time it would take. We easily spent half a day (four hours) here and could have spent more. They also have a very nice gift shop full of great souvenirs.


nadia said...

The Cliffwalk looks scary from the pictures though!

'liya said...

I remember visiting this bridge when I was a kid! Would love to go back and explore all the other things there. The cliff walk looks fun :)

mezba said...

@Nadia, I thought it would be too much with a baby, but it actually is quite well designed. As long as a kid can walk, the Cliffwalk can be done. Yes, you have to be careful though.

@Liya, it was fun. One of the best days of our trip.