In the fledgling days of West Vancouver (over the river from the city) there was no ferry or bridge across the Burrard inlet to the city. The residents used whatever passing vessel they could. The first scheduled ferry service was set up in 1909 and continued until the final crossing in 1947. This pier at Ambleside replaced the original and served as fine spot to fish or watch the cruise ships head out under the Lions Gate bridge past Stanley park. They even left one of the original posts the boats used to tie up at, you can see the score marks from the rope in the wood.
There were many methods of travel on the inlet, this local was using two kayaks with an electric motor to go fishing. Everything shares the waterways and in the second picture you can see the massive oil tankers, sailing boats, a jet boat and a lone kayaker all out on the water together.
Although a strange sight to us logs washed up on the beaches are a common sight in a logging country like Canada. Most of the logs are sent downstream on the rivers and inevitably many break loose. They have annual beach clean ups like this one scheduled.
A welcoming totem erected by the Squamish Nation stood at the end of the spit and looked out towards the water. The wisteria was a shady refuge. This bird was smart and had learnt how to gain a drink on a hot day.
Further up the coast a young Elephant seal had beached itself during its moult. Although initially a barrier had been put around it when the tide came in the seal shifted position. It takes anything up to 28days for the seal to fully moult and during this time it stay ashore so the authorities will have lots of barrier fun in the coming weeks keeping everyone safe on what is a popular city beach.
The lion’s gate bridge was largely built with Guinness money, yes the family of that renowned black stuff you drink. They had purchased large tracts of land on the north shore for development purposes which people needed to be able to access. Although another bridge was already built further up this had been damaged by a shipping accident which cleared the way to build this second bridge. This bridge gave much needed work during the depression and on its completion in 1938 after 1.5 years of building the first cars paid the toll of 25 cents. The Guinness family and other investors had to recoup almost $6million dollars that it cost to build. In 1955 the bridge was sold to the province and the tolls were dropped. The lions name comes from the pointed peaks of the mountains across the shore (which supposedly look like a lion).
Lowden’s lookout was originally the site of a signal station guiding ships through the narrows, to man the station the lighthouse keeper climbed the 220 feet from his boat up zigzagged steps the in the cliff face. Not fun in stormy conditions. It now offers a stunning viewpoint looking back over Lion’s Gate bridge and the North shore.
The hollow tree, an icon of Stanley Park is a western red cedar probably about a 1,000 years old and a last link to the forested area this once was. It survived the extensive logging of Stanley park during 1865-1888 and various storms which took its neighbours. It lost its top when its circumference was about 50 feet. The decision was taken in 2008 to fell the tree as it was leaning too precariously to remain, a bold move was taken to re-erect it upright to show its majestic height and girth.
Stanley park is massive and has beaches which are very popular on weekends and on the other side a harbour. Here are more of our photos from Stanley park. The man is playing a Chinese violin, it only has two strings and the sound box is covered with snake skin when hooked up to the amplifier it had an amazing sound.
There are many Totem and carved house beams in Stanley park. The very colourful one on Kev’s right is a replica carved house beam, they were used by the First Nation people to hold up the large roof beams in their log cabin homes.
We had glorious weather during our time in Vancouver and the sunsets with the mountain back drops were stunning. Here the sun lit up the north shore area with Lion’s gate bridge and Stanley park in the background.
We made good friends with Harri and Judy’s dogs, Mickey and Rose. Mikey’s not sure if the camera will give him a treat but he’s willing to try. Here is them pre their summer groom.
Sometimes we didn’t even have to leave home to get that shot of a lifetime, here are some sunsets/sunrise photos from Harri and Judy’s.
Next Up – Uncrating the bike and back on two wheels