Mike and Diane Wilson -
Free Spirit

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Vancouver 2009

We were delighted to be able to visit Vancouver in 2007, but overjoyed at being able to fly there for a three-week visit (plus an additional week in Chilliwack) in June 2009. Once again the experience was out of this world. We flew four times in small aircraft, took the Vancouver-Whistler Mountaineer again, watched whales, took a sunset cruise, and a fast motorboat ride in Burrard Strait. We rode the Skytrain, the Seabus, and the everyday bus services. In fact on one day, we travelled by everything - except camel and bicycle! We rode in a car, flew, took a train, got on the bus, and went back to the B&B by Seabus. Fantastic!

But the highlight of the holiday must be Golden Ears Bridge. The story is here.

An aerial view of Vancouver from a floatplane. This was a fantastic experience as I was in the cockpit alongside the pilot.

We took a panoramic trip - a short trip over the mountains behind North Shore; a flight to a glacial lake (Lake Widgeon), and a third flight to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

We're flying over Lions Gate Bridge, which spans Burrard Strait. The greenery is Stanley Park, the road leading into Downtown Vancouver disappearing into the forest. The other end of the bridge is in North Vancouver.

This is the Peak to Peak experience. Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain are both famous for their ski runs and the cable cars and ski lifts to take skiers high enough to ski.

Someone had the bright idea to join the two mountains and create a Peak to Peak cable car ride. It is not as scary as it sounds, but you are a long long way above ground.

Red cars are seen in the photo, but every now and then there's a grey one. These have glass floors, so you can look straight down. That's a bit scary!

In the  centre of all this development is the stern of HMS Flamborough Head. She can just be made out in front of the central high rise tower block. She had been moved since our visit in May 2007. If sufficient funding can be found the Flamborough Head's stern and engine will be a major part of a new maritime museum. A propellor has been acquired from a similar vessel taken to Holland to be scrapped.

Downtown Vancouver. This view is from the Constitution, a paddle ship which gives trips in Burrard Strait.

Canada Place is the heart of Vancouver in my opinion. It is the location for the Imax Cinema, at which we saw two fantastic 3D films. There you can also get up close to the cruise liners. The views from the far end of Canada Place are tremendous.

The Seabus (that's the vessel on the right) is departing the quay at Downtown Vancouver, as a cruise liner awaits its passengers at Canada Place. The photo was taken from the 360-degree viewing area at the top of Harbour Tower. North Vancouver is on the horizon.

The mountains to the north of Vancouver. You can fly for hours in Canada and all you'll see are scenes like these. On this occasion we landed on Lake Widgeon, the first plane to do so in 2009. Before our visit in June, the lake was covered in ice.



Here we are all decked out ready for a whale-watching trip from Steveston. A great day with our friends Margaret and Norbert from the B&B, who treated us to this trip for our wedding anniversary on 3rd June. The extra clothing was not really necessary as it was warm.

This shot was taken through the window of the Airbus on our way home. Lovely flights both ways with Thomson.