Our ship docked pretty early in morning and we didn’t catch our bus to the airport until 8pm. What to do?
Fortunately there were a few people from our tour group in the same situation so we all headed to Grouse Mountain to see some bears and whatever else they had going.
Grouse Mountain is like a mini version of Whistler, in that there’s things to do in all seasons. In summer there’s two bears in a large enclosure but they hibernate through winter. I think they both arrived as orphan cubs but now they are huge.
There’s also a lumberjack show, which was corny but funny and informative. Part of the show revolved around a ‘tourist’ climbing a huge tree then fake-falling off. I nearly had a heart attack even though I knew it was all set up.
There are also chairlifts and paragliding, and of course a gondola to get everyone up there. The gondola was the most sardine-can experience I’ve had on the trip. It was crazy how many people they forced into the small box – I don’t recommend it for anyone who is claustrophobic. Also there was a raptor show, which we enjoyed.
I think my main recommendation for anyone thinking of going up Grouse Mountain in any weather is that it’s really exposed so be prepared. I felt like I was burning in the sun and there was almost no shade. In cold or windy weather it would also be uncomfortable. I had a hat but an umbrella would’ve been even better.
After taking the free bus back into Vancouver (Grouse Mountain is less than 30 minutes from the city centre, the buses leave from the marina) we wandered around, visited the Fluevog store (it’s like an art gallery for shoes, check it out!) and then caught the bus to the airport. All in all, a lovely and relaxing final day in Canada.
The whole trip had been amazing and hugely enjoyable. When I look back at all the photos it’s hard to believe we did it all in three weeks. I highly recommend APT as a tour company. Everything was as well-organised as I could imagine it being, our only long waits were due to customs processes going on and off the ship.
If you’re reading this, Mum, thanks for taking me! I had so many brilliant experiences that when people ask me what the highlight was, it’s impossible to say. And really, compared to many people on the cruise you’re in great shape so I think there’s definitely time for at least one more jaunt ;-). what do you say?