I admit, I’m one of those people who don’t usually visit the tourist attractions in their own town unless I have visitors from abroad. However, earlier this week I had the “pleasure” of joining my daughter’s class on a field trip to Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. I had been there before, over eight years ago (with some friends from the UK), so had a fair idea of what it was all about. Although I must say, chasing five nine/ten year olds definitely added a new dimension to the experience.
As I dutifully trailed behind the nature guide, keeping an eagle eye on my charges, I spent a few minutes thinking about how wonderful an area I live in. It is a temperate rainforest, teaming with life and a variety of vegetation. Thanks to our guide, I now know which tree needles to eat if I get stranded in the wilderness and which to boil up to get rid of a sore throat. Not that I plan to use any of that information but you never know, it may come in handy in my writing.
Of course the main attraction is the suspension bridge. It is two hockey rinks long (yes, that’s how we measure things in Canada) and 70 feet above the river. And not something anyone with a fear of heights would want to traverse. Another highlight of the area is the Tree Tops Adventure where you can walk above the forest floor along a series of suspended bridges. Unfortunately, when we were there they were fixing the attraction and only two of the seven bridges were accessible. As it’s such an important feature I’d call ahead if you’re thinking of visiting to make sure it is all open.
A new feature of the park is the Cliffwalk. Set away from the cliff, you can take a walk above the river on a narrow steel platform. Again, not something I’d recommend for those with acrophobia. But if you have any interest in geology or the effects of erosion then this is the thing for you. Of course if you just enjoy nature and seeing things from a different angle, it’s an enjoyable walk. Or in my case, fast hike after five girls only intent on getting to the end so they could collect their stamp.
There is a lot of interesting things to see and do and learn at Capilano. But I must caution it is pretty pricey. For us as a family to visit it would cost over $100, a lot for a day out, when I can get a similar experience for free at Lynn Canyon. However if you’re visiting Vancouver and have a budget for tours (and a favourable exchange rate) then it would probably be worth it. The view and surroundings are stunning. And as I was sitting there listening to the workshop on bridges that was part of the fieldtrip, I decided that Capilano is where I’d love to have my 25th wedding anniversary party. At night they light up the bridge, Cliffwalk, and many of the trees and I imagine it looks absolutely magical. But that is still a few years off, so maybe if I start saving now…