Vancouver: Stanley Park

Today I decided to spend walking around Stanley Park which covers 1,000 acres at the tip of downtown Vancouver. There is so much to see in the park from the seawall walk (8.8 km), several beaches, Beaver Lake and the Lost lagoon, ‘monument’ trees and many trails amongst cedar, hemlock, and fir trees which lead you away from the madding crowds into the cool quiet forest.

I took the advice of a couple of acquaintances and visited the Aquarium. Now I like aquariums where they have huge tanks filled with tropical fish and tanks with sharks etc in them, but I am not a big fan of pools with dolphins or larger creatures. Having heard about the beluga whales I thought I ought to have a look myself. It is a reasonable aquarium, with some extremely interesting and informative exhibits and I loved the sea anemone and the jelly fish. As for the belugas and the dolphins – it still doesn’t seem fair to keep them in such small pools. I have the same reaction when I see bears in a zoo, when all they do is walk up and down, up and down shaking their heads. It just makes me sad.

After the zoo I walked up to Beaver Lake (originally called “Akka-Chu” Little Lake, by Aboriginal Peoples) via the Rose Garden and the South Creek trail which leads you past a stand of 130 year old Douglas Firs. The lake is slowly changing to a bog ecosystem and will eventually return to the forest floor. The introduction of water lilies in 1930 may be hastening this process. In fact it was noticeably smaller than it was in 2005. Found a lovely Carolina Wood Duck hiding amongst the lower limbs of a shore-side tree and mallards and shoveler ducks dabbled for vegetation and insects amongst the lilies and bog buckbean. Great Blue Herons patiently watched for sticklebacks and frogs.

Following the Lake trail across the Stanley Park Causeway (the road which leads to Lion’s Gate Bridge) and along Lovers Walk passing the Art Installation and one of the Big trees you reach Ferguson Point where you have a wonderful view over English Bay, Third Beach and Siwash Rock. I wandered up to Third Beach where they have public toilets and a concession stand, which was closed, so my hope of a nice cup of coffee was rapidly dashed. I re-joined the seawall walk here and carried on counter-clockwise along this as far as Second Beach. These are the two only accessible sandy beaches in the park perfect for swimming and watching the sun set.

Passing the swimming pool at Second Beach I made my way along Ceperley Meadow and along the southern edge of the Lost lagoon where I saw my first bald eagle sitting calmly on a log floating in the centre of the lagoon. There were several swans, mallards, coots and two Great Blue Herons near the shoreline, one of which walked so close to me I could have reached out and touched him. Crossing under the causeway I returned to the Devonian Harbour Park and back to the Westin hotel in time to view a lovely sunset.

We ate at Ciao Bella – Arabiatta pasta and mixed green salad washed down with a lovely Montepulciano D’abruzzo. Sadly no discount tonight though.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

35 thoughts on “Vancouver: Stanley Park”

    1. Wasn’t sunny the previous day! But we didn’t do badly with the weather for most of the trip. I would happily live in Vancouver. Sunshine and showers again today with hail! And a very poorly foot so keeping it elevated.

      1. Well, we walked, over in Spain this morning. Just had lunch back in the Algarve and it’s cloudy now. Going to purchase a settee or 2 and go home. Poor foot! 😕 💕

        1. Perhaps you should have settled in Spain – easier language to learn!! Not sure what happened to the foot, trapped nerve or tendon or something but I couldn’t bear any weight on it! Most peculiar and rather scary.

        2. We called at a place called Isla Canela- purpose built tourist resort- that we did consider buying in, but we both agree Portugal is a much more gentle place and we’re always glad to come back. 🙂 You and that foot! What’ll I do with you? I should restock the bookcase and find homes for things but Mick’s not feeling great so I shall quietly write tomorrow’s walk. 🙂

  1. That looks like a lovely place indeed, and Montepulciano, one of my favourite wines!
    Like you, I get distressed when I see large animals in zoos. I understand that conservation is often the goal, but I am upset by the price paid for that by the depressed bears, and other creatures. On balance, I think they should all be free, and better-managed in the wild.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Totally agree with you Pete. It’s shocking the damage we do to our natural world. If you get the chance to visit Vancouver then do. It is a fabulous city.

        1. I have a standing order with both the National Lottery, and The Postcode Lottery. I don’t seriously think about winning though. 🙂
          (Over the years, I have won many small amounts, like £100, £25, or £10. I was always upset about that, as I was happy to wait for ‘the big one) x

  2. I’m with you on the large sea creatures kept in small spaces, it isn’t for their well being, purely for profit. But a lovely place this is Jude, your photos are fab.

  3. We only spent a couple of hours at Stanley Park and it is one place we will definitely revisit for much longer on our next trip to Vancouver. It looks very pretty with the autumn colours.

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