My title today refers to the coast from North Vancouver and up to Whistler, the home of the coming Winter Olympics in February 2010. Friday was glorious and sunny, but accompanied by that slight chill you get from living close to mountains remain capped with snow despite it being late spring. We layered up, took extra clothes in case and set out on our journey to Whistler. It should take about 2 hours. But for us was just over three.
British Columbia is getting Whistler ready for the Olympics and this means the roads too. We had road works most of the way and so delays, plus this trying to be navigator had us off a freeway exit that infact took us down to Horseshoe Bay where the ferries leave for the Gulf Islands. Thankfully there was an extra lane that we were able to divert down and do a U turn, otherwise we would have been in a four lane cue which was considerably long and heading towards the ferries, with no way of turning around.
Back on the highway. The mountainsides come right down to the highway. The are densely covered in trees, with large portion of mountains crested with snow. Just beautiful. I’ve loaded some pictures so you get the idea.
Whistler was very compact, and very picturesque. Something like a Swiss village, or perhaps something out of Austria. There were four huge parking areas and a ten minute walk through a small park where young guys practiced their BMX biking and we came to the chair lift area. The gondola and the peak to peak gondola were not working! They said there were road signs about it on the road up but we never saw them. Anyway, the chair lift was working and even though it was beautiful and sunny and it’s late spring, lots of people were going up to ski! I mean hundreds!. Neil and the girls took the chair lift to the top. It’s actually 2 chair lifts – you change half way. I didn’t go. I’m not a fan of heights and certainly no fan of dangling my legs while sitting in a chair hundreds of feet in the air. So i stayed and sat in the sun.
At the top they were 2440 metres high and it was about minus 3 degrees. So chilly. Snow fights, lots of photos and back down they came. Anzhela really wanted to go skiing but had no ski gear and rental was pretty expensive.
The drive home took an hour less, road workers gone home. But the traffic driving north was constant. It’s a long w/end this weekend here in British Columbia.
One of the interesting things we’ve been doing is trying different eating places while away. We’ve done McDonalds – similar to home, and Wendy’s again, similar to home. Then there are the Taco type places. Also Vancouver has a huge Asian population and so Chinese food is everywhere. The real deal. Vancouver has a huge ethnic mix. As I mentioned, lots of Chinese, plus Indian, Iranian etc. It’s a real global city.
View from cable car on Blackcomb mountain at Whistler.And then you get sleeping kids on the way back too....