Day two of our trip to wonderful Canada was spent at Grouse Mountain which is incredible. When we looked at things to do in Vancouver, there were obviously lots of things around (I mean, how can there not be?!) but we didn’t even consider Grouse Mountain, didn’t see much about it online and only really discovered it after getting a couple of leaflets when we stayed in our hotel. We gave it a Google and it looked SO awesome, so day 2 was planned.
The trip up Grouse Mountain started with a Gondola which was the first Gondola we had gone on (certainly not the first and last), and it was incredible. It takes you 2,300ft up this amazing mountain that towers above Douglas firs, gives insanely beautiful views of Vancouver, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf Islands and the view of the gorgeous snow-capped mountains in the distance as you go up and up until you reach the top is breathtaking. You know you have reached the top because the silence is really powerful, it hits you with a kind of serenity that instantly puts you at ease. It’s a quiet you don’t often get when you’re from the City and it really does put you at ease.
It wasn’t the warmest up there, but then again it wasn’t the warmest in Vancouver City either as we were probably right on the cusp of Summer. This was the first mountain I had ever been up (Mark has been lucky enough to travel to the Dolomite’s so it wasn’t for him) but I loved it. There were patches of snow and ice everywhere and lovely walks for you to enjoy. Everything in Canada is so big, the walks are long and always wonderful and there’s a lot of trust in Canada. People assume you have common sense so aren’t going to go sliding down mountain tops so there’s no need for warnings or fences.
They have a wonderful enclosure where two grizzly bears live and seeing them up close was incredible. The space they have is large, full of their natural habitat and cold enough for them to not bat an eyelid.
We didn’t spend a huge amount of time at Grouse Mountain and it was probably due to that wrong kind of footwear on both our parts as well as the snow and fog. A lot of the walks were closed off and some of the activities were difficult to enjoy due to visibility issues but we had an awesome time. We were lucky that it was incredibly quiet so we could just wander off and enjoy the area on our own, which I know must be rather difficult when all the kids are off on their holidays.
On the way back down from Grouse Mountain, we were intrigued by a lot of laughter and shouting to which we discovered a Lumberjack Show. At first we weren’t quite sure what was going on but we were soon captivated by the insane skills of these awesome performers. The Lumberjack Show features an awesome outdoor set that features two logging camps from the early 1900s, where Johnny Nelson from the Green River logging camp battles Willie McGee from Blue Mountain to determine the top lumberjack.
It’s incredibly funny. Great for kids but with cheeky innuendos just for the adults. Axe throwing, 60-foot tree climb and a lot of log rolling and lots and lots of laughter from the audience.
We ended our lovely day at Grouse Mountain by eating at the observatory that allowed you incredible views of the City of Vancouver. We were blown away by the view but then we witnesses a rescue taking place which showed a rescue helicopter trying to reach someone who seemed to be trapped up the mountain. They moved on so we didn’t see the person pulled to safety but as they didn’t come back, we assume it was a successful rescue. It was incredible to witness and clearly such a hard feat considering how high up they were. Apparently a lot of rescues happen because of hikers getting trapped or injured. It just goes to show that hiking can be a very dangerous activity.
Through the dramatic scenes we were treated to this delicious pile of nachos (insanely big) and as this is predominantly a food blog – you’ll all be impressed to know that we devoured it easily!