I had only a few days in Vancouver before I was moving on and had to make the most of my time. My first full day in Canada I woke up early and walked to Stanley Park; my original intentions was to spend a half day there before moving onto Gas Town. Once there my plans changed. I didn’t realize that this was Vancouver’s equivalent to Central Park in New York. Stanley Park is 404 hectares park/forest, filled with more attractions than Disney World, and the biggest tourist destination that Vancouver has to offer.
There is a path called the Seawall Promenade that winds around the park offering views of the ocean as well as the cargo ships waiting to enter the port. They do offer shuttles that run the perimeter of the park as well. I decided to start off walking. I found that this was the best way to see the most possible, and quickly began stumbling across several attractions the park has. Just off of the main path is a small area dedicated to several totem poles of natives that lived in the area. At the base of each pole is an explanation of what each pole represents.
Once back on the Seawall I passed the 9’o clock gun, which fires each night at 9. The gun is surrounded by a fence, which I though detracted from its interest for me. I walked the trail for about 3 hours without turning off onto one of the side trails. Along the way there was a lighthouse, several large, purple starfish on the rocks below the Seawall, views Lions Gate Bridge, but my favorite was the Girl in a Wetsuit just after Brockton Point. The statute sits on a rock out in the water. Once of her legs is extended down the side of the rock and is said that her toe touches the top of the water at high tide.
Soon after I turned off a trail in search of Beaver Lake. It was exactly what it promised a lake, but I saw no beavers and was surprised to see how over grown this section of the park was in comparison to the other well-manicured areas.
After leaving the lake I became hopelessly lost. Luckily there was a wonderful woman from California who took me under her wing for a while, and not only helped me back to the main gate area, but also took me around the rose garden. Once back at the main gate I wasn’t ready to leave because I hadn’t even seen a ¼ of what the park had to offer, but it started to rain. Instead of trying to continue my tour of the park on foot I jumped on one of the free shuttles that go around the park. This way I got to see the actual forest that I didn’t see while walking along the Seawall and missed out on the rain.