As mentioned in my previous post this weekend we stayed in Vancouver and played tourists. The Capilano Suspension Bridge was one of the places we visited. Our decision to go was entirely on a whim and had we thought about it, sunny holiday weekend, we probably would have thought better of it, generally we like to avoid places swarming with tourists, but I’m really glad we went with our gut as it was quite a sight to behold.
Located on the North Shore of Vancouver, Capilano Suspension bridge is one heck of a feat of engineering. Measuring at 136 meters long (that’s two jumbo jets with their wing tips touching) and 70 meters high (that’s as high as the Statue of Liberty’s shoulders) it crosses the Capilano river, allowing visitors to the park to get to the other side. It was initially built in 1889 by a Scot (yeay Scotland) and it has now become a major tourist attraction, in part because it’s mighty impressive and also because it’s really easily accessible from downtown Vancouver.
I first visited the bridge when my family visited Canada in 2000 but the park has undergone some major changes since then so I was keen to go back and take another look. Since I last visited there have been two major infrastructural additions to the park – Treetop Adventures and the Cliffwalk.
The Treetops adventure is a series of mini suspension bridges that take visitors through the trees around 30 meters above the forest floor. It is a great way to get a completely different perspective of the forest, although it is more squirrel’s eye view than bird’s.
The Cliffwalk, which opened this year takes you out over the canyon on suspended walkways which extend out from the cliff face. It’s high and narrow and advertised not for the faint of heart, but all the cables are so clearly visible and the lush rainforest surrounds you and completely obscures the valley floor I didn’t find it nearly as disconcerting as the bridge!
One of the great things about the, fairly hefty, entrance fee is that for BC residents you only need to pay once a year. We’re now planning to go back one day when it’s misty and atmospheric and hopefully not quite so full of people.