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Day 2 : Sunday 26th September 2004

The three G's! Gastown, Grouse Mountain and Granville Island

We awoke early, as does anyone coming out to the West Coast from the UK on their first few days. Let's face it, 6am Vancouver time is 2pm UK time!

Our first trip was a nice long walk into Gastown, on the harbour front of downtown Vancouver. Today was a beautiful day in Vancouver, not a cloud in the sky and a reasonably warm Autumn (or should that be Fall!) day. Once we had walked into Gastown, we decided on a trip up the Harbour Tower. This offers stunning panoramic views over the whole of Vancouver and must be a highlight of any trip to this beautiful city.

Following a light lunch in a local Creperie, we grabbed the car and headed up to Grouse Mountain. This was one of the attractions that I had not visited on my last trip to Vancouver, so was high on my wish list. There was no queue for the cable car and we were at the top in minutes, unlike those doing the Grouse Grind, a popular race up the mountain! The record time is something ridiculous like 28 mins, the course being only 1.8 miles long, but elevating 853m (2,800 feet) in that distance.

The day was so clear, we could easily see the whole of Vancouver and down into Washington state, particularly Mount Baker, which was resplendent in the sunshine, despite being about 80 miles away. At the top of the mountain are a couple of enclosure, one housing a pair of Grizzly Bears and one housing a pack of wolves. There are also ski runs at the top, but there was no snow on the ground at all at the moment.

Once down from the mountain, we headed over to a nearby suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon Park (not the ridiculously expensive and touristy Capiliano Suspension Bridge). This was enjoyable, until one of the fattest kids I've ever seen, dressed in full NBA basketball kit (with basketball!) got onto the bridge and seemed determined to try and rock everyone off . The fat little sh*t.

After this minor scare, we headed over to Granville Island, which is a rebuilt former industrial area on the south side of False Creek, under Granville Bridge, one of the main arterial routes running into downtown Vancouver. We first visited the Brewery...and ended up staying there !! Well, why rush around on your first day! After a few in-house brewed beers, jet lag once again set in and I started to feel very tired indeed. However, we went out again for a lovely meal in a local restaurant. One standard enormous Canadian steak later and I was definitely starting to feel a little jaded! So, for the second night in a row, an early bedtime beckoned.