2 October 2017

In The Clouds On Grouse Mountain

Day 5. Grouse Mountain. Despite the clouds we had an unforgettable day. We ventured here with our grandparents on the 5th day of our trip. There are several free shuttle buses you can take from Vancouver city centre that will drop you off just outside of the ticket booth & mountain lift. I would recommend checking the weather beforehand if you truly want clear views of Vancouver, however the clouds can abruptly roll over the mountainside in waves & so the weather changes so quickly that it's not too much of a worry. The mountain is very tourist orientated: there is a large indoor eating area with small shops, various shows you can sit down and watch & a bear enclosure home to two orphaned bears.

There are several ticket fares available, so you can choose from zip-lining to ski lifts and more. It's actually possible to hike up the mountain until you reach this area, but strongly advised against hiking down the same trail. Sadly Holly & I were unaware of this, but for those who enjoy tough hikes & workouts, it may be worth hiking up the mountain side to this area, before descending in the ski lift! (Side note - we will be doing a Vancouver city-guide with budget & money info soon!)

Some people may be disappointed about the clouds shielding the view of Vancouver, yet I found quite magical. After all, I was on the top of a mountain surrounded by clouds. It was eerie yet so incredibly peaceful. I could see the drops of water falling off the edge of the rocks, the only noise the sound of my hiking boots grazing the rough gravel beneath me. I could hear the occasional tap-tap-tap of the birds against the tree trunks, hear the flutter of their wings and even tiny little insects trying to land on my hands. Even watching the clouds was magical, even hypnotic, as they rolled across the path before disappearing as quickly as they appeared.

Grouse Mountain is pretty family friendly too. The ski lifts, the lumberjack & bird show, the orphaned bears and the restaurant - something for all ages. Obviously there is a fair bit of walking involved, however it isn't too challenging unless you decide to climb the mountain peak as we did.

The Mountain is open all year, in the winter months it becomes a ski resort - from what I saw, it was mostly for experienced skiers (the paths were steep) but be sure to check out their website beforehand for more information!

I wasn't too sure how these pictures were going to turn out, due to the clouds & the lack of light but I love the result. They are eerie, yet with signs of life & beauty thanks to the abundance of greenery & nature. One thing I noticed during my time in Vancouver was the amount of wildlife: in the parks, mountains and on the very edge of the city were countless birds, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks & more. Vancouver is also the cleanest city I have ever been to. There were very few smokers which resulted in basically non-existent cigarette buds, none of the bins were overflowing, no bits of paper or plastic flying up and down the street... You don't even realise how clean it is until you leave!

As I type this, it is the 12th day of our trip & we are on Waiheke Island in Auckland, New Zealand! It's hard to believe just how far away we are from home. We are trying to publish our posts in order, we have several outfit ones too which we'll be sharing soon. Despite the lack of wifi, we have been posting regularly on our Instagrams so be sure to check us out there!

Summer x

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