Exploring Vancouver's Top Tourist Attractions and Beyond - Season 10 (2023) Episode 41
- [Robert] Today, we're visiting Vancouver. We're going to explore some of its many tourist attractions, points of interest and experience some of what this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Then on the next one, we're flying to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. So no, the adventure is not quite over yet. (rhythmic acoustic music plays) ♪ I'm riding ♪ ♪ Riding, riding ♪ ♪ Riding in my RV ♪ ♪ My RV ♪ ♪ Wherever I want to be ♪ ♪ You guys, I'm free in my RV, yeah ♪ - Good morning. We are going to Vancouver, which we've been there before, but ever so briefly, and I'm afraid the adventure is almost over, at least the adventure part of the adventure.
We're gonna do, you know, one more. Maybe we'll do like a great Canadian series at some point. And Vancouver, I think it certainly qualifies.
And then we're going back to the lower 48, back to home base. But anyway, enjoy the ride and I'm sure we're gonna enjoy Vancouver tremendously. Not to mention oil change, phone repair, Amazon packages, that sort of thing, that sort of big city thing you need from time to time. (upbeat music plays) (upbeat music continues) Here we are arriving at the Vancouver Metropolitan Area and the only place where we could find vacancy on short notice was Burnaby Cariboo RV Park in Burnaby, which is a city east of Vancouver.
Still, close enough, with access to public transit if needed, so, not so bad. (upbeat music continues) This is probably the tightest site I have ever had to back into. (upbeat music continues) Well, it is certainly one of the tightest spots we've ever stayed at.
I kept saying, and I never do it, I'm gonna start lying about my length. Now, apparently here at the office, they sell tickets for the public transit so let's get those. Yeah, I had to park in this parking lot back here. Well, both Minnie Tinny and Starship need a good wash and they do have a car wash bay here at the RV park, which by the way, this is the tightest place I've seen. I mean, all these sites, especially if you have like a, it's like a, like a large slide-out, it's kind of like, yeah. All right, now we're leaving for real.
It's about a 1.3 kilometer and a 15-minute walk to the metro. I think it's called the sky tram or something like that.
Yeah, so yeah, we're going to Downtown using public transportation. The RV park is close to many outdoor activities, the Brunette River here and Burnaby Lake. And it feels kind of strange being back in a big city after such a long time on the fringes of civilization. Here we are at Production Way University station and we're taking the Millennium Line and then the Expo Line. It's, I have no idea where we are.
Anyway, we purchased something called a Compass Card and got a day pass, which I believe is valid for all local forms of public transit, the TransLink public system. (funky music plays) I really like this elevated rail system. It is a great way to see the city from above. Over the past few decades, Vancouver has earned the nickname City of Glass, in part because of all these high-rise apartment buildings and glass canopies over sidewalks.
All these high-rise residential buildings are part of an urban planning movement coined Vancouverism. (funky music continues) Here we are going to transfer to the Expo Line to Waterfront. (funky music continues) Here's a perfect example of the aforementioned Vancouverism. The city certainly has a unique look and all the glass has this subtle light teal hue.
Very interesting. Anyway, we are arriving in Downtown and from here we're going to take the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay for what is sure to be a great vantage point from where to see some of the best views of the city skyline. The gentleman who checked me in at the RV park actually recommended we do this. And here we are on the SeaBus, which is basically a ferry running constantly, moving people across Vancouver Harbour.
And the good news, it looks like the weather is going to improve. We have blue skies in the forecast for the next few days. (funky music continues) That's North Vancouver, where we're going.
And that looks like it might be Burnaby, where we came from. And here we are at the Lonsdale Quay Market. This is the view of Downtown. And we have love locks. Of course, we have a huge cargo ship partially blocking our view, and there goes the SeaBus, and we have a large cruise ship leaving port as well.
(plane engine hums) Here comes a float plane. I mean it probably just landed, but float planes are so cool. We have to get in one of those again.
(gentle music plays) Quay Market. Yeah, let's check out the indoor market. Yes, very nice.
It is not particularly lively right now, but I kind of prefer it this way. (gentle music continues) Let's get on the elevator to the lower level. Chocolate, ice cream, restaurants, all kinds of things. Too bad we're not hungry yet, so let's go back out.
That's a nice mega yacht. Lemme tell you, I wouldn't mind. I wouldn't mind at all. (indistinct chatter) Big totem pole.
I see hints of blue sky. That is a very good sign. There's again, our mega yacht and now we have a slightly less obstructed view of Downtown. And wildlife. (gentle music continues) And here we are now walking on this pier. This area here, the quay, the queue or the quay I think it's called, very nice and great views of Downtown.
I'm glad the gentleman at the RV park recommended we take that sea, no water taxi? No, it's called a SeaBus here. And eventually we're gonna take the SkyTrain back, but lemme show you. The view from here is even better. (gentle music continues) Here we have more of these high-rise buildings with the slightly tinted glass windows. I like the look.
(gentle music continues) It seems like a great area to spend an afternoon, lots to see and do, restaurants, bars, and the huge trumpet. (gentle music continues) That is one big trumpet. (Robert laughs) (gentle music continues) That's it.
We're heading back on the SeaBus. (gentle music continues) (gentle music continues) (gentle music continues) And here we are. (indistinct crowd chatter) (emotive acoustic music plays) We are now going to a neighborhood called Gastown, the site of the original settlement that eventually became Vancouver. It is most famous for its unique steam clock, but first we're hungry, and thirsty for that matter, so we're going to Steamworks Brewing Company.
We really liked this place the last time we were here. I forgot to film the food, but we had some poutine, as you do in Canada, among other things. Now let's go check out the steam clock. Gastown here, very hip and touristy, although there seems to be a little bit of a drug addiction and homelessness problem as well.
And here we have it, the famous gas clock, not as old as it looks. It was built in 1977 to cover a steam grate, part of Vancouver's heating system. We can see the original steam engine through the glass that originally powered the clock. (steam clock whistles) But since 1986 the clock has actually run an electricity. The steam is only used for the chimes.
I was kind of disappointed to find that out. (steam clock whistles) Very cool to see this clock once again. Last time we were here, it was in 2019. We're gonna start walking back to the SkyTrain station, and there is also an observation deck we want to see.
Well, we were gonna go up to the Vancouver Tower, but it closed at 7:00 so let's just come here to the end of this parking lot and see the view. And then we're just gonna take the SkyTrain back to Burnaby. There's one more view across Vancouver Harbour. This is such a picturesque and photogenic city, and the sun's coming out. I think tomorrow we're going to have great weather. (acoustic string instrument plays) (funky music plays) We got on the Expo Line back.
It is a little bit of a longer ride, but we don't have to change trains and we'll be able to see different parts of the city. This line also goes through less densely populated neighborhoods. So far, SkyTrain seems to be a great way to get a lay of the land and go around the city.
(funky music continues) (funky music continues) (funky music continues) Well it's been, it's been mostly a utilitarian day. Went this morning for an oil change, then did a much-needed car wash, and now we're gonna go fix my phone screen. Yeah, I dropped it the other day on the Denali Highway and maybe then we'll visit a couple of places that are more suitable to visit with the car since we already, you know, gonna be driving. Might as well, right? All right, enjoy the big city ride. (upbeat funky music plays) We're going to this big shopping mall called Metropolis at Metrotown and there's a smartphone repair shop called Mobile Clinic.
I made an appointment, so let's see what they say. (upbeat funky music continues) Déjà-vu. We passed by here on the SkyTrain yesterday. Houston, we have a problem. Clearance 6'6" or 198. Starship is 6'7" tall or just over two meters.
This parking garage is definitely not made for high pickup trucks, so let's look for a plan B. Even though I memorized my height in metric, I am glad they have it on imperial too, just in case. I guess too many American tourists scrape the roof. Here we have another parking garage and this one is 7'5" or 226, so we're good. Now let's find parking. (upbeat funky music plays) Beautiful mall but needless to say, this was an epic fail.
I'll tell you about it later. (upbeat funky music continues) (upbeat funky music continues) Well yeah, I don't know if I told you but I broke my phone a couple of days ago and the phone repair thing was an epic fail even though, you know, I made an appointment. You know, I think appointments don't really work here because Chevrolet didn't really have my appointment either, so I dunno what's going on. In any case, they didn't have the Samsung screen, so I'm just gonna fix it when I get to Florida. But right now we're gonna take an Uber and actually explore different parts of town. That's the plan, anyway.
By the way, even if the repair shop would've had the part, since my Samsung S23 is manufactured for sale in the United States, their screen made for Canada wouldn't be compatible. The more you know. Well, Uber driver dropped us off here at Commercial Drive, so you're gonna see there's a, it's called Havana Vancouver. It's a Cuban restaurant. (upbeat Latin music plays) Well to begin, the mojitos are really good. (upbeat Latin music continues) We ordered bravas potatoes, which is more of a Spanish dish, and croquettes.
(indistinct) We also got the mussels in Creole sauce, which was delicious. (upbeat Latin music continues) Well, as many of you know, I was born in Havana, Cuba. So whenever I see a place with the name of my birthplace, you know, we gotta try it, right? And let me tell you, Havana Vancouver here did not disappoint. The food was excellent and the mojito, I mean, I gotta say it almost rivals those of the Key West. Of course here they make it with authentic Havana Club Rum, which is illegal in the United States, but here in Canada, you know, you can import it from Cuba.
So, I don't know, it was really good. (crosswalk lights chirp) Here they have these colorful crosswalks. Well, I guess this is Little Italy.
They have the electric buses and overall very cool neighborhood, actually. Lots of places to eat. (upbeat dance music plays) (upbeat dance music continues) Tapas and pizza. It is like the League of Nations here on this street when it comes to food options.
And we have a British phone booth. Look at the phone. Well, as you saw, very picturesque neighborhood here.
And now we're gonna take an Uber somewhere else in town, somewhere we've been before, actually. (upbeat dance music continues) Look at all those people dressed in white. I wonder what that is. (upbeat dance music continues) Well, this is where we're going, Granville Island. Well the idea was to come to Granville Brewing Company, but it is closed again, as it was four years ago. Must not be, must not be in the books for us to visit this place, but we're in Granville Island and let's walk around a little bit, check it out.
It's a very picturesque part of town. The Keg, that's where we ate the last time we were here. Of course, Canada and the United States may be the most similar two countries in the world. I mean, we almost feel like at home here, except everything is in metrics, certain words are spelled differently. Sometimes you see the occasional Canadian flag and then the postie. Yeah, their mailboxes are different too.
But other than that, you know, same language, almost same accent. And it feels very much like at home here. (smooth, jazzy music plays) This body of water is a narrow inlet called False Creek. It turns out when they were first surveying the area in the mid-1800s, they thought it was a creek. And when they realized it wasn't a creek, they called it False Creek and the name stuck.
We are enjoying such perfect weather today. (smooth, jazzy music continues) Granville Island here used to be an industrial area with factories, warehouses, now turned into this entertainment complex. (indistinct chatter) We've decided we are going to take one of those boats, which you can take from point A to point B, like a bus, or you can do the whole loop around the inlet, which is what we're doing. Off we go.
(smooth, jazzy music continues) Vancouver has some very cool modern architecture, lemme tell you. (smooth, jazzy music continues) There's that sphere again. (mellow music plays) That sphere we've seen several times now, by the way, is called Science World. It's a science children's museum.
(mellow music continues) (mellow music continues) (mellow music continues) Look at all the people dressed in white again. I believe this is an annual event called Dîner en Blanc, a tradition that began in Paris in 1988 and nowadays it's celebrated in several cities around the world. You're supposed to bring your own folding table and chairs and white tablecloth, cutlery, and of course, the food. It is, I guess, like a giant potluck except for the fact that you don't get to share the food. I don't really get the concept, but obviously many people do because there is even a waiting list. (mellow music continues) That's B.C. Place, a retractable roof stadium.
Very cool. It must be really cool to live in a city surrounded by mountains. Lots of outdoor activities available for sure. I hear it is ridiculously expensive to live here, though.
There's Science World once again. And that's Vancouver Lookout, the tower that we couldn't visit yesterday. (mellow music continues) Check it out, wildlife. (mellow music continues) Very cool houseboats. I mean, houseboats are always cool. Sadly, our cruise around False Creek is coming to an end, but we've enjoyed it tremendously.
Here's a cement plant disguised with graffiti art, a work called "Giants" by Brazilian twins, Osgemeos. Well, that was a super fun round-trip on the Aquabus. You know, everything is cool when you're on the water. Now let's go somewhere else.
Our Uber is coming. (energetic music plays) Anyway, we're going to an area called English Bay Beach. Plus we made it to this other part of town, West End here.
And let's see what we can see. Palm trees in Canada. Who would've thought? By the way, we've been here before back in our very brief visit in 2019. And here's a sculpture called "Amazing Laughter". I call it the Laughing People Sculpture.
The name is of course a play on the words maze and amaze to create amazing laughter. Get it? The plaque reads, "May this sculpture inspire laughter, playfulness and joy in all who experience it." (energetic music continues) Equally cool is that large tree on top of that building. It is very cool to see all the Vancouverites enjoying this exceptionally good weather. Here we have some live music.
(brass band plays) It's a brass band. (brass band continues to play) Well, English Beach here, definitely happening. And we got palm trees in Canada. Who would've thought? Yeah, that's a cool place. Let's find something to drink. We're thirsty.
Let's check it out. Craft here looks promising. Found a spot at the bar. Good IPA, and it looks like we might even be able to enjoy the sunset from here. (serene music plays) Came back down to the beach for a sunset. It is pretty spectacular, actually.
(serene music continues) (serene music continues) (serene music continues) (serene music continues) Well, good morning. Oh, I'm losing my voice. I don't know what's going on.
Anyway, we're going to what's arguably one of the biggest tourist attractions here in the Vancouver area. It's called Capilano Suspension Bridge, 23 minute drive. And we pre-purchased tickets, so enjoy the ride. (lively electro music plays) (lively electro music continues) And here we are, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
(lively electro music continues) - [Automated Recording] I was a forest ranger when I married Elizabeth. Now during this creek. - [Robert] Here we get a little bit of history about the property, which has been privately owned since Scottish civil engineer and land developer George Grant Mackay purchased 6,000 acres of dense forest on either side of the Capilano River back in 1888 and built a cabin on the very edge of the canyon wall. The following year, Mackay suspended a footbridge made from hemp rope and cedar planks across the canyon, which was upgraded over the years to what it is today. By 1893, it was a popular destination with locals and eventually it became the tourist attraction that it is today.
Here we are on the bridge. The only bottleneck is all the people trying to take pictures, some of them every 10 seconds. I mean, it is a beautiful setting. So we just take a deep breath and wait. Well yeah, this is us walking on the.
(Robert clears voice) I still don't have my voice back. This is us walking on the famous Capilano Bridge here and yeah, it's pretty long way down. And it bounces a lot. On the other side, they're selling something called Otterballs. I gotta try it.
Check it out, they're like mini pancakes. Let's do the Treetops Adventure. By the way, Otterballs, not necessarily a big fan. It's fine, but I probably wouldn't get 'em again.
These are some pretty massive trees. They almost look like they're California Redwoods. So this is the Treetops Adventure. See how it is. Extreme nature ahead. (dramatic music plays) As you can see, I mean it's not a redwood, but it is pretty massive.
(dramatic music continues) Yeah, it is a pretty long way down. (dramatic music continues) (dramatic music continues) This is very cool, very different. But you know, you have to wait for people to take pictures. (dramatic music continues) There's supposed to be otters here, but I don't see any.
(water gurgles) 250 feet, 76 meters, it's the tallest tree in the forest. 1,300 years. Ooh, let's see what this is. Ooh, birds.
This is a Harris's hawk. - He's 11 years old. He's a pound and a half. He's one of nine that we have in our facility. The female is considerably larger.
(indistinct chatter) - [Robert] Oh, and they have an owl too. They're such fascinating birds. (indistinct chatter) It is a barred owl. Hello there.
Oh, that was really cool, seeing the birds, especially the barred owl. They're such unique creatures, right? He can like, you know, twist his neck all the way around, like, like the girl in "The Exorcist", kind of. Very interesting birds.
(lively music plays) There's the suspension bridge once again and we're gonna get back on it soon. And that's the Capilano River down there. This is such a beautiful area and so close to the city too. (lively music continues) Oh, it is getting really crowded now.
I really hope this bridge does not have a weight limit. (lively music continues) Here we are, heading back. It's even more unstable now. Got more people.
- Keep on holding on. - [Robert] Let's see what this is. (lively music continues) Oh, that's the Cliffwalk down there.
Let's go do it. (lively music continues) Oh yes, it is very narrow and if you have a fear of heights, don't do it. We can see the bridge from here.
Actually, it is a lot less crowded now. Check it out, the cascade. (water rushes) Yeah, yeah, it is a long way down. (lively music continues) Yeah, check that out.
It's a long way down there and that tree almost seems impossible that it can exist there, you know, hanging on to dear life to that cliff. This is very cool. Here we are. (water rushes) Check out that waterfall. (lively music continues) As I usually say, the camera will never do it justice. (water rushes) This one totally looks manmade but still cool.
All right, just for scale, this is me against the tree. Well the whole park, very cool. They have a lot of activities, you know, or information, more like educational, geared towards children and stuff. So it would be a good place to come with the family, but, or, we liked it. And there is live music.
♪ Always gonna chain my heart ♪ ♪ They set me free ♪ ♪ I'm only a sparrow ♪ Live music is always good. (funky electro music plays) Now let's go to a different place, a geographical oddity, and you know I'm really into those. And spoiler alert, for that we have to go back in to the United States of America. I'll let you know soon. (funky electro music continues) Very nice residential neighborhood here. (funky electro music continues) I am totally getting San Francisco vibes from this street right here.
It is about an hour drive to where we're going, this peculiar exclave called Point Roberts, which when they drew the border back in the mid-19th century, the tip of this peninsula found itself south of the 49th parallel. So by treaty it belonged to the United States and that's how it stayed. Here we are at the border crossing. Even though we are now in the US, gas is still priced in liters and they give you both the price in Canadian and US dollars, which reminds me, we have to put gas. (funky electro music continues) Let's begin by going to the southern tip of the peninsula, which is called Lighthouse Marine Park. That's probably the ferry that goes to Victoria, which we want to take.
We've made it to Point Roberts, which is this geographical oddity, if you will, just a piece of the United States trapped at the bottom of this peninsula just because it is south of the parallel. So yeah, let's see. This is the lighthouse trail. I don't think there is a lighthouse, but we'll see. (calm music plays) I wonder what this is. Okay, so that was a remaining piece of the original lighthouse here because that's whatever new that thing is, that's the new lighthouse.
(calm music continues) Such beautiful weather again today. (calm music continues) I think this is as far as we're gonna go. Yeah, it's been a very peaceful stroll, but we're kind of hungry.
And there seems to be one restaurant open in town at this time of the day, which is just, it's 12:30 in the afternoon. We're gonna check it out. It's called the Saltwater Cafe. By the way, this is called the Whale Trail. And rumor has it that sometimes you get to see whale out here.
I mean there is a gentleman with one of those big telescopes gazing at the horizon, so you never know. We might get to see something. Remember the gentleman with the Airstream Argosy we encountered in Alaska? I mean I know it's not the same rig, but what are the chances? These old Argosys are not very common so it is cool to encounter two on the same trip. That's it coming up here on the right. (calm music continues) By the way, most people seem local. I don't think Point Roberts gets much tourism, but I could be wrong.
Yeah, not in Canada anymore. What a unique place, Point Roberts here. We got the Cuban panini. It's a pretty thick Cuban.
Well, it took a little longer than expected but that was tasty. Let's check out the Reef Tavern over there and then we continue. Perhaps we should linger longer next time because the tavern opens when the cafe closes. Monday, Thursday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 4:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday at noon. Here's the view from the beach.
That is such a peaceful place and it being so isolated by the border crossing, crime is nonexistent here. It's been called the best gated community in the USA. And that's the ferry terminal. All right, let's continue.
I guess they open up when the cafe closes. Maybe it's the same owner, for all we know. (rhythmic music plays) There is one more thing we want to see and that is Monument Park, where there is a monument. You'll see it in a minute.
(rhythmic music continues) Well, I've been wanting to come to this place for a very long time. Technically it is illegal for me to cross that yellow little barricade because actually right now I'm standing in two countries at the same time. That over there is Canada and that house, of course, they even have the flag to prove it.
And here we have this sign, and this is the marker. I don't even know if I'm supposed to touch it, but this is exactly the 49th parallel that divides Canada from the United States. And of course this is Point Rogers, Washington and that's, I forget the name of the city, but it's part of British Columbia. And here this is called Monument Park. And actually Starship, that tire might be in Canada and the rest of Starship might be in the United States. And yeah, this is the monument.
This is the monument marking the 49th parallel. Let's check it out up close. This is so cool. Yeah, on June 15th, 1886, Great Britain and the United States of America established the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada.
And that's the reason why Point Roberts exists, because this peninsula, you know, was cut in half by the 49th parallel. Latitude 49. And this is it. (Robert laughs) So yeah, technically right now I'm trespassing into Canada.
Of course, of course, we're gonna go back through the actual border and here's a sign saying, lemme see if I can show you. I can even see the screen. Yeah, "Warning, you are entering the United States without, if you are entering the United States without presenting yourself to an immigration officer, you may be arrested and prosecuted."
Isn't this like the most unique border? Shh, I'm gonna do it. (Robert laughs) Let's go back to Canada. Now we're gonna do something else that is pretty cool. And of course there has to be a pedestrian behind me and you know, making it more difficult for me to perform this maneuver. But I always wanted to, there's a, I believe it is, yeah, Roosevelt Way.
And this is the street, you know, where on the right-hand side we have the United States, and then on the left-hand side we have the backyards of all these rather lavish residences here on the Canadian side. And a lot of them have the Canadian flag to prove it. And I don't know why we don't have like any structures here on the other side of the street, you know, with the American flags. That would be cool. But yeah, isn't that something? Let's drive on this street until the end. I wonder if we can go all the way to the other side of the peninsula.
Imagine the rear fence of your backyard being a border wall. And that's exactly what this is. By the way, we're in a little bit of a hurry to get back because it is Friday. (stirring music plays) So we have a livestream this afternoon. Oh, it says road closed. I guess we're gonna have to turn around, but still, let's see how far it goes.
(stirring music continues) Yeah, this is it. And that is the border crossing right there. All right, let's cross the proper way. (stirring music continues) They really grilled us with questions this time. And look at the line to go into Point Roberts now.
We had to make a last-minute decision because tomorrow we want to visit Victoria. And what we didn't realize is how much driving was involved. It is almost an hour drive to the terminal, and then once you get to Vancouver Island, it is another half an hour drive. So we've made an executive decision and we're going to fly. But that will be on the next episode.
Until then, thank you so much for watching and see you on the road. (mellow synth music plays) ♪ I'm riding ♪ ♪ Riding in my RV ♪