Any roadtrip should start with good coffee and eggs, exactly how we started ours today. After our 6:30am alarm and eggs with avocado at home we headed for the bus where we met up with Katie & Jebet. Once in Downtown we stopped for a take out coffee from Starbucks then moving on to meet Julie, Rachel and Mackenzie at a parking lot where they were waiting with the hire car. We set off at around 8:10am not really having a solid idea of where we was heading and planning it while we was on the road. We first headed up towards the Sea to Sky highway where we stopped at our only planned destination which was Shannon Falls. Close to the highway, as soon as we stepped from the car you could hear the crashing of water in the distance, a short 10minute walk brought us along the river ending at a viewpoint of the falls. The greenery mixed in with the sound of the wilderness around us made you feel as if you were much deeper into the forest, Shannon falls was impressive but not to our knowledge, better was still to come.
Back in the car we set off again North along the Sea to Sky highway which literally did take you from the sea surrounding the city up into the skies of the mountains. At this point we had set our sights on reaching Whistler, a journey which was a little over an hour, lined with beautiful scenery in every direction you turned. Reaching Whistler we came to realise that there was an international mountain biking event taking place meaning it was very busy and the regular car lots where occupied with stands from the event. This also meant however that we had to park in the upper overflow lots with a free gondola ride down to the village. Almost looking like a movie set Whistler Village was packed with merchants and spectators taking in the overly impressive mountain bikers streaming down the mountains hill tops while also performing a number of defying stunts. After watching this for a few minutes we all headed deeper into the Village in search for a nice cold beer. After having played a major role in Vancouver’s 2010 olympics Whistler is still evidently benefiting & using the success that hosting an olympics can bring.
Olympic Plaza, Whistler
After finding a place for a refreshing beer we struggled through the crowds and decided to head back towards the car to continue onwards with our journey. Although we spent little time in Whistler it still seems like a bustling close knit Skiing village clearly capable of hosting major sporting events, its wide range of international shops, bars and restaurants makes it not only a winter destination but also a lively enjoyable summer break.
Another quick gondola ride back up to the car and we were once again on our way, after some brief traffic getting out of Whistler we allowed the road to lead us to our next destination. With Bear warning signs all around we was truly out in the wilderness, very few cars passed us and we could see nothing but trees for miles out. While driving we came across ‘Alexander Falls’, driving down a long narrow unmade road we came across the viewing platform which was only a matter of metres away from the car lot. This falls was high and far away from us on the other side of a valley, with no noticeable way down to the basin we stood from afar on the cliff edge taking in the shear power this falls was punching.
Back into the car heading a little south to the town of Squamish we stopped to take a short 20minute hike towards Brandywine Falls. The hike was pretty easy, taking us across a bridge then over a railway track that appeared out of nowhere slicing its way through the forest. Being the larger of the three waterfalls we’ve seen today the sound was much more evident with us being able to hear it the whole walk to its base. Its hard to describe a waterfall other than calling it a mass movement of water that falls over an edge, but there certainly is something that draws you in, as you try to spot one patch of water and then follow it all the way down as it collides with the ground partly spraying up in the air to create a cloud of mist. Its quite therapeutic in a way, you would think you could get bored of such a simple concept but the majestic beauty just keeps you locked in, frozen in that space of time.
Seeing Whistler and the three falls took up a good chunk of the day, it was now around 5:30pm so we headed back down the sea to sky highway, with a rain shower overhead I wasn’t surprised when this beautiful city left me speechless again…
Now back in the city me and Filip once again headed into Gastown for some dinner, finding a small restaurant called ‘MeeT’. From the outside and the inside you would never guess that it was a vegan/vegetarian restaurant because it didn’t have the usual aroma that would normally surround one. Its friendly warm atmosphere was very welcoming and topped off the day perfectly as we sat on the patio watching the world go by.