Sunday, 30 October 2011

Capilano Suspension Bridge


The highlight of my trip was a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  The original bridge was built in 1889 and the current one spans 137 M (450 feet) and is 70 M (230 feet) above the Capilano River.  I wasn't sure whether I still had a head for heights ~ my last experience of a suspension bridge was in Europe about twenty years ago.  My main reason for going was not for the bridge itself, but to experience the West Coast Rainforest. 


This sheltered spot offered a late season display of colour.  Hydrangeas have long since faded in my part of Canada.


Approaching the bridge: I was relieved to see that it was not crowded with people.  In my experience, these bridges always move about when there is lots of traffic.


Safely across at at the other side.  I did try to get some photos from the bridge, but they didn't come out well.  On the bus journey to the bridge, we had been told to look out for bald eagles, which fly under the bridge to the salmon pond to fish.  I did see the back of one from a distance and waited on the bridge for a few minutes in the hope of getting a photo, but it did not return.  As it was early morning and the air was damp, I quickly started feeling cold and moved on.


These two photos are views of the Capilano Canyon.  A perspective of the bridge above the river and looking down from the path on the opposite bank.


Although the rushing water was not audible from above, this photo gives an impression of the power of the current rushing over the rocks and creating white water.

The final view looking downstream.  The best is yet to come....next time, a walk in the rainforest.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Vancouver Lookout


My first tourist destination was the Vancouver Lookout.  At 130 metres about the ground, it offers a 360 degree view of the city.  The afternoon had been promising, with bright sunshine, but by the time I arrived, the clouds had rolled in.  I decided to venture up regardless, as I had heard that the rest of the week was forecast to be rainy (it wasn't!)

This photo above shows the BC Place Stadium, which has an inflatable roof.

A modern take on the flat-iron building and the smaller building in the foreground is the Dominion Building, which was constructed in 1910.  At the time, it was the tallest building in the British Empire.  It was built of terra cotta from Burmantofts (Leeds) and polished red granite columns from Glasgow. How strange that I travelled all that distance and discovered a building with a link to Leeds, where I used to work!


Vancouver is also a container port and many containers can be seen after being loaded onto the railway ready for transporting all across Canada. 


The building with the white roof is Canada Place.  The roof was designed to represent five sails.  It looks out on a stretch of water called the Burrard Inlet.

Also on the Burrard Inlet is Deadman's Island; so named because it was a burial ground for the Squamish First Nation, who placed the bones of the dead in red cedar boxes and lashed them to the treetops.

What a great introduction to the city!  I was able to really appreciate my surroundings and see far more than I could have hoped if I had kept both feet firmly on the ground!


Monday, 24 October 2011

View From My Window


This was the view from the window of my hotel room.  It changed constantly as the clouds rolled by and from day to night.  On the evening of the day that I flew home, I actually saw people swimming in the outdoor pool, so must assume that it was heated, as it was a cool evening!



The marina was full of boats of all shapes and sizes and in the mornings, I often heard the float planes taking off.  These offer tourist trips, in addition to doing the mail runs to the more remote parts of the coastline of British Columbia.


My room was in the lower brown building behind the larger boat and the pool was located between that and the tower part of the hotel, right on the waterfront.  I loved the view and watching the changing colours of the mountains in the distance.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Academia


The University of British Columbia was founded in 1908 and it is one of Canada's leading research universities.  The Vancouver Campus is home to almost 40,000 students. 

I arrived early on Thursday morning last week, when I was scheduled to write my exam.  After a  journey of appoximately 4.600 Km (2,900 miles), I didn't want to arrive late and be prohibited from entering the exam.

At that time of the morning, the campus was still quiet and I was able to enjoy the many beautiful buildings and wide avenues that make up the campus.  The mountain backdrop added to the majestic scene and I wondered what it would have been like to have attended UBC as it is known locally, as a student.

The day went as well as could have been expected.  I had the good fortune to meet up with some really nice midwives from other parts of the world, who were all internationally trained, like myself.  We shared lunch and then went out for a meal at the end of the day.  It was lovely to do something relaxing after what has been a stressful few weeks.  And now the waiting begins ~ six weeks is the anticipated time until the results are released, at which time, I will be watching the mailbox with much anticipation.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Vancouver Harbourfront


How could I fail to be impressed by Vancouver?  My first glimpse of the city was as the aircraft circled on the approach and I saw mountains and sea.   

I found my way from the airport via the SkyTrain, which was constructed for the 2010 Olympics.  It dropped me in the heart of the city, but I soon discovered that I would be doing plenty of walking during my visit, as my hotel was some distance from the centre.


After checking in at the hotel, I set out on my first adventure to explore the Harbourfront.  The marinas are full of boats ~ it seems that they don't bother to haul the boats out for winter, as they do not have to deal with severe weather conditions and the harbours don't freeze.

I adored those little houseboats.  How cozy they must be and how I wished that I could see inside!


Looking across towards the northern shore, I glimpsed yet more boats and the beautiful mountains.


Two million dollar yachts are a common sight here.  I suspect that the boat to the left of this photo probably cost somewhere in that region.    I saw a similar one during my visit and it had a for sale sign: asking price, $1.95 million.

Monday, 17 October 2011

From Coast To Coast


Apologies for the picture quality, but these were taken through the window of the airport lounge in Calgary, on my iPhone.  The big adventure began early on Wednesday morning, when I boarded a flight to Vancouver, with a brief stop in Calgary.  This was my first trip out west and I was most impressed by the snow-capped mountain backdrop behind the city skyline.


We were actually only on the ground for a few minutes, but it did give me an opportunity to get out and stretch my legs after the long flight from Halifax.  It was hard to believe, but I was going to see both the east and the west coasts in the same day: only after making such a journey did I have a real perspective of just how vast Canada is and how varied is the scenery.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada. We celebrate the harvest a few weeks earlier than our American neighbours. After a week of stormy weather which featured torrential wind, rain, hail and even snow, the sun finally put in an appearance and the mercury climbed back up to summer!


The welcome return to an Indian summer has everyone smiling and outdoors enjoying what must be the last few days of warm weather before winter sets in. It also made me think that I have a lot to be thankful for. 


We have been in Nova Scotia for two months now and they have been a very busy two months indeed. I know that my blog has been neglected, but that is for a good reason.


I have been settling into my new job and finding my feet: trying to remember all the names and faces is a task in itself and that is just the staff.  Add to this all the women who are in my care and that is a lot of names!  Then there are meetings to attend and new responsibilities as well as being on-call each week.  Maybe you can begin to appreciate that there is a lot happening at the moment.


Oh, I don't think that I mentioned that I have an exam to write on Thursday too! It is a requirement of my licence that I write the national exam and I have been trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to study for it during the last few weeks.


Also, the exam is not being offered anywhere in eastern Canada, so I'm travelling to Vancouver on Wednesday.  The exam is on Thursday and I have Friday and most of Saturday to do a spot of sightseeing before I hop on an overnight flight for my return trip. 


I would like to end this post by saying how much we love Nova Scotia.  There are some fabulous beaches, which are nearly always deserted.  The photos that I used for this post were taken a couple of weeks ago before the stormy weather, but we were also at  a local  beach enjoying a walk on Saturday and there were only two other people there! 

I will try to post more frequently once I have got this exam out of the way and drop by to say hello to all of my loyal followers.  Your comments are much appreciated, especially at times like this when I don't even have time to visit my own blog!

Happy Thanksgiving!