Wednesday, June 6, 2018

ALASKA TRIP-MAY 2018 - MET PEOPLE FROM ZIMBABWE AND GROUSE MOUNTAIN

I will add this on every post, just to let anyone who doesn't know, that we are actually back home.  I am now sharing my journal from the beginning of May.  If you want to see all the posts written so far, you can click on the label below this post entitled, Alaska Trip-May 2018.

At our hotel downtown.
May 9th, 2018.  



4.29 p.m. and we are back in our room after having another fun day.  We started our day by going for breakfast at a restaurant not too far from the hotel.  




It was a great place.  The owners were originally from Zimbabwe, had lived in South Africa for many years, and then moved to Canada.  

They decided to open this restaurant only a year ago and have just celebrated their first anniversary.  They were lovely people and we chatted during our stay.  


Everyone ordered the same basic breakfast, bacon and eggs, sausage or bacon, mushrooms, a slice of tomato and toast, but there was a lot more on the menu to choose from.  Wish I could have tried the crepes but this was a one time stop as we would soon be leaving town.
I can highly recommend it if you are in the area.  It is not a fast food place.  I have nothing against fast food but it was a lovely change going into a mom and pop restaurant.  

Loved the artwork on the walls. 

You can find Barbara and Dave's (the owners) website here.  Its address is 1093 Marine Drive, North Vancouver, BC V7P 3M6.  And no, they had no idea I was going to give them a review on my blog, and there were no freebies.  I just like to give a shout-out to those places we enjoy.  Great stop!

From here we drove to Grouse Mountain.

Our plan today was to take a gondola ride to the top, though I understand intrepid hikers walk up and walk down.  Grouse Mountain is only about 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver.  

You can read its history if you click on the lettering in red above.  In short, how it got its name was from the time the first recorded hikers reached its summit in October 1894. Back then it would have taken someone three or four days to reach the top.  

Along the way they hunted Blue Grouse.  There were many on the mountain, and that's how it got its name, Grouse Mountain.  In 1949 it had the world's first double chairlift. These little snippets came from the link above, and you can read their time line of history there also. 

There was a lot of snow up there and it was very cold. It also rained briefly.  I should have worn a coat. It's been a long time since I have been in high mountains and though I had one back in the car, it wasn't helping me up here.  Lesson learned and a good reminder, when the temperature is milder down below, high in the mountains it can get decidedly nippy!

There were several impressive carvings along our walk, and all very large.  The two here were way over our heads, as were others we passed.
There was a café, gift shop and something that interested us particularly, a grizzly bear enclosure.  We knew we were on the right path when we saw the paw prints, although I think this photo was taken when we were heading back, judging by the direction of those prints.

The two we saw were sleepy, having just come out of their 17th hibernation.  In fact one popped his head up briefly and gave us an enormous yawn...
and look at those pads and claws?
This enclosure apparently is temporary as their much larger home was being updated next door.  I couldn't help but feel sorry for them, not being able to roam free but their stories tell why that isn't possible.

Grinder was found in 2001 in Invermere, BC, wandering alone on a logging road, weak with dehydrations and very, thin, weighing not even 10 lbs.  His mother was never found, so he lives his life here at the top of Grouse Mountain.

The same year Coola was found on a highway near Bella Coola, B.C.  His mother had been killed by a truck and of her three cubs, Coola, was the only one to survive.  Apparently he enjoys letting Grinder take the lead and can often be found submerged up to his neck in the large pond.  You can read about the bears here.

We were only on the mountain for a couple of hours, time to have a cup of coffee and a look around the gift shop after we visited with these beautiful bears.  On our way down we were packed like sardines inside the gondola.  


Wanting to find out where we needed to go the next day, Gregg took us to where we would be boarding the ship. We parked the car using one of those meters I mentioned before, when we visited Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Garden a few days previously.  They can be found all over the city.

It was fun to walk around, and hard to believe we will be sailing tomorrow.  The one below is not ours, but one that had left by the time we got there the next day.

Our way back to the hotel Gregg took us through Chinatown, but there was no energy left to do more than drive through.  It was very interesting looking at all the store fronts.  

We returned to the hotel, had another nice meal with our niece and nephew, and then went to bed.  It's going to be a big day tomorrow.





24 comments:

  1. Love that those beautiful bears have a safe home. So much.

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    1. Me too, in fact we saw others in other places too, which I will share later.

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  2. Loved this post and how I wish I could go to that restaurant. I would love to sit and chat with more Zimbabweans, I am biased but they are I think the best people in the world :-) Good the bears are being looked after if not in the wild. Keep well Diane

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    1. How lovely that you feel that way Diane. They were a super nice couple. I feel the same way about the bears.

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  3. I love the stories about the bears. Thank goodness there are folk who will take care of them. This was an exceptionally good holiday, Denise. Definitely a wish-I-was there sort of vacation.

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    1. Happy about that Valerie. And I do feel grateful for all the dedicated and kind-hearted people who take care of these displaced, amazing animals. I know what you mean, this was a once-in-a-lifetime holiday for us but how I would love to do it all over again.

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  4. What a cool looking trip. I had a friend that took a cruise to Alaska and loved it. Several folks have told me that is the cruise to take. My brother went to Alaska, not sure where several yrs ago to photograph eagles. Beautiful shots! Yep...photography runs in the family..haha

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    1. Thanks Pam, I can say from experience, that it was incredible. Alas, I did not get any good shots of eagles. People kept telling me that it was because we were a little too early for the salmon running. My sister-and-brother-in-law went on a king crab fishing trip however, and when the skipper and his crew threw fish over the side, they descended out of the trees in the dozens. So they were around.

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  5. beautiful bears, scary claws, love the statues and the chef painting is wonderful. your trip was just perfect

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    1. Thanks Sandra, agree on everything.

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  6. Another lovely day of sightseeing!

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    1. Thanks Christine, it certainly was.

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  7. The bear shots are incredible. It does sound that they're being well taken care of.

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    1. Thanks William, they certainly were and I forgot to mention that their regular enclosure was 5 acres.

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  8. you will always be so happy you documented this trip in this way, this journal will be fun to look back on. there are so many details here that you may not remember had you not written them all down!!

    i enjoyed breakfast, that sure was a lot of food and the restaurant looks so cute. you rode the gondola?? i'm not sure i could do that without being frightened. those wood carvings are awesome!! and the bear, he's pretty awesome too!!

    looking forward to tomorrow!!!

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    1. Hi Debbie, I totally agree with you. We often go over my past vacation journals and it brings us a lot of enjoyment in even the smallest details. I have another gondola story but that comes in a later post. I loved the bear very much, they are gorgeous animals and I am always impressed with the talent of one who can carve these incredible wooden sculptures.

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  9. You really made the most of your time in the Vancouver area before you left on your cruise!

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    1. Hi Ellen, we saw as much as we could. It is a great city!

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  10. The rescue bears seem pretty comfy and relaxed ... I wouldn't want to tangle with those paws though! It's so nice seeing a world I'm familiar with from your perspective. So much to take in and so little time but you did really well. :)

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    1. Yes, those paws and claws are scary looking up close (on the computer screen anyhow, that is about as close as I got) even if the bear looked sleepy, cute and cuddly.

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  11. I would love to take that trip up the mountain!

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    1. I would enjoy another ride up there.

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  12. Wat a great selection of photographs you've shared, just love the bear shots.
    The basic breakfast sounds great too!

    All the best Jan

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    1. I am happy you enjoyed them Jan, all the best to you too.

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