Capilano Suspension Bridge–The Jane-Tarzan moment

A throwback on another Canada visit, way back in the Spring of 2012, when the ‘Rain City’ Vancouver is painted pink with Cherry Blossoms and the environs a nature delight, we did the usual touristy places…Stanley Park and the Seawall, Granville Island, Gastown (where I was stalked by a druggie wanting money and was showered by four letter expletives when I ducked inside a gift store and waited her out), China Town, the iconic Central Library, the beaches and parks and not to leave out the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

On first look the steel cable Capilano Suspension Bridge comes across as a fragile, unconvincing contraption across the frothing waters of Capilano River. I was to change my mind once on the bridge holding onto the sides, a companions hand or any one else nearby when the human mass made it sway dangerously side to side over the rocks and roaring waters surrounded by a dense rainforest..

Once across it was not so ‘dangerous’ and the 136 meters long and 70 meters Bridge did justice to the tags – strong, stable, sturdy, firm, durable, powerful and constant.

The bridge was originally made of hemp ropes and cedar shake boards and called “The Laughing Bridge”. I suppose it was due to the sound the wind made as it strummed on the hemp ropes. The property changed hands and it was in 1889 that steel cables replaced the hemp ropes by the new owner and officially opened in 1904. The Bridge was reconstructed in 1914 and the present bridge of two single strands of steel cable strung across the canyon and affixed on the opposite ends is a major tourist attraction of Vancouver.

The refreshing rainforest setting with trees, sometimes 100 feet above the ground, provides another exploratory ramble, the Treetop Adventure, with 7 suspension bridges connecting the evergreen trees.

It certainly brings out the Tarzan and Jane in you and it is the restraining presence of tourists that stops you from swinging from the gigantic trees and be content with a bird’s view of the sprawling forest park.

Another cliff hanger is the Cliffwalk, the cantilevered and suspended walkway, in some places only glass, protruding out from the granite cliff face above Capilano River. This 700 ft. long and 300 ft. walkway provides the thrill of heights gift wrapped with a panoramic view of the forest and canyon. I missed out on the pictures as I was too intimidated by the cliff-hangar to go anywhere near it.

Preferred the more sedate pleasure of viewing the First Nation’s Totem Poles displayed at the Totem Park, the region’s natural history exhibits and later to relax amongst profusion of flowers from their original habitats.

There are gift shops and restaurants and never-ending line of tourists for further entertainment. The Park is a natural playground with outdoor attractions and educational tours, the Capilano Salmon Hatchery and not to forget the scenic Skyride gondola to the the Grouse Mountain and a bird’s eye view of the city.

City Vignettes

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