Mona Lisa

The Internet provides inspiration to travel around the world.  The pictures provided are just like being there, in some cases, even better than being there.   From our armchair we can appreciate Mona Lisa’s rueful smile and maybe long to see the painting in person.  Sometimes the experience is ‘not exactly’ what we expect.   I want to share our ‘not exactly’ experience.   

It was our first trip to Vancouver, British Columbia  and we had several things  we wanted to see.  We found the only RV park located in Vancouver, unfortunately location was the only good thing about this park.  Picture a drive in movie theater and call it an RV park and you have it.  We got to our site early in the day, once we got tucked into the rather narrow spot we put the awning out and set our lawn chairs under it.  We left the park to look around a bit and when we returned the folks on our left had moved in and their awning was within three inches of our rig and on the other side the people pulled in about four inches from our awning.  We love meeting our neighbors but hearing gesundheit when we sneeze is a little too neighborly.  

Our first adventure was to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park, it was only two miles up the road.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Remember what I said about location?  Originally built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano River. If you’ve  seen pictures of this spectacular Suspension Bridge you know it sits in a beautiful rainforest setting.  The bridge is impressive, most of the pictures show one or two people casually crossing the bridge like they are window shopping on the Champs Elysees.  They are enjoying the dazzling views and peeping over the edge to get the feel for the height.  We were really looking forward to sauntering across the bridge and taking lots of pictures.

This turned out to be one of our first ‘not exactly’ experiences, where expectations and reality were two very different things. The park was teaming with tourists, some enjoying the totems and reading about the history of the park, some just relaxing listing to music from an earlier culture.  Then there was a large group of people milling around waiting their turn to cross the bridge. The bridge was packed with people four abreast trying to walk both directions, or in the case of small children, jump up and down like kangaroos.  It is difficult to walk on a suspension bridge when it is both swaying and undulating up and down like some kind of writhing snake. Folks couldn’t seem to choose a side to walk on so they switched back and forth from one side to another against two way traffic.  A dose of dramamine isn’t a bad suggestion before tackling this bridge experience.   We heard a few people on the far side of the gorge asking docents if there was an alternate return route.   Hint: there isn’t. 

Crossing the gorge on the writhing bridge was the only way to enjoy the treetop nature trail on the other side.  The Nature Trail was a delight winding through the trees up to 100 feet above the forest floor. The trees are magnificent in this whole area,  pines, red cedars, fir trees, and many we didn’t recognize, some were over a hundred years old and more than two hundred feet tall.  It was spectacular. There were several smaller suspension bridges through the evergreens. The nature walk is something you don’t want to miss, but you gotta cross the bridge to do it.  

We spent quite a bit of time on the nature walk and thankfully, the crowd had thinned out considerably for the return trip on the bridge. Those pesky, jumping kids were all at the snack bar, so the adults managed to keep the bridge sway to a reasonable level.  It crossed my mind on the first trip to wonder if this bridge had a weight limit.  I mean even elevators have weight limits, how many today’s super sized people can  a suspension bridge handle at one time?    

The Cliff Walk is another special feature of this park.  The cantilevered walkway clings to the granite cliff high above Capilano Canyon.  The walkway crosses over a  glass platform that curves out over out gorge.  That first step out into space is a little scary but well worth the shaky legs.  

Just like Paul Harvey promised you can read the rest of the story:…-and-oregon-2014/ This looks like one of the times the magic won’t work, if this link isn’t ‘hot’ just go Home, Travel Adventures and scroll down through the table of contents to chapter 33.  Really you will enjoy it!

Snow in Utah, fires in Washington, waterfalls in Montana, Road to the Sun in Glacier National Park, the National Bison Range, North Cascade National Park, Bend Oregon, and Bluegrass at Medical Lake.  

Go ahead click it, we love it when you travel with us.

Suspension Bridge – Not Exactly

Mona Lisa – Not Exactly



4 replies
  1. Geoffery Seaver
    Geoffery Seaver says:

    I have seen photos from a photographer who likes to show beautiful places that are swarming with tourists. It might make you rethink visiting some of these places. The south rim of the Grand Canyon was very busy between 9 am and 3 pm when all of the buses dropped off the day trippers. The difference outside of these hours was amazing.

    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      You two have done a lot of traveling and seldom complain about the crowds so you must be choosing the right places to see.


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