By Srishti Khemani
Thanks to all you beautiful people who took the time to read part one of my CANA-DREAM
So, In part one, we were exploring Vancouver, English bay, Parks and Downtown. Moving on
the next adventure, towards North of Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb, one of the largest Ski
resorts in North America. Besides skiing and snowboarding, the area offers snowshoeing,
tobogganing and ski jumping at the Olympic Park, a venue for the 2010 Vancouver Winter
Whistler can best be described as a compact, chalet-style pedestrian village at the base of
Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. There are a lot of ways of getting to it. We were trying to find the most convenient, safe and budget friendly way to commute back and forth.
My first step was to google up what exactly I wanted to spend my time on when in Whistler.
There is a lot you can possibly do here. So many spots, lookout points, waterfalls, adventure
parks. The list is endless. Given the limitation of time we had as we were in British Columbia for only 4 days, we did our research and made a wishlist. We then looked up tour operators,
read up reviews, did some cost comparisons on the basis of what we were interested in visiting on the day.
We finally were at a conclusion to go with LANDSEA Tours & Adventures. They had
excellent reviews on Trip advisor, and our experience was pretty spot on. The pick up was from our hotel, the mini bus was extremely well maintained, well equipped and comfortable.
Start of our journey was via Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge.
Wiki “The Lions Gate Bridge, opened in 1938, officially known as the First Narrows Bridge,  is a
suspension bridge that crosses the first narrows of Burrard Inlet and connects the City of
Vancouver, British Columbia, to the North Shore municipalities of the District of North
Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and West Vancouver.
Stanley Park is a 405-hectare (1,001-acre) public park that borders the downtown of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada and is mostly surrounded by waters. “
With beautiful harbour and bay views , we made our way over the mountains to the east. Then the road winds its way north, perched on the side of the Coast Mountains on our right. With a backdrop of forested islands and snow capped peaks, we watch the Howe Sound fjord stretch out on our left.
There was a mini stop- over here at Galileo Coffee Co. Cafe & Roasters, for our caffeine fix for the day. This legendary coffee shop nestled away just off the highway with a view right across the Howe Sound. A must try is any of their fresh-baked scones.
The next stop was Shannon falls. Shannon Falls is the 3rd highest waterfall in BC. The mist of
the falls feels great. We got some truly amazing pictures here.
Next, we were taken through the growing town of Squamish, popularly called the “Outdoor
Recreation Capital of Canada.” Whistler Valley is only minutes away once the mountains plunge low into the river canyon.
Once we got to the Whistler Village, we were on our own for 4 hours.
We were set on going up Blackcomb mountains on the PEAK TO PEAK GONDOLA linking Whistler Mountain's Roundhouse Lodge with Blackcomb Mountain's Rendezvous Lodge. It offers stunning 360-degree views of Whistler Village, mountain peaks, lakes, glaciers and forests. Gondola rides are seasonal, and not included in the price of the tour. It is super safe, very well organised and systematic and the staff is very attentive.
The Gondola starts rising up from the village area, There was absolutely no sign of snow there, just fall coloured trees. As it rises, you see patches of snow, and when the gondola stops at Peak 1, and there is NOTHING BUT SNOW !!! We spent time playing and freezing . I was in tears as this was the first time I was experiencing snowfall in my whole life.
It did not even end here ! We got in the second Gondola, that took us even further up. This ride was so foggy there was no view , we felt we were in a cloud heaven, flying in the sky. The ride ends on the second peak. We played yet again in snow, making snowballs and attacking each other. When we were certain we were frozen inside, we got back on the gondola to head back down.
A photo with the rings is time taking as there will most likely be a cue of other tourists all wanting one .
The next step was to make the most out of the village area. We were given a map of the resort ,highlighting all prime spots. We walked around for about 2 hours and took heaps of pictures.
On our way back , we stopped at the Tantalus Range Lookout, Paradise Valley. The clouds were at our eye level. The Tantalus range is named after its highest peak, Mount Tantalus, that can be seen in all its glory from this lookout on the Sea to Sky Highway.
We also stopped at a campsite around Squamish, very serene and calming for the mind. It looked fully booked with tonnes of RVs parked.
The tour guide ensured we knew where we were the entire time. These pictures below are of
the The Stawamus Chief, Squamish. This is a 700m granite monolith towering over Squamish
that is very popular with hikers, climbers and photographers from all over the world.
The trip concluded with a ride along my personal favourite of all, Lions Gate bridge and then
finally back to our hotel. I wish to go back to whistler again one day. It is simple, very scenic, full of adventure and worth every penny spent.