I have been living in Vancouver for the last 6 months and I must say that it is truly one of the most beautiful, colorful, naturally diverse cities in the world. But enough about Vancouver, I want to write and share my travel experience of visiting small, hidden places (usually not so touristic) around Vancouver, which are absolutely amazing and to get to those places you usually need only public transportation and an hour or two of your timeJ
Lets start with the island in North part of Vancouver called Bowen island (or as I like to call it sleepy island because of its easy, laid- back vibe). The island is situated between North Vancouver and Vancouver island in the Pacific ocean. It is a very small island (you need only half an hour by car to cross it) with the population close to 3000 (or so I heard from the locals). Ferry ride takes you from Horseshoe bay in an half an hour beautiful scenery ride to a Snug cove(I love the naming of places here).
Once you arrive on the island, you can do lots of things, depending on the season: from kayaking, hiking or just casually walking around the island. I went there in August 2014 with two friends and we decided to take a hike to Killarney lake inside the island. Of course we had our bus passes but we could not find the bus stop and soon we found out about islands hospitality. Bus came out of nowhere (I could swear it was hiding in the forest somewhere) and kind bus driver took as to a certain point from where we could hike to a lake. While he was driving he also put himself into a tour guide role so we found out that the island is pretty small, quiet, forested (at least 60 % of it) and populated by mostly young families.
From the lake we decided to just stroll around the island and ended up joking how are we going to do that with no buses around. So we decided to hitchhike and almost died laughing when we saw an actual sign Lift stop and a song under it. So we did exactly that and ended up on a hill somewhere above Snug cove with a view on the ocean (although the first car apologized for not stopping because he was only going to recycle his garbage, hilarious!).
Lady who picked us up said that if we were lucky enough, we could see some whales too (unfortunately that did not happen or maybe we were just a bit impatient?).
After a pleasant hitchhiking experience we returned to Snug cove, played some frizbee on the grass, drank a beer in local tavern and slowly left the laid back island to return to our busy lives in Vancouver.
- Ferry ride ticket price: 11 $ (return, including tax.)
- You can find ferry departures online: http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/mainland/biva-current.php?scheduleSelect=sch05151401.html
- Shops and taverns are open all weekdays and weekends
- Every weekend in the summer there is a Bowen island market festival (mostly local food and drinks) and also lot of activities for children