After four laid-back days of eating, drinking, and sleeping on Vancouver Island, it was time to go to Vancouver city and get some exercise again. To get there, we took our third ferry of the week from Nanaimo to Tsawwassen. Once in Vancouver, even before dropping our luggage at our hosts for the night, Emily had to get a fix for her serious sushi addiction. So unsurprisingly, as soon as we hit the shore, we rushed to an all you can eat sushi joint. There we met up with Emily’s aunt and cousin and stuffed ourselves to the brim with very mediocre, but great value sushi. This all happened in such a scurry, that neither of us had the time to even take a picture or register the name of the sushi restaurant.

With our stomachs seriously hurting, we left the restaurant and after some window shopping at MEC, we made it to our hosts of the night. For two nights, we would sleep at another of Emily’s friend’s parents’ house. While enjoying some wine and good conversations on both law school and geology, we had some more food. It was also at this point that we got introduced to the true cult of Vancouver: the Grouse Grind.  We were invited to join Tony, our host, the next day on this infamous 2.9 km steep climb up 853 m over 2,830 steps. True Vancouverites time their ascents and do some stretching before they commence. We did neither. So we left Tony to his stretching and got on with it. We didn’t run, but Laurent got jolted enough by all the race mentality around him, that he was determined to reach the top before Tony would overtake him. He succeeded. Thousands of people do this climb weekly and check in poles have been installed, so that people with a Grouse Grind membership can time their laps exactly. This membership also lets you ride the cable car down for free (due to safety reasons you cannot descend the Grind by foot). We had to pay CAD $10 to go down and then waited a bit for the morning fog to clear up and offer a view over the city. It never really did, though one gust of wind blew away some of the clouds and we got a quick peek over the city and the bay.

The cult of the Grouse Grind

We made it!

View from the top of Grouse Mountain

Down at the waterfront

Eventually we got hungry from our work out and decided to go down. We went to get some sushi. Instead of quantity, we picked quality this time around. A regular bus and water shuttle later, we sat down in Miku Sushi at the waterfront for some Aburi (flame seared) sushi. It was fantastic (and still quite reasonably priced during lunch). We ate this without soy sauce since each piece was exquisitely balanced in flavour, and the portion was perfect.

So good

Very content

So we did the Grouse Grind and had sushi; now the only Vancouver must-see we hadn’t done yet was Stanley Park. This Park was only an half hour walk next to the waterfront away, so we decided to visit.  We saw the famous totem poles, took a picture, and went back to our hosts. Vancouver was good to us, but it was time to go back to the Rockies.

Totem poles at Stanley Park

Vancouver skyline