Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada

Stanley Park is very popular in Vancouver, Canada. This park is very large (400 ha). While it has the lawns, picnic tables, civic monuments and gardens that you usually find in a civic park, it also has the wilderness and the ocean. The ocean almost encircles the park and along the shore are sandy beaches and a sea-walk that offers spectacular views. Stanley park is one of the largest inner-city parks on the North American continent and it is a mere 15-minute walk from downtown. It is not advisable to take your car into the park on summer weekends unless the weather is bad. If you do drive around the park, remember that vehicle traffic runs one way, counterclockwise and the same rule is for cyclists too. Park attractions are well marked. The park is a peninsula rimmed by a seawall. The seawall path is clearly divided - one side for pedestrians and the other side for cyclists.

Totem poles represents different BC First Nations.

Girl in a Wetsuit statue. This is similar to the famous mermaid statue in the Copenhagen Harbour.

Lions Gate Bridge marks the halfway point of the walk around the park.

Siwash Rock is a popular stop for cyclists, anglers, walkers and joggers. Picture right is Siwash Rock together with Third Beach when the tide is in.

The seawall, a 8.8 km (5½ mile) paved path along the shore of Stanley Park, is a wonderful bike ride because of the spectacular views. I have noticed that a lot of tourists paid more attention to the traffic then enjoying the view. The seawall is divided in two: one side is for cyclists, the other for pedestrians. The cyclists must ride counterclockwise around the park and must dismount at a few designated busy spots. If you want to ride on the weekends when the park is very busy, you have to be patient and careful. I’m from Serbia but in Vancouver I don’t feel like a tourist, so I don’t use the busy tourists paths. Not only tourists but also Vancouverites avoid going  deep into Stanley Park’s rainforest because they don’t feel safe. People feel more comfortable with others more then being alone in the middle of the wilderness. The natural rainforest in the park has lot of paths that I used a lot  but not anymore because I gave my bicycle away as a present. For the next few winter months I wouldn’t need it and after that I would be going to Serbia anyway.

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