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Vancouver is Completely Fogged

No I am not talking about the insanity of Vancouver’s real estate… the entire city was enveloped by fog for the past 3 days

I’ve been real lazy lately with photography/maintaining this website but I’ve literally waited an entire year for the fog to roll in (for a specific Vancouver skyline photograph).  I packed my camera gear, threw them in the trunk, and embarked on a journey to North Vancouver during rush hour for sunset photos in the fog.

Some readers may question my judgement of 1) willingly driving across bridges in Vancouver rush hour, and 2) you can’t see the sunset during foggy conditions.  I will reassure these readers that I am not a complete idiot because I can fully defend my photography rationale, but at the same time I am also a dimwit for driving during rush hour in Vancouver.  My grand photography idea was to drive up Cypress Mountain to the Cypress Bowl Lookout (in my opinion one of the best viewpoint of downtown Vancouver) where I would be above the fog… and hopefully the top of buildings/Lion’s Gate Bridge would protrude through the fog… basking in the golden sunset light.

“life is hard and full of disappointment” – Famous author John Green… would be an accurate assessment of my photography journey (P.S. I didn’t read any of John Green’s romantic novels but he is a hilarious personality on YouTube).  It was 3:30 PM when I left the house and what would normally be a 40-45 minute drive took an hour and twenty minutes (which really wasn’t too bad) and I missed the sunset by mere minutes… which didn’t matter because even though I was above the fog it was so thick that the entire downtown was engulfed and everything was just… white (like a really bad pneumonia on chest X-ray).

I waited for another 15 minutes at the lookout and once darkness started to set in Vancouver surprised me yet again.  Even though it was completely covered with fog Vancouver’s lights diffused through the thick fog with patches and streaks of colorful illumination… like watercolor across a blank white canvas.  It was like a static aurora borealis that sat beneath me!  As a bonus my cheap new-ish zoom lens was able to capture some tall buildings (maybe in Burnaby?) peaking through the fog in the distance!  I imagined a specific photograph in my mind and I left with a completely different capture… I guess that’s just life in general.  One day I will get that elusive photograph the way I envisioned perfectly… I hope.

P.S. #1  It took me 2 hours to get back home which was stupid, I showed up to my rec league playoff match at half time!

P.S. #2  I love North Vancouver as many of my photographs/hikes are from there (Lighthouse Park, St. Mark’s Summit, Stawamus Chief, etc)… I even pondered about moving to North Vancouver but that idea was quickly squashed due to these traffic nightmares!

P.S. #3  We won our playoff match and we advanced to the finals!  (I did my usual contribution to the team’s success… which was minimal lol)

 

Parliament Building BC sunset

Victoria: the Quaint Picturesque Capital

Since having my second child I’ve put my hobbies on hold (thus this website still seem like a work in progress haha) and I’ve been MIA for the past 2 months or so.  My wife and I grew up in Victoria and most of our families still call Victoria home… On our most recent trip back home I was able to sneak out for an evening photo session with just me and my trusty D7000 (luckily the weather god was on my side too!).

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia while Vancouver is the biggest and most well known city (I worked in the tourism industry throughout high school and it seemed like a significant portion of tourists assume Vancouver as the capital of BC).  Victoria is not connected to the mainland of British Columbia so in order to get there one must travel 1) by sea (BC Ferries: Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay)  or 2) by air (Helijet or other float planes departing from downtown Vancouver).  Most commoners like myself choose option 1 and it takes around 3 hours to get from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria (check ferry schedule here).  I highly recommend taking your own vehicle as public transit in Victoria is… sub-optimal.

Most tourist attractions in Victoria are within walking distances from each other and they are clustered around “Inner Harbor” with the exception of a beautifully curated garden called “the Butchart Gardens” (where I spent an entire summer selling flower seeds from its gift shop so you probably won’t find me there anytime soon, or ever… but it is worth a visit IMHO).  Victoria is absolutely stunning visually anytime of the year but I would visit during spring/summer because that’s when its tourist charm is at its peak… don’t worry even at peak tourist season Victoria is still a small city and parking/traffic is still negligible when compared to any major cities.  At the end of the day if you have a couple days on your itinerary Victoria really is a must-visit (2 days 1 night should be sufficient as it is a small city after all)… but be forewarned, when the speed limit says 40 km/hr Victorians really drive below 40 km/hr.

Quick random thoughts: Consider visiting the Parliament Building, the Empress Hotel for its famous afternoon tea if that is your thing, and the Royal Museum nearby.  Also consider visiting the inner harbor during evenings (summer time only) for some truly talented street performers.  Take a casual stroll through Government Street and downtown nearby (for a quick cheap bite consider “Red Fish Blue Fish” for some tasty fish and chips/chowder by the water).  Visit Butchart Gardens either on the way to Victoria or on the way back to the ferries (2 hrs should be sufficient unless you are  a garden/flower aficionado).  Skip Undersea Gardens unless you really love the opportunity to maybe spot an ordinary octopus…