A couple of weeks ago I was given two free passes to the Canyon Lights at North Vancouver’s Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Naturally, my BFF Trina was on top of the list to ask and she was all for it. We headed out on an early Sunday eve, catching the free shuttle that they offer year round. We boarded the shuttle bus (a very comfortable motor coach) at its initial stop at Canada Place. It then wound its way around to various hotels in the city centre before heading through Stanley Park, onto the The Lion’s Gate Bridge and finally into North Vancouver. Our driver not only ensured that we arrived safely to the park but also informed of us some interesting tidbits about The Lion’s Gate Bridge (it was originally built by the Guinness company) and how the suspension bridge came to be. 

Lights and Totems

Thirty minutes later we were entering the park. The air was crisp and clean with scent of pine. A brisk night, I was happy I decided to wear my long johns and chose my thick scarf. We were met by a symphony of lights twinkling and illuminating the space before us. Children raced from display to display of bright LED lights in white, red, blue and green. Park visitors snapped photos of one another in a classic red sleigh just as we did. Along the paths we saw First Nations totems, more lights and eventually the suspension bridge itself. Towering beside it was the enormous 154 ft Christmas tree that was hard to miss.  In front of the large gift shop a trio played holiday songs that filled the evening air. It was all so glittery. We stepped onto the bridge with a bit of trepidation as it was a bit slick from the ice, soon, however we were walking (or bouncing) along with ease, noticing how black the canyon below us was. With the tree and bridge lights illuminating our way, we crossed the bridge and explored the next phase of the park. The boardwalk around the small frozen pond had globes of light dangling from
branches above and Christmas trees and reindeer made of wire and light surrounded us. We saw a 1300 year old tree and gave it a hearty hug.

After touring the pond we started the Tree Top Canopy. Made up of miniature suspension bridges with lookouts between trees, we admired the white lights that shone like stars. I attempted to take photos with my sad, barely working point-and-shoot camera with only minor success. I knew my flash was not very strong and the lights were only specks in the dark sky but I attempted it anyway. We wound our way above the ground, through the trees and finally back to the boardwalks. Another pass across the bridge and to the Cliffwalk. This is where my nerves set in. It did not bother me one iota to cross the wood and rope suspension bridge that spanned a deep canyon while it bounced with every step. Perhaps because the dark below it appeared endless. Yet, one foot on this concrete and securely built walk with chest-high railings and my stomach began to churn. I did not understand why my fear of heights set in then. Was it because the coloured lights at the base highlighted not only the Cliffwalk, the rain forest vegetation but also the rocky and treacherous terrain and swiftly flowing river? Possibly that, although protected, I viewed it as a ledge? Or some other ridiculous reason? Whatever it was I was glad to have my feet on terra firma once that aspect was done. Incredible as it was to see it was uneasy. To calm my butterfly stomach (none of this even fazed Trina) we headed to concession stand. We ended our bright lights tour with tasty hot chocolate and Bailey’s. Yum!

**All photos in this post were taken by and owned by me.

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