Just a brief reminder – the forthcoming 2010 Olympics will partially take place in Whistler, one and a half hour drive from Vancouver. There I’ve already been twice, one time in winter, and once in fall when the first snow was just about to cover that gorgeous village land.
First time, in winter, the weather in Vancouver was awful: drizzly and foggy, and in contrast, tons of snow covered Whistler with a slightly minus temperature. That created a feeling of a really first-class place, m-m-m, like in Europe probably? They say, Whistler is one of the most well known resorts of the kind and one of the most expensive ones in North America. There are three major lifts – big and small ones, and all of them will take you far away to the tops of mountain ranges hidden under the clouds. The coolest lift costs somewhat 80 bucks, and you can use it for the whole day. One night it the motel/lodging is unfortunately not of the cheapest ones either, so they recommend booking a room in advance.
The second time I went to Whistler was in the middle of October, and the forecast was predicting the snowfall within next three days. Well, there was already some snow lying on the streets. I liked the cool guys on mountain bikes: they were riding down the hill and the lift would haul them atop again and again. They were all in mud and dirt, thus their way down was harsh and thorny. If you don’t have your own bike, you may rent or buy one right at the spot. Well, a couple of weeks more, and the ‘tough guys on bikes’ will be replaced with gentle and elegant skiers.
What to do in Whistler if you don’t ski or bike? There is a 20 minutes ride up onto the summit of the Mt. Whistler inside gondola (about 2000 m) and the view from there is really breathtaking. The accident occurred when we were coming down – something in the computerized system happened and we stopped right in the midst of the precipice. Jeez! And I am with two kids. Do you move an arm and the gondola car starts to wobble. Well, we stayed like that, being hung on the metal rope for about an hour. It was getting dark and cold, and the fog was descending. There were no people in the adjusting cars, so we were left all to ourselves. And then all of a blue the rope stretched out, the car jerked and started its slow movement. Oh, God! It was like taking a heavy burden off my heart…
All right, all is well that ends well… We are at the end of our descend now, and all the staff including managers and technicians is welcoming us. “Are you guys OK?” What else could they say? “Uh-ha,” that’s all I could mumble, “You guys have raised the admission fee, yet you don’t care about the maintenance!” “Oh, we are so sorry. Please accept our best apologies and these free coupons for the Mongol Grill restaurant, monsieur…” Accept them I sure did, but my knees were still shaking after spending one hour almost in the open space, when the solid ground was barely three hundred meters below. They apparently took me for a French: I didn’t discourage them. And the ticket for this gondola tour for an adult is $ 25, but better check their prices at http://www.tourismwhistler.com/to_do/mountains/sightseeing.asp. There is also a waterfall attraction called Brandywine just 11 km from the Whistler Village, and it’s worth seeing, as well.
In the Whistler Village there are numerous boutiques, shops, etc., and of course restaurants and pubs, but the prices are biting. Sure, we visited this Mongol Grill. It was so good that I forgot our small adventure in the mountains…
To get to Whistler takes about an hour and a half in a car.
And stay with us,