Saturday, July 7, 2012

Whistler Mountain- venue of Winter Olympics 2010

Whistler is a mountain resort 125 km north of Vancouver. It is famous as a ski resort. Most of the events for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics were held in Whistler. People also visit the place during summer for other activities. Our visit was during early summer. Even though it was June, the mountain tops were still covered with snow and it was still very cold at the top of the hill. 
There are buses like Pacific Coach or Greyhound and also tours which runs from Vancouver. We opted to take a 2 day tour from Moose Travel. I quite like the Moose kind of tour. Not only is it suitable for budget conscious people like us, the flexibility of the tour caters for all kinds of travelers. 
The tour costs only $80 per person and includes transportation and one dinner. The driver doubles as a tour guide. There were 8 of us in the tour. Besides the 3 of us, there were a guy from England, four young women, two from Australia one from Netherlands and another from Switzerland. The five of them have not met before the tour. The tour follows the Sea to Sky Highway and the driver stops many times along the way for us to take photographs at scenic spots.

Shannon Falls, a scenic spot along the way.
We even stopped at a supermarket for us to buy our lunch and the next day's breakfast. We had our lunch picnic style at Alice Lake Park along the way.

Alice Lake Park

The other members of our group enjoying their lunch, picnic style.

There were a couple of scenic waterfalls along the way, like the Shannon Falls and the Brandywine Falls.

Brandywine Falls

At the resort in Whistler Village, we had the option of choosing various activities to do during our stay. We chose to take the Peak to Peak Gondola Ride. Its quite pricey though, $51 per person, but we got discounted rates through our guide and it costs only $43 per person.

Whistler Village
The tour fare does not include accommodation. It is actually a good thing because it gives us the flexibility. They automatically book a bed for each of us at the Hostel International Whistler but I booked a separate private room because we didn't want to stay in dorms with shared bathroom. The beds costs $20 per person and the room is $85. The hostel was formerly used for the Olympics athletes and is not only almost new, it is beautiful and absolutely clean. Upon request, they even put in an extra bed in our room for an extra person. Usually non-members need to pay $4 as temporary membership but for Moose travelers, the fee was waived. 

HI Whistler

the common room

computers for you to use if you need to, wifi  is free

There is a bus that takes you to the Village.

The Celebration Plaza where the Olympics Medal presentations were held.

The view on the way up to one of the twin peaks.

Up there, it was pretty cold and there is still lots of snow

At the top, you can take unlimited rides between the two peaks.

They were very thoughtful to provide tissues at the "Sniffle Station"

Another scenic view along the Sea to Sky Highway, en route back to Vancouver

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