Solitude with Civilization in the Distance: Vancouver’s Stanley Park

Although Vancouver’s Stanley Park is a popular tourist attraction, it is unbelievably easy to uncover peace and solitude among its wooded trails and rocky beaches. After a long day of sightseeing, I find myself needing to step away from the crowds, take a deep breath, and recharge. Miles of wooded trail lead me towards an vacant beach lined with peculiarly stacked rock formations. Although the city skyline is prominent in the distance, it is flanked by an equally impressive skyline of cedar and spruce trees.

Somewhere in this vast park, tourists and locals are dining at The Teahouse, riding a miniature train, and swimming in the public pool. But the only sounds I hear are the ocean waves brushing against the shore, the horn of a barge in the distance, and the shuffling of my feet in the sand. As the sun begins to set, I let my eyes soak up a final image and mentally prepare myself to migrate from nature to civilization. With a twinge of reluctance, I cannot help but notice how the pristine trail back to my Jeep shows no signs of human disturbance.  Stanley Park strikes a nearly perfect balance between the beauty of the city and the beauty of nature. Never have I felt so close to the world around me, but yet so far away.

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