Previous Trips – Canada

21 May

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I’d already been in Canada for a while when Josh came over – I had decided to visit my friend and spend some time with her before her wedding and despite my luggage having been lost for a week, I had had a pretty great time catching up with extended family and friends. My own family from Australia had even come over for a holiday.

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Josh arrived looking a little dazed and confused (can’t wait to see how he looks after our 25 hour flight to London) and went straight to bed. We had just one day together before my family parted ways, and Josh and I were on our way to the wedding 4 hours north of Calgary. It was a beautiful drive, complete with flat yellow fields of canola and a skunk crossing the road. It was a blur of yelling, swerving all over the road and flinging the wedding dress out the window to air before the smell to hit and us and we realised what had happened. My friend became like a mad women and refused to slow down in case the dress caught any of the smell. The day after the wedding we caught a life back to Calgary and despite the skunk being long gone, the smell still lingering over the spot on the road.

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Vancouver was next, and it really is beautiful, especially in the summer (can’t imagine the hostility in winter), full of well-designed buildings, leafy streets and the city centre is surrounded by deep dark green water, which is far more visually stunning than it sounds. We spent our days renting bikes and riding around Stanley park, visiting the aquarium, which is pretty impressive and getting engaged. Yup, clever Josh had been eating rice for the month I’d been in Canada just so he could propose.

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Stanley Park in itself is worth the trip – 400-hectares of green oasis, it’s Vancouver’s “local urban park”, because that’s how they roll. The Seawall goes right the way around the park, and you can rent bikes and spend the day exploring the beaches, wildlife and even some incredible structures called Inukshuks. Apparently these rock formations were used by the Inuit among other people of the Artic and were used as navigation or markers for travellers to signify safe or dangerous roads ahead as well as food and shelter. Our good friends Daryn and Mandy had put us up while we were there and they gave us an emerald Inukshuk as an engagement gift which I will treasure forever.

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Once we were back in Calgary, we rented a car and took daily drives away from the grey cookie cutter city (and Kirsty can say that because she lived there for a year) an hour north to the towering mountains and crystal blue lakes in the Rockies, and spent plenty of time in Banff eating some amazing food – no photographs will ever do the whole area justice, and a visit is the only way you’ll truly understand the magic of those mountains.

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