Monday, July 04, 2016

Canada: Calgary, Alberta.

Just a 1.5 hour flight away from Vancouver, Calgary is situated right near the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park. It gets far more snow—and sun—than Vancouver, which I feel makes it quite unique. Despite being near the Rockies, it's quite a flat city. We spent a week here, our longest stay in any of the provinces while we were in Canada. The main reason for this was to spend time with my aunt, uncle and my younger cousin Julien (who is also a photographer and designer), and being with family made this new city feel all the more like home.

I loved walking through the neighbourhood and seeing all the cars and houses covered in thick layers of snow. Everything that is normal to Canadians was a total novelty to me, because the snow and the cold changes everything about daily life. Houses are constructed completely differently to keep out the cold, rather than keep out the heat; when you leave your home you're careful to wear many layers; when you turn on your car you have to warm it up; when you're walking you're watching out for clear ice on the pavement.

On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day we made plenty of time to play in the snow. Bonding with others in the snow is something special in itself. Julien took us to his favourite spot in the neighbourhood for snow-tobogganing (tobogganing, in its most basic form, is lying down on a piece of plastic and sliding down a large hill). Every childhood dream became reality as we made misshapen snow angels, threw snow at each other, walked carefully on a frozen lake, and attempted making snowmen with little success (the snow was far too fresh to stick together and hold shape). The 1st of January 2016 was one-of-a-kind indeed.

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