I hate to think of such an overused cliché but goodness me! Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?
In a couple of days’ time I will be celebrating a month since arriving in the beautiful city of Calgary and yet it only feels like a moment ago that I was taking off from Gatwick on a miserable summer’s day. Nevertheless so much has happened in that time frame that I think I’m going to struggle to tell you all about it! Apart from the numerous and understandably important tasks involved in settling in; getting a bank account, a mobile number and adjusting to a new university lifestyle etc., it’s safe to say that I’ve spent a lot of my ‘free’ time being a super-cringey tourist. I’ve armed myself with a new camera and a list of things to do. I’ve attempted to tick off as many stereotypically Canadian and Calgarian activities as possible (as well as some of the not so obvious ones as well).
At least that has been my intention: to do as much stuff as possible before the weather goes all apocalyptic (or so I’ve been told countless times by frost-hardened Albertans). Under British standards I think it already has… never in my life did I think that I’d experience snow in September, preceded and followed straight after by highs of 24°C. But I digress, back to the topic at hand, what have I discovered from my exploration of Calgary so far?
What I’ve learnt is that this wonderful, clean and efficient city is young and brimming with potential (a point in fact emphasised quite literally by the sheer amount of building work going on; cranes moving from horizon to horizon). It is in the process of making its own history. Creating a legacy. I can’t wait to watch it grow. I love this place!
So what made me come to such a soppy revelation after less than a month of living here?
Well let’s put all that gushy, sentimental stuff aside and I’ll get down to the nitty-gritty. This innovative city and the polite, welcoming people who inhabit it, make this place awesome! I’ve been to the top of Calgary tower, clumsy with vertigo, and gazed down at the ants below me and at the blue silhouettes of the Rockies looming in the distance. I’ve been awestruck by the beautiful Bow Building, one of the tallest buildings in Canada. I attended Calgary’s alternative music festival, X-Fest, to listen to the likes of Jack White and Death Cab for Cutie and found it to be possibly one of the most civilised music events I’ve ever attended (which gave me a great insight into Calgarian social etiquette). I’ve wandered across the stunning Peace Bridge to find myself interviewed by a Canadian folk singer, stumbled upon an impromptu rap and street art event in Kensington and drank bubble tea from Chinatown in Prince’s Island Park. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…
So far I’ve tried to get out there and explore as many aspects of the city as possible; the nightlife, the parks, the cuisine, the shops, the culture. And hopefully in the next few months I can tell you more about each of these things as I explore further and travel wider. I also want to tell you all about the University of Calgary because, sometimes I forget that I’m not just a tourist, I’m also an exchange student! I’m getting deeply involved in the UofC way of life and I desperately want to give you an insight into the fabulous opportunities and facilities this university has to offer. Studying in Calgary offers you complete mental and physical wellbeing. At least that’s what I’m saying now whilst it’s still warm outside!
I’ll keep you posted about my antics soon enough,
Best wishes from sweet Canada,