Last weekend I had the most Canadian weekend you could ever imagine!
Queen’s University have an Outdoors Club who run trips all year round to a number of parks in North America to give members a real Canadian adventure. This time the trip was to the Algonquin Provincial Park, where the leaves are the most vivid shades of red and orange at the moment – the scenery was beautiful! The park is full of completely still lakes and quietly flowing rivers, and the whole weekend we saw only 4 or 5 other humans who weren’t in our group! What we did see lots of, though, was chipmunks! They were everywhere! Of course I really wanted to see a moose; Although apparently it’s the height of the mating season at which time they’re even more dangerous to humans than bears!
Our group of 12 covered 18km by canoe over the weekend, an experience I’ve never really had in the UK. We then camped by a small waterfall and by some minor miracle managed to start a campfire with a few damp twigs and a tampon! We roasted marshmallows and even made s’mores (melted chocolate and a roasted marshmallow sandwiched between graham crackers). Dressed in plaid shirts we sang campfire songs and had an initiation ceremony involving drinking maple syrup. Even the car we rented to transport us and the canoes was a Dodge!
Aside from the intensely Canadian weekend just been, I’ve also been ‘out for frozen yoghurt’ and to a club night called ‘Tumbleweed Tuesday’. At ‘Tumbleweed’ Canadians and internationals alike don their ‘smart’ denim and plaid and dance the night away with beers to back to back country music!
At some point in the future I imagine I’ll run out of clichés to revel in. But for the moment I still yelp a little with excitement when a big yellow school bus rolls by. I hope the novelty doesn’t wear off at any point during my year here, I never want to become complacent about the differences between Canadian and British cultures when I have such a finite time in which to experience them. But for now, yes, I will take bacon and maple syrup on my pizza thank you very much!