One would think that it is an unlikely pairing — a province in the west and a province in the east. Well, the reason I grouped these two is because I only spent a few days in each province and my experience was very limited. This is not to say that there is nothing to see in both. I actually would like to go back, see and experience more of these provinces.
Fredericton is New Brunswick’s capital. I had the opportunity to see the city as part of my work, again. I never really had the chance to go around the city as the work was very hectic and we were on a tight schedule. Even on the weekend that we stayed there, I did not have a chance to go around as I had to work. Probably, the thing that sticks out in my head about this trip is how apologetic our client was about the traffic during the morning rush hour, when in fact, it can barely be called a congestion. Yes, the cars were stopping and there was some sort of build up, but it was because of the traffic lights and not car volume.
Oh and I do remember seeing my favourite Australian chocolates in one of the supermarkets there and could not help but take a picture of it.
My first and only encounter of Alberta is my visit to Calgary in 2006 to spend Christmas with a friend. I was just new to Canada and it was my first time to be away from family on such kind of holiday. So I thought, the closest I can get to a family celebration was to spend it with a friend. I only stayed a couple of days so I was not able to see the famous mountains and lakes of Banff and Jasper. We mainly stayed in the city as the two of us were still not driving that time. However, the trip was still memorable as we went skiing.
By the way, you might have read from my previous post about the Northwest Territories that I have been in Canada for 8 years now. If you take 2006, which is the year I was in Calgary and subtract it from 2017, you definitely will not get 8 years. The reason for this discrepancy is because I lived in Australia for 3 years in between my stint in Canada. Sorry for the maths, I just had to. I am still an accountant and I would like everything to tie up. Haha. Anyway, back to Calgary.
Coming from the tropics, my knowledge of winter sports is limited to movies like Cool Runnings and the Mighty Ducks. So, I told myself that since I will be living in Canada, I might as well try to learn them. Besides, there is no other way to enjoy winter but to immerse yourself in it and be part of the winter culture. As me and my friend do not know anything about skiing, we signed up for a beginner’s class.
The class was at the Calgary Olympic Park. The first order of business was to fit our skis and helmets. The feeling of wearing heavy ski boots was weird and challenging. I felt like a robot. When we finished gearing up, we were finally introduced to our instructor and our classmates. Our classmates were mostly kids! Hahaha!!! There was one other teenager, but we were definitely the only adults there.
We were given some basic safety instructions and then we went off to the hill. It was a bunny hill — perfect fit for kids but kind of awkward for us. We had to get on a conveyor type of machine to get from the bottom of the bunny hill to the top. Getting on was okay, but getting off was really challenging. The skis are already attached to your feet so it was harder to manoeuver your way out of the conveyor belt. And the thing is you have to be very quick or else you will see human dominoes rolling down the hill.
When we were finally on top of the hill, we were given the basics — the form, how to change directions, how to stand up when you fall and most importantly, how to stop. It looked very easy on tv but it was very hard in person! I knew I will be sore the next day because my muscles were working extra hard that day.
Then the moment of truth, we have to apply what we have learned. One by one, we were asked to ski down the hill. We let the kids go first until finally it was my turn. I started moving slowly, then physics did its job and I accelerated. The wind started sweeping on my face. It felt awesome, but after about 5 seconds, I fell. Haha. After an hour and half of trying to perfect the art of skiing, I finally decided it was time to hang up the skis and rest. I was so exhausted and sweaty. So while my friend went to the top of the slopes and try her newly learned ski skills, I went to the cafeteria to get a hotdog and hot choco.
We then went home. I do not remember eating dinner that night as I was really exhausted. I just slept. The next day, my body was so sore that I can barely move. There were parts of my body that I never knew could hurt like that. My bum was especially sore due to all the gliding movement. Skiing is good for the ass! Haha!
We walked around her neighbourhood for a bit and met some of her friends afterwards. Here are some of the very few snaps I took in Calgary.