By Jing-Jing Hu (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada)
About one and a half months ago my time at UBCO came officially to an end and it was time to say goodbye – goodbye to UBCO, but not to Canada. After we had finished our exams, Maria, a friend from Mexico, and I made our way to Banff and Lake Louise. It took us quite a while to get there (yes, it all looks very close on the map… maybe a bit too close), but the view awaiting us was simply breath-taking.
I would even say that Banff was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Nothing compares to the feeling of sitting on a rock thousands of metres above the ground, somewhere in the mountains, a light breeze touching your skin, overlooking the whole town, and just enjoying the view.
At some point on our way we got lost and stumbled across a secret spot. It is not just a name that we invented, but it is actually on the map – “The Secret Spot”, except that we were heading somewhere else and just ended up there. I guess putting down your map and getting lost every once in a while is not such a bad idea after all, you might even discover something beautiful. It is another one of my favourite spots (and there were many in Banff). We sat there for quite a while just listening to the sound of the waterfall and the waves passing by. It fills you with a kind of inner peace and satisfaction.
As you can see in the next picture, the weather can change quite tremendously from one place to another in Canada. Maria and I foolishly assumed that the weather would be similar – I mean come on, how much of a change could there be if you travel a few hours to the east? Well, this is Canada, and if there is one thing I have learned about Canada by now it is that it’s very diverse, whether it comes to its scenery, its wildlife, its population or, yes, its weather; it is diverse and it is constantly changing. But at the same time this is what I love about Canada.
We didn’t really have the appropriate clothing for the weather, but we nevertheless walked around the whole lake (and went hiking for hours in the mountains in Banff). At some point we were even walking on the lake, but we didn’t even realise until we got back and viewed the lake from afar.
There are many other spots and viewpoints that I particularly enjoyed, but before I show you and tell you too much, it would probably be best if you go there and see for yourself. Because, whether you believe me or not, even the most beautiful pictures that I have taken do not fully capture the beauty of the view I have seen in real life.