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My Canadian Experience This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Dazzling sunrays shone over the vibrant and busy city of Vancouver, Canada. The calm water in the bay radiated hazy morning light and the slow ebb of waves created shimmering patterns on the dark bellies of the docked boats. The streets were filled with frantic people hurrying to work, rushing to meetings and impatiently waiting for one of the many malls to open. I peered out of the luxurious hotel room amazed by the beauty of the city. Even the high-rise office buildings that stood like giants watching over the city, looked magnificent. The artistically curved glass walls were mirrors, reflecting the brilliance of the city and adding style to the surroundings.

Traffic flowed like a river through the lively metropolis with the occasional beeping horn and cross words. Trains passed over the streets silently on the futuristic suspended bridges. I walked along the bumpy pavement overwhelmed by the scale of the huge decorative buildings. I instantly felt like a minute fish swimming in an extensive ocean filled with crowds of people.

Various Restaurants and cafes opened their doors in the blistering August heat letting the heavenly scent of pancakes smothered in maple syrup rapidly escape, enticing anyone wandering by to go and eat. The wonderful smells wafted up my nose and, mixed with the clean, fresh air made my stomach rumble like a volcano on the verge of erupting. A meal in Canada is indulgent and delicious; the variety on the menu is unbelievable. Practically everything you would ever want to eat is available. Friendly staff greet you politely, much unlike Britain where you are sheep herded in and out as quickly as possible. The service is exquisite. Food not only arrives at the table hot, it also taste amazing and the array of colours resembles an artist’s palette.

Driving on the highways is a thrilling experience; straight roads extend miles in front of you without an ending. You can go through the city and not come across a single accident- that may be because a traffic light glares an evil red look every 500 yards, stopping you dead before you get the chance to crash. Everything appears backwards to a Britain. Cars on the opposite side of the road and multiple lanes of traffic all heading in different directions is very confusing! Once on the back roads, trees bear down and close in on you, creating a shaded and narrow passage, much like those in horror movies. However the occasional ‘moose crossing’ sign planted on the sidewalk breaks the illusion. Astonishingly where buildings and sculptures had overlooked the streets a brief time ago, mighty arcs and ridges of mountains towered high. Clouds cover the peak, leaving a faint wispy pocket in the vapour where gleaming snow-even in August-shone through.

Upon reaching the car park, I suddenly became excited and anxious about hiking up the mountain. The sudden change from the busy, noisy city to the relaxing environment of the mountains is immense. Everything was deathly still as if time had stopped. The anticipation of six hours in the wilderness made me restless, but before long I left the deserted parking lot and squeezed through the small dainty gate that led me to the calm serenity of the hilltops.

Elegant branches of trees intertwined with each other in a dance creating an eerie canopy leading the way forwards. One tree however stood alone. The branches had been rapidly hacked off and the trunk was left singed. This was due to the extraordinary power of a lightening strike in the turbulent storm the previous night. It looked amazing! Mushrooms buried by foliage played hide and seek, occasionally peeping through and displaying the attractive colours: Red, white and green.

Whistling wind blew the scent of pine into my nose, choking me with the strength of the aroma. The trail was tranquil and peaceful. Not even a birds tuneful cheeping could be heard. I hadn’t crossed another person until a split in the path came into view. All that could be seen were the tall trees and the steep incline ahead. A middle-aged man and his dog trundled slowly towards me. The man hummed a simple rhythm and the dog trotted along beside him, violently wagging his tail and gathering all the wonderful smells with his curious nose. The man looked up and smiled warmly he greeted hello and warned me ‘ It gets steep up ahead,’ his strong accent was deep but friendly. He passed and I continued walking. I quickly realised the man was right as I approached a steep incline in the trail.

The pathway became loose shale like rock that made climbing the slope more challenging. A rumbling sound further up the trail startled me; it sounded like an avalanche. That’s when a herd of cows came rushing down the hill, rock too loose to steady themselves, and veered off into the thick, dense forest. Shocked by the unusual sight, I laughed loudly which echoed in the vast valley of mountains I was in, and continued to stroll up the mountain, always drawing nearer to the top.


Remains of a campsite lay discarded in a little clearing littered with trash. It made me sad to think people had left it in such a mess, ruining the purity of the woodland. Luckily another humorous sign lifted my mood, this time saying ‘ Caution, Bear in the area’. After seeing this I quickly moved on, the slope began to level off and the end was in sight.

It took a while to catch my breath. My legs were on fire, but the triumph of reaching the peak erased the pain and I stood back astounded by the view. No trees were up here. Instead a little placid lake was waiting. Surrounded by bright summer flowers and small fern-like bushes, it was picturesque. Water reflected the darkening sky breaking the boundary between earth and air. Unexpectedly, the ripples on the water announced the rain had come in. The little droplets became hard as ice pounding down on my head. I reached for my umbrella and the water on plastic made an incredible noise. It sounded as if I was under fire in an army assault! It was time to leave but the day had been brilliant and enjoyable. I left the mountain but kept its beauty in my mind for the long trip home.





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