As part of my further education, I did a three-month language stay in Vancouver. I took advantage of this opportunity not only by improving my language skills but also by exploring and discovering a country famous for its landscapes and hospitality.
Arriving there, I was welcomed by rainy and misty Canadian spring weather, but soon it turned around and became hot and sunny throughout the months.
First thing to do was to explore the city, walk through the street canyons and soaking in the atmosphere to get prepared for the adventures to come.
After settling in and getting used to the local habits, the first road trip was due and so we took the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Vancouver Island, an island almost the size of my home country.
Driving up north, we crossed the "Salmon Capital of the World", Campbell River, and headed to Quadra Island, where we enjoyed the weekend in a lovely hotel next to the ocean.
Only one weekend is definitely too short to experience the nature on this island, but we could get a rough overview of what there is.
Sunsets from the ferry, walks on beaches cluttered with driftwood and small bays and cliffs are only a few things to name.
Back in Vancouver, I waited for a good night to come to photograph a quite popular subject, the False Creek area by night.
The photographic highlight of this part of the city are definitely the illuminated BC Place and the spheric Science World building, which give a great reflection on the calm surface of False Creek.
While waiting for the long exposures, I had some interesting talks with some of the other photographers that came there to take pictures.
The last trip we undertook was the mandatory must-see in Western Canada: the Rocky Mountains. To save time and money, we flew to Calgary, rented a car and drove back all the way to Vancouver.
Although Calgary is just 45 minutes away from the Rockies, we could not see any signs of mountains. Driving west proved us different.
Soon we saw the mountain peaks of the second longest mountain range of the world, stretching around 5000km from New Mexico up into the northern border of British Columbia.
Our first stop took place at Moraine Lake, one of the many glacial lakes in that area, where we took a swim in the still half-frozen water. Though extremely cold, the crystal-clear water was just too tempting.
After that we visited Lake Louise (in my opinion way more touristic and unspectacular than Moraine Lake) and Banff. June is the month where bears are the most active, so we asked locals about hotspots of bear activity and we were told that the Fairmont golf course was the place to go.
We were not disappointed, as we could watch a big grizzly bear relaxing on the meadow. The next day, on the way to Golden, we were lucky again and saw in total seven black bears, three of them being cubs. We continued our way down to the Okanagan Lake, where we spent one night in Kelowna.
From there, all the way back to Vancouver reminded me of France or Italy, with tree-covered hills and many wineries along the roads.