At the moment I`m enjoying the weather here, because it is not much colder than the winters I am used to back home in Germany. But, the winter starts and the snow arrives much earlier here than I`m used to! I’m already wearing my thick winter clothes, so it’s going to be interesting to experience Ottawa’s extreme winter weather later on which is apparently often more than -30C! Before it started snowing, I did manage to make a visit to Omega Park. This is our local wild life park, just a 45 min ride away. And again I was on one of those cool yellow school busses which drove us through the park =)
The park is very big and is divided into the: prairie, forest, mountain, lake and the Boreal Forest areas. Each of the very different areas is home to animals suited to that particular habitat. So, in just one bus trip, we saw many different types of animals representing the wild life in the different regions of Canada. The animals we saw close-up included: Bison, Whitetail/Red/Fallow Deer, Moose, Grey Wolf, Black Bears, Artic Wolfs and Artic Foxes. In the deer park we were invited by our guide to get off the bus and feed the deer. At the end of the park there is a beautiful lake, where we enjoyed the view with a delicious hot chocolate and then bought our souvenirs in the shop on the way out.
Last weekend, I took the opportunity to visit Montreal. The Saturday was very sunny and a perfect day to climb up to the top of Mont Royal! On my way there, I got a bit lost to say the least! After that, I really did try to read the map more carefully, but a nice guy noticed my predicament and asked me if he could help me. It turned out that he also wanted to go up the mountain, so we went up there together. It was a much longer walk than I had expected, so it was really nice to have company! And when we finally arrived at the top, the view made the effort totally worthwhile! By the way, just before the top there is a shortcut, which involves about a thousand stairs, but I survived 😉 After climbing up Mont Royal we treated ourselves to a wonderful and well deserved delicious chocolate crepe!
On Sunday I went on a guided tour, direct from the hostel down to the old part of Montreal. It was great fun and I met a lot of lovely people. Afterwards, I went to the most famous place for Poutine in Montreal: La Banquise! There you can order Poutine with whatever you could wish for! They even have vegan cheese on offer! As you can see a regular Poutine is nearly impossible to finish….
Unfortunately it started snowing afterwards and it got quite cold, so I briefly visited a park and a few other places Downtown and then went off to a “cat café”. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a cat café, it is basically a regular coffee shop with a bunch of cats living there. It was an amazing experience. Even though I`m not really a cat person, the cats really give an atmosphere to a café and you enjoy your hot chocolate with a purr =)
On my way home I slept almost all the way, because I was so exhausted trying to do as many things as possible during that short weekend in Montreal. I definitely have to go back and explore more!
Last week on campus, there was a free meditation week. I joined one of their events and learnt a few basic meditation techniques. This was very interesting and maybe will help me with my exams! Also last week, they offered free massages on campus, how cool is that?
And in two weeks’ time, I will have already started my final semester exams 😉
Crazy how quickly time passes when you are having fun!
PS: There are a lot of cute squirrels in the parks of Montreal 😉