The blue lake & awkward hugs. Vancouver.

“What do you want to do the most when you get here?” - Well the answer was obvious to me - SEE A BLUE LAKE.

What I didn’t quite imagine is that I would be doing the hardest hike of my life (so far) to go and see it. Thinking of it now I think that is the ONLY hike I have ever done, all the rest seem completely pathetic in comparison.

Things I wasn’t prepared for:

  • I didn’t have hiking shoes. I advise these if you don’t want to slip down the mountain like an out of control 5 year old on a slide.

  • I thought it would be a gradual incline along a pathway, but no, NA AH. I was grabbing branches and rocks for 3 hours to get myself up to the top.

  • Maybe do some exercise before hand? The only exercise I did before I went to Canada was running through London stations to get to my train on time. This apparently isn’t enough to stop you breathing like a walrus.

HOWEVER, it was worth every single step to the top of Wedgemount Lake! I don’t think the photos even do it justice. (Also a teeny weeny bit proud of myself for getting up there.)

Top tip as a non athletic Londoner: Take someone on the hike with you that's hungover so you don’t look like the world’s most unfit human when trying to keep up with born and bred Van kids, they stroll up the mountain like they are popping to the corner shop. Real life mowglis.

Whilst in Canada I stayed in Vancouver, a beautiful city, partly greedy too - they have the sea, the city AND the mountains?!! If I lived there I’d be confused as to what season I’d actually want to travel somewhere else - Ski in the winter, beach & hike in the summer!

Things I loved about the city:

  • Even though it’s a city it's not claustrophobic. Unlike London nobody in Van is walking on your heels in the street or breathing their coffee breath on you on the train. There’s SO MUCH space.

  • Outdoor life - FRESH AIR. Sporty people around. I think I’d be healthier living in Van.

  • Everybody’s SO social. If you’re like me, organising a simple meal out with all the girls takes weeks of WhatsApp group preparation but not in Canada. It’s a what you doing tonight vibe. Simple.

  • Sushi. It’s cheap and SO GOOD. Still dreaming of my gyozas I had in Gastown.

  • Sea planes. I’d never seen one before, but spent a few sunny afternoons with a book watching them from the harbour. (Wish I went on one!)

Random funny things I didn’t know before I went:

  • Apparently hugging when you meet someone new is not normal. YOU SHAKE HANDS. I’ve never felt like such an invader of peoples personal space.

  • They don’t like to stand up on a night out. We even had table service in an Irish pub. I still can’t work out if this is amazingly efficient or completely bizarre?!

  • “You got iced” is a drinking game where you hide Smirnoff Ices from your friends and when they unexpectedly find one they have to down it.

My favourite times in Vancouver (besides from the lake):

  • Grouse Mountain, Here I saw my first grizzly bear, lumberjack show and ate my first BeaverTail (not actually a beavers tail fyi.)

  • Waking up in Whistler. (Even though I didn’t get to try out the hot tub in the hotel as Alec & I were too busy making Gin cocktails in a Teapot left in our room… I'm English okay?)

  • 'Wings & Wine' Wednesdays to kill yourself off after a civilised cycle around Stanley park. I mean why not?

  • Playing ridiculous drinking games with a cool bunch of Canadians.

I would love to see Whistler in the snow! Maybe one day.

A special one for the memory book.

Lots of Love,

Emmaleena xo


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