Day 76-78: Vancouverrr and Bye Bye Canada

Ughh. I felt heavy writing that title. It’s been a joy being in you.

Not to get all sentimental on you, but I have learnt a lot being here. First and foremost, I’ve learnt that you can have someone’s best interests at heart before you’ve even met them. There doesn’t have to be anything in it for you to help someone out. It took a long time to feel comfortable in a couchsurfers house, because I didn’t understand why they were so willing to give a bed, a lift, a meal and even a sightseeing tour to a stranger. I felt like I had to be someone amazing to be worth their time and resources, or what’s the catch? Canada’s taken my cynicism and covered it in maple syrup.

We’ve done a fair few cliché things since being here; playing cribbage, smothering stuff in maple syrup, wasting time in Tim Hortons, driving through excessive snow, BBQing in sub-zero temperatures, bumping into someone and profusely apologising, seeing bears and mooses (?!meece, mice, moossen?!) in the wild, getting to know not only our hosts, but their neighbours, asking a stranger one question and talking to them for half a year…..

The point of that list was that there was something very significant missing from it that we had to fulfill in our last 48 hours here – Hockey!!!

Before we made it to said hockey match, we had a couple of hours to kill and spent them in Science World British Columbia. It was fun and I highly recommend it to families. One beautiful gift it gave us was the ability to see what we looked like in infra-red.

You know what they say – cold cheeks, warm heart.

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Infra-red Dan is basically Shrek.

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After the joy of seeing ourselves as The Predator sees us, we moved on to the big event of our stay in Vancouver – Vancouver Cannuccks vs Carolina Hurricanes!

First impressions was that the arena was loud! The arena was filled with the music, interviews and adverts that were being played on the big round screen in the middle, as well as tweeted pictures of fans as they piled in. We turned up a good 45 minutes early, but were entertained the entire time. It felt a little like there were a few in-jokes in the way the sirens blew and some of the slogans that appeared on the screen, but we didn’t mind. It was our last opportunity to be in Canada and we wanted to soak it in as much as possible.

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On each team there are only 6 players, including the goal keeper. That’s a stupidly small amount compared to most other team sports, and we thought it was funny how this massive arena (try as I might, I couldn’t get it all in one shot) was needed for only 12 people and some sticks.

Turns out, man, they needed that room. They moved fast!! The perspex sheets that went all around the arena looked all big and tough before the game began, but soon strained under the force of these guys crashing against them. The game was split into three 20 minute segments, yet the game needed to stop much more frequently than that, because the ice rink was being torn up continuously by these guys thrashing around on it at high speeds.

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I’m not a good sports fan. I just find it hard to follow and it doesn’t appeal to me beyond the rugby six nations in a pub. This game though, I understand why people are into it more than most. It didn’t stop for a second, and these guys must be tough! There was no rolling around on the floor waiting for the ref to molly coddle them – they wiped away the blood and teeth and got back up to play some more. Several hockey sticks smashed and the puck rarely stayed on the floor of the arena.

It was the perfect end to our time in Canada. I feel like I want to continue blabbing about how much we loved it here, but at some point we have to stop. There’s no more words now.

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