First impressions count

Canada flag

First impressions count for a lot. They form an instant view and opinion about a place, a person, an activity, a thought process. Arriving in a new place for the first time and knowing that this is where we’ll be living when we relocate, adds an extra dimension to those ‘first impressions’.

How would I describe the first view of Canada during our drive from the airport into the city of Edmonton?

–  Green.
–  Flat.
–  Vibrant.
–  Spaciously huge.

On the drive into Edmonton from the airport, it’s extremely flat. And I mean – flat. Noticeably so. Especially when you’re someone like me who was brought up surrounded by the northern hills of England and where even moving to Cheshire which has a reputation for being on the ‘plains’ – was considered with a degree of hesitation due to it’s flatness!  But even in Cheshire there are ups and downs.

Well, in Edmonton there is no other word to describe the terrain as being anything other than ‘flat’. Immensely so. They don’t describe it as being on the ‘plains’ lightly. It’s only when you approach the hugely wide Saskatchewan river does the terrain start to incline and not until you are virtually on top of ‘downtown’ Edmonton, do you see a slight ‘hill’ into the city centre.  It’s beautiful and the city skyline with it’s few skyscrapers stands out on the horizon looking impressive.  Whilst the vast majority of buildings are ‘new’ compared to English standards, there is a wonderful selection of hugely modern skyscrapers with their mirrored glass windows, pyramid designs, coupled with beautiful architectural buildings which clearly have strong historical links to the past and how the city has developed.

From top left: Downtown Edmonton, Fort Edmonto...

From top left: Downtown Edmonton, Fort Edmonton Park, Legislature Building, Law Courts, Rexall Place, High Level Bridge, Muttart Conservatory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And it’s green.  The amount of parkland, trees, leisure areas, grass and space to explore is amazing. The sheer number of play opportunities, playgrounds, climbing frames meant we had to resist the temptation offered every few minutes from stopping the car and allowing the kids to explore and play otherwise we wouldn’t get any orientation done!  Suffice to say, the kids are overwhelmed with the number of play areas and leisure activities and can’t wait to start sampling the delights!  The range of trees – and especially conifers and spruces, was delightful – I can just imagine what it must look like in the wintertime, and can’t wait to see the difference just a few months from now will make.

It’s vibrant, with lots going on – certainly in the city – and the colours and signs just remind me of our trips to America.  Just about to start in the next few days is the Edmonton Fringe Festival, which is compared to that held in August each year in Edinburgh.  Arts and cultural events and activities feature significantly and we should be in the ideal position to sample some of the offerings and delights.

Finally, it’s spacious – in all manners of the word.  Even at ‘rush hour’, it doesn’t equate in any shape and form to the miles upon miles of standing traffic we’re used to in England, and even the busiest volume of traffic on the roads is more akin to early morning (and I mean between the hours of 2 – 5am) in the UK.  I’m going to love this!  Getting around is so accessible and easy.  The grid system has everything on a ‘streets and avenue’ system so it’s quick to navigate and circumvent around the city and surrounding areas. Then there’s the food with huge portions across such a vast range of culinary delights.  I’m going to need to create ‘space’ to be able to do all the food justice!

4 instant impressions of Canada within the first 24 hours.

Here’s to the next 14 days …. 🙂

4 thoughts on “First impressions count

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