I grew up in Jeddah and Cairo. The Middle East is not known for its seasons. So you can imagine, how exciting Vancouver has been from me, to see how the city transform completely. From colorful summer, to the changes in the colors for Spring, to now winter, where its become a winter wonderland. The city looks like its been invaded by soft powdered flour. Seeing the transformation, made me feel like it was natures way of saying slow down, be conscious that one chapter was ending.

I just find nature so fascinating.

For Christmas I joined Kaz, an nutter from England, Elisa my karaoke partner in crime and Betul my Mediterranean sister for a trip to visit the Rockie Mountains. This trip was something that I wanted to do, ever since I decided to come on exchange. It was one of those postcard images, where I had to see it to believe it existed.

Initially for months I had planned a trip down to California on an insane road trip, but one of the girls on the trip was stressing me out. I decided I would rather have spend my holiday on my own terms. In the end, Betul and I decided to join Kaz and Elisa.

Although the flights were the same price as the bus, we decided to take a 15 hour journey with the greyhound to visit a town called Banff, which is located only two hours from Calgary which is where the Canadian cow boys leaves.

The scenery from the bus was picturesque, we passed by the Coonies Mountains, which are one of the three main mountains other thanWhistler, and Rockies being the rest. You would think that the 15 hour journey would be boring, but the sights took our breath away, we saw some beautiful greenery that evolved to crystalized mountains. We also ended up playing some card games with some guys we met on the bus.

But eventually we arrived in Banff, a city famous for its skiing and snowboarding and for the lovers of winter. The city was unusually quiet because we had arrived a day before christmas where most people was home with their families. We had booked ourselves in a hostel called Alphine Center. When we arrived at the hostel it was pretty dark, but the next morning when we got out of the hostel, our breath was taken a way we were in a valley where big beautiful mountains surrounded us. Without a plan, we started walking towards them mountains, unsure of where to go and what the plan was for us.

This place is gorgeous and should be something on every ones bucket listt.

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