Late-night walks in Ottawa with friends are something I’ll miss when I’m done with college. It’s always fun, whether we’re suddenly hungry on a Friday night and walk to College Square to get something to eat, or after studying for hours straight we go out into the brisk night at 2 a.m. for a breath of fresh air, or take the bus and train downtown to explore Parliament Hill and the ByWard Market,
I’ve always loved walking late at night in serene areas of the city, when the world is calm and quiet. It feels like a privilege. The only sounds are the voices of my friends, the faint passing of cars whirring past us, crickets chirping, lights beeping at intersections, powerlines buzzing.
I love the way lights stand out in the otherwise dark night and how the moon and stars glimmer in the black sky. I love how cool and refreshing the air feels when you step outside after being cooped up in a room. I love dressing up in cozy gloves, toques and hoodies when it’s cool outside. I love the feeling of stepping back inside after after a walk and slowly warming up. I love how diverse the scenery of Ottawa is. You can go from an empty street in a neighbourhood with unique old houses, to a street of full embassies and interesting restaurants, to a peaceful pathway next to the Rideau Canal, to a park full of green space, to being right beside Parliament, all within minutes. And each time you walk around the city, you find something new.
But more than anything, I love spending quality time with friends.
This will not be the last time I go exploring a city at night with friends, but it will always be a memorable part of my college experience, being in a new city for the first time and having the freedom to explore it in good company.