It felt like the river was everywhere in Saskatoon.
Bridges and paths along the river bank kept pulling me over to it, deep and still.
I stood on the Broadway Bridge and stared down into the South Saskatchewan River, and I still couldn't decide which way it was flowing. So I carried on with my exploring and checked on it every so often.
I was in Saskatoon for work last week and I had two hours to myself when I could explore this little Prairie city on the river. I walked along the river bank and people caught my eye and smiled at me as I passed them, my camera slung across my jacket (like a sign proclaiming I was just visiting).
I wandered over the bridge into the Broadway neighbourhood and looked at local pottery and native art and found some locally-roasted coffee beans to take home to Scott.
By accident, I wandered past the restaurant where my colleague would later take me to dinner. Saskatchewan has a lot of Ukrainian roots and I wasn't surprised that the restaurant had what looked like a Ukrainian name: Weczeria.
Do you know about Saskatchewan? It's kind of known for its wheat.* Now, look closely at that vase on the table at Weczeria. It boded rather well, I thought.
Indeed, when my colleague and I returned for dinner, we were not let down. I didn't see any Saskatoon berries on the menu, but I did try other local delicacies . . . including a fat little trout from Lake Diefenbaker with slightly-pickled hazelnuts and wild rice.
The next day, I saw of the University of Saskatchewan, where I was working. It was so surprising: in the middle of the Canadian Prairies, there was this collection of butter-coloured stone buildings that looked like it had been lifted up from the East Coast a century ago.
(Lovely stone buildings are generally not how we build universities in Western Canada. I'm more familiar with the grey concrete and no windows model.)
And that was it. My 27 hours were almost up. Before I knew it, I was back at the airport, wishing I had more time. However, as a consolation prize, I found this Saskatchewan wild rice at the airport gift shop. Now I can make it at home and remember my quick trip to my new Prairie neighbour.
Au revoir, Saskatoon!
*Saskatchewan is also known for lentils, potash, uranium and friendly people, in no particular order.
one year ago: quince almond cake
two years ago: pear ginger jam