Winter in the Rockies: Part 2

Sunday was a day full of sightseeing, including many ‘wow’ moments and a hurting hand from taking millions of pictures. How come you might ask? Well, here’s the story:

We left the hotel early in the morning by bus to spent some time on Lake Louise. Yes, you read it right, ON Lake Louise. The lake that is especially famous in Summer for its turquoise coloured water was completely frozen. This made it possible to not only walk over, but also skate on it. All the snow that covered the ice, the mountains and the trees additionally made it look even more like a winter wonderland.

Back on the bus. Next stop: Johnston Canyon. Located in Banff’s National Park, we walked through the canyon along catwalks. Some parts were quite slippery due to the ice, so we had to pick up a few people from the ground. Johnston Canyon has two waterfalls to marvel at, but time allowed us to look at the Lower Falls ‘only’.

The next stop on our sightseeing tour was testing our fear of heights a bit. The Banff Gondola brought us within 11 minutes up to a platform that allowed us to see the surrounding mountains. It was snowing a bit and there were clouds, but we still enjoyed the beauty of it. After lunch, we took the Gondola down again. It was time to soak in the hot springs! The hot water made us feel more than relaxed and we all felt warm and cozy when returning to the bus.

Emerald Lake was the next place we went to. Unfortunately, we could not see the beautiful, emerald water as the name promised (how could we expect this during winter…?), but we had fun anyway. There was a lot of snow on the ice and we all sank in it once or twice. And what else to do when there is a lot of snow? Of course: a snowball fight.

Then, It was finally time to get to our accommodation for the night, wooden cabins in Golden. Shortly after our arrival, we could pretend to be kids again by doing an Easter Egg Hunt. We all gathered around the campfire, warmed ourselves up, shared talks and played the game ‘Werewolf’. When it got dark, our tour guide had the amazing idea of doing a night hike through the forest. Fun, some of us even got lost. The evening ended with a big party in the barn, including limbo and a Lip Sync Battle. The highlight: everyone dancing to Gangnam Style.

Monday, 8am. What, the trip is almost over again? How is this even possible? Well, time flies when you’re having fun, as Angy already mentioned. So, we all packed our stuff, had breakfast and sat in the bus again. The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round… We were welcomed with wonderful weather in Kelowna, the perfect place to have lunch. And three hours further with the bus, we were in deep snow again. Time for the brave ones to do the Polar Roll. You put on your swimwear and roll yourself in the snow. Brrrh, far too cold for me, but congratulations to all of you who did it! Only three more hours and we are back in Vancouver. We used the time to play Bus Olympics and the DJ Battle.

I had the most wonderful time in the Rockies and enjoyed it to the fullest – I hope you feel the same way!

– Nadine

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

The Amazing Rockies Trip by Tess

It is Monday, already a week after our Big Rockies trip and I am still a bit in the clouds of it because it was so amazing to experience with you!

So on that Friday morning when we left for the Rockies, I had some struggles. It is typical me to not have everything prepared like I wanted it to be, so before I catched my bus it was an hour of stress with taking a shower, baking eggs for sandwiches (like my mom always did when we went on trips), straighten my hair and filling the other half of my bag with clothes. Because of that I had to ran and wave to the buss driver with my entire luggage to get on it. Luckily the buss driver was so nice to stop for me and let me in and I could relax for a bit.

When I arrived at Canada place my hair was already not straight anymore because of the pouring rain, but I was glad to see all of you! Luckily everybody showed up on time and we were good to go. It was a long drive, but I had lots of fun in the back of the bus and luckily we had some nice stops along the way.

The first big stop was in the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops and although I was excited to see bears I felt a bit sorry for the animals. I normally don’t like to go to zoos and stuff because I rather see the animals in the wild but I am glad we had fun together there. After that we went further to our hotel next to Little Shuswap Lake.rockies3

I loved the view there from my hotel room and the nice breeze it had. It was time to sit around the campfire and listen to the First Nations stories. I was really amazed by all the stories he told us, especially by the fact that they don’ t tell stories from other tribes. It sounds really respectful. Besides that, like many of you, I totally fell in love with the little puppy and I think one day he will be a rockies6great hunting dog. After the campfire we had a little party in the hotel room where I introduced a drinking game I often play with my friends back home. And this is actually really funny since I don’t like drinking games at all, except for this one. So back home we call it “Skull” but we made it into a more English version here and called it “cheers”. So we all counted to 21 or cheers and made up the most ridiculous rules along the way. Maybe we can try to do it again sometime on PuB NiGHT. ☺

So the next day was the big day: we were heading to Banff and I was so excited for this one. After walking on Emerald Lake and seeing some people falling a bit through it I was rockies4glad to sit in the bus again. We went for lunch, just before we went to Lake Louise. It was quite a new lunch for me since I tried the Elk / Wapiti stew. I thought it would be a really different kind of flavour then the meat I am used to, but it actually kind of tastes like beef. After this new adventure I was ready to walk all across Lake Louise. I think it is really amazing that the lakes are still frozen this time of the year, but it also gives you an awesome perspective rockies5when you stand in the middle of it. It was a long and slippery walk to the frozen waterfall and of course I fell down on the ice, but once I reached it I was really amazed by the view. Oh and from that point you could also see the Fairmont Hotel really well, which really looks like a Disney castle to me haha.

When we finally arrived in Banff after that, I immediately fell in love. I think it is just a rockies2really cute town, with the beautiful mountains surrounding it. I really liked we all went out for dinner together because you could really feel the bond of the group. After some quick clothing changes and a view pre-drinks we were ready to party! I was so excited, especially because my friend was able to go too since there is another drinking age in Alberta. It was so good to finally be in a place where you can dance and just be a little bit crazy.     I really laughed my ass of and stayed till the really end.

rockies 3Because it was such a long night out for us, we didn’t had much time to sleep really, since we had some horseback-riding to do in the morning. When the alarm went off I thought “ Nooo please” but once I had some breakfast and saw how nice the weather was outside I was super excited. And especially when we drove up the ranch and we saw the horses, I knew it was going to be a great day. And it was! The only thing I was thinking every five seconds was “WAUW”. Those views were truly amazing and the horses were really nice. Along the way we even saw an Elk standing behind the trees and I really felt sorry for eating it for lunch the day before, but luckily it is normal to eat it in Canada.

After the lovely ride it was time for the Banff gondola. I decided to gorockies1 up there the very
last moment when I got off the horse actually. Because I am a snowboarder I felt like I already had seen these views from many mountains but I was so wrong and so happy I still spend the money. It is really different then the views you get from ski areas and although it is a busy attraction,   it feels so peaceful up there.

rockies7After this beautiful scene it was time to say goodbye to Banff and go to Golden, our final stop. I felt a bit sad to leave this amazing town but I was also excited for the campfire and to end the trip in good harmony. When we arrived at the hotel I first chilled out in the hot tub for a little while. When my hands started to look like a grandma and my stomach started rumbling it was time to get out and get some take-out pizza. After going to Boston Pizza, my roommates and me joined the campfire with some drinks and very delicious slices. We played the counting game again and we all had a big laugh. It was just the perfect ending for me and I was very happy I had enough time to catch some sleep on the bus the next day.

I want to thank you all for joining us on this amazing trip. It is definitely one I would never forget.

– Tess

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
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The Amazing Rockies Trip by Danielle

This weekend it was finally time to go to The Rockies! We had to be at Canada Place early Friday morning and the rain was pouring down on us. Luckily I got on the bus as one of the first people, so I claimed the back for all of us. When everyone was settled in we started our journey to The Rockies. We left raincouver behind and were heading to the BC Wildlife Park. We had a few stops in between, but those were just to get some food and go to the washroom. It’s a long drive, but the scenery was amazing and we played a game to kill 17949927_1386764761359893_418718213_osome time. The BC Wildlife Park was a great start of our weekend. We got to see Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Cougars, Coyotes and many more. Sometimes I felt bad for some of the animals because their cases are pretty small, but we were told that they all got hurt and are being looked after in the park, so that’s great. After the wildlife park we continued our journey to Chase and ended up at a beautiful hotel next to a lake. They made a campfire and someone from the First Nation was telling us their stories and legends. I don’t know a lot about the First Nation, so it was very interesting to hear all the stories. Unfortunately it was getting really cold really fast, so we decided to go inside and have a little party in our room. In the end we had 14 people in our room and we were drinking, playing games and having fun. It was a great night to start of our weekend.

Saturday morning started early again and that was a little hard for me, so I continued getting my sleep in the bus. We stopped at Emerald lake, which was still completely frozen. It was really pretty to see and a good preview for Lake Louise. Lake Louise was still completely frozen too and there was so much snow that I had to wear my sunglasses to be able to see. We walked over Lake Louise, which was quite hard because it was so slippery. At the other side of the lake we saw a beautiful frozen waterfall and took some 18012824_1712979078717536_2073992347_opictures there. Then we walked back on the side of the lake, which wasn’t any easier than walking on the lake itself. We got back to the bus just in time and continued our journey to Banff. When we got there we first had dinner at Earls and then headed back to the hotel to have a little pre party before going to the club. The club night was amazing, almost everybody came along and we were all dancing and having fun. We also met up with 2 INTERNeX guys who are working in Banff and it was great to see them again. The night was really good and I didn’t come back to the hotel until 5:30 am.

17968865_1388526221183747_656093361_oLuckily I didn’t have any optional activities on Sunday morning, so I got to sleep in. After checking out of the hotel Sebastian, Max and I went to get some lunch in town and decided to eat it outside in the sun. After lunch we went up with the Gondola and the view was just amazing. We walked from one peak to the other and the view was incredible. After spending a good amount of time on top of the mountain, it was time to go back down again. We spent our last night in Golden. When we got there everybody just crashed on the bed and felt really tired. Most of you went in the hot tub to relax for a little bit, but we decided to get some food and get ready for the campfire. At the campfire we started playing our game again and a lot of people joined in. The game is that the whole group counts to 21, with everyone saying just one number. When you reach 21, a number becomes a rule. In the beginning the game is easy, but as you get more rules (and more drinks) it’s hard to remember all of them.

Monday it was time to head back to Vancouver, which is a long drive from Golden. So most of our stops where just to have a break, get some food and use the washroom. The only real stop we had was at Craigellachie to see where they put in the last nail to complete the railway. We took a few pictures and then it was time to go back. On the bus we played the game two truths and a lie, where the others have to guess which one is the lie. We heard some funny stories from some of you. The way back went really smooth and we got back in Vancouver earlier than expected, so I went home and got my needed rest.

I had the best weekend, so thanks to everyone who was there and made it great. Also a big thanks to Discover Canada and our tour guide Chris.

– Danielle

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The Amazing Rockies Trip by Janel

I had an amazing weekend in the Rockies!! Thanks to Discover Canada Tours and everyone that came with us on this trip!!

The first day started of in the rain in Vancouver, but as soon as we got on the bus and drove out of the city the weather got a lot nicer! We spent a lot of time on the bus on Friday, but got to see a lot of beautiful places. Some of us were sleeping and Danielle, Christina, Kerstin and me started playing a game. Our first few stops were just small stops to go to the washroom and get some food. 17965285_1389504374419265_887667184_nWhen we arrived in Kamloops we went to the BC Wildlife Park. It was great to see all those animals that I had never seen before, like grizzly bears, black bears, cougars and coyotes. After the park we drove to our resort. It was an amazing hotel next to the beautiful Shuswap Lake. In the evening we started with a campfire and an amazing story from the first nations cultural host of the resort. He told us really interesting stories and I learned a lot more about the first nations. After the campfire we decided to do some drinks in our room. Almost the whole group came and our room was fully packed with 16 people. We played some games, told stories and were having lots of fun!!

On the second day it was hard to get up, because of the great evening we had together. After a powernap in the bus we were ready to go again! Our first sightseeing stop that day was Emerald Lake. The whole lake was still frozen and really beautiful. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t fall through the ice in the lake, so that of course happened. But luckily I wasn’t the only one. After Emerald Lake we went to Lake 18049738_1714366851912092_272087587_oLouise, which was also still totally frozen. We walked on the ice to the other side of the lake to see a beautiful big frozen waterfall. The ice was really slippery and it was really difficult to not fall, but we all managed to get to the other side of the lake without falling. When we finally arrived in Banff, we checked into the hotel and went out for dinner right away. As we were with such a big group it was hard to find a restaurant where we could all fit, but we found one and had amazing dinner at Earls together. After dinner we went back to the hotel and again had some drinks in our room to get ready for the big party in Banff that night. We called cabs for 15 people and were at the club around 10:30. The club was really nice, we danced all night and had a great time with each other and the other people from our bus. We also met up with two other people from INTERNeX, who are living in Banff. It was amazing to see them again and we had lots of fun! 🙂 Some of us left earlier and some of us only slept around 2 hours, but we all had a great night!

The third day was the activity day. Some of us went on an ice walk, others went horse riding, skiing or slept in. I went horse riding in the morning. It was the best cure for my hangover to be outside in the fresh air. The bus drove us to the ranch and we got assigned some horses. It was an one-hour tour through the woods and next to a river. It was really beautiful. During the whole trip we had amazing views. After the horseback riding we had lunch at the Spaghetti Factory. Then the bus picked us up there and brought us to the Banff Gondola. 18012764_1388526431183726_2098698393_oAlmost everybody from our group went up the mountain in the gondola. The sun was shining and there were almost no clouds, which made the view amazingly beautiful. We saw all the mountains around Sulphur Mountain and went to the second peak to have an even better view! After a big day of activities we all went back to the bus and started our drive to our hotel in Golden. We had dinner and got drinks again for the campfire. Around 7.30 PM the campfire started. The whole group went to the campfire and we all had lots of fun with the tour guides, bus driver and the other people from the busses. We played some music, played a game and sang Dutch and German songs at the same time. At 1AM everybody started to feel tired and we went to bed.

The last day it was a lot of driving. We stopped a few times for lunch and toilet breaks and had one sightseeing stop at Craigellachie. At Craigellachie the last spike of the railway across Canada was set. It always was a golden spike, but as a lot of people wanted to steal it they removed it and got a metal spike coloured gold. On this last day we watched two movies in the bus and played a game called two truths and one lie. When we arrived in Vancouver it was of course again raining and we all went home immediately to get some sleep.

Thank you guys for this amazing weekend! I am never going to forget it!!

– Janel

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Rockies tour guide: Schedule

Our Rocky Mountains trip is less than 1 month away! We wanted to give you a clear and short overview of the trip.

Friday
We will meet between 7.15 AM and 7.30 AM at Canada Place Way between Howe & Burrard Street. The bus will depart at 8 AM, so please make sure that you are on time. On our way to Chase we will make a stop at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops. Here you have time to walk around, make a ride on a miniature train or go to the bobcat feeding. You will also have some time to get some food or buy souvenirs. After our stop we will continue our journey to Chase. Once we are in Chase we will check into the Quaaout Lodge & Spa. At the hotel we will get to know a bit more about the Canadian culture from an aboriginal Shuswap Tribe member. After that you will get free time to rest, freshen up, go to the campfire or to use the hotel facilities like the hot tub or the swimming pool.

Saturday
On Saturday it is time to go to the beautiful place Banff. We will drive through the Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park. This means you will get enough opportunities to make beautiful pictures on the way to Lake Louise. At Lake Louise you will get free time to either do ice skating, play ice hockey or just to explore the area. After these amazing activities, we will head to our next hotel on Banff Ave. In the evening, you can go shopping, visit the hot springs or just relax at the hotel. When you all had your rests, you will get the chance to go to a night club. This night out will be in Alberta, which means that 18 year old candidates can join us as well!

Sunday
On this day you will have time to do optional activities such as skiing/snowboarding at Lake Louise Mountain, dog sledding, ice walking or going on the Banff Gondola. If you choose to not participate in any of these activities, you can sleep a bit longer and join an extended tour of Banff. In the late afternoon, we will leave beautiful Banff and drive to Golden. Once we checked into the hotel, there will be free time to make use of the hotel facilities. The hotel has an indoor pool with waterslide and a hot tub, so put on your bathing suit and take a dip into the pool. If you prefer to go out again, you can also go to the local pub for an end of tour party.

Monday
On Monday we still got a few nice activities planned for you. On our drive back to Vancouver, we will first go to Roger’s Pass National Historic Site. After that we will make a stop at Craigellachie before we continue our journey to Vancouver. We will arrive in Vancouver at about 7.30 PM.

Packing list
We know it is sometimes hard to figure out what you need to bring on your trip. Therefore, we made a packing list of items you definitely should bring to the Rockies:
– Cash
– Phone + charger
– Walking shoes
– Passport + second ID
– Toiletries
– Bathing suit
– Camera
– Bath towels
– Warm clothing
– Proof of medical insurance

If you want to get more information about the prices of the activities, please check out the previous blogpost. Make sure to pay for the ski or snowboard lessons, the ice walk and the dog sledding beforehand.

headerrockies3There are only 3 days left to sign up for the Rockies trip, so sign up and pay at the office or at PuB NiGHT. You can even win a price if you sign up before or at PuB NiGHT!

-Iris

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Rockies tour guide: Add-ons

Since there are so many things to do in The Rockies, we wanted to give you a quick update on all the additional activities you can do during our tour! There is also a small update on the schedule.

Due to the warm weather in the Rockies we are going to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops instead of the sleigh ride. Wildlife can be dangerous in real life and therefore this is the perfect opportunity to get to know more about the wildlife of BC. You may even meet the Spirit Bear or one of the Bobcats during the Bobcat feeding. If you prefer to see other animals, you can also walk around the park on your own or take a ride on the miniature train. This activity is included in the program and therefore no additional cost, except for the miniature train. The miniature train ride is an additional $1, which needs to be paid in cash. After that you can get something to eat at the full-service café or get some souvenirs at the gift shop.

17454838_1678236365525141_1539661662_oThere is a lot to do during spring time and the Rockies are just as beautiful as they are during summer. As there will be some snow in the Rockies, you are able to go skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing or dog sledding. Skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing can be booked on the bus to the Rockies, so there is no need to decide on this matter beforehand. However, this is not the case when you would like to have lessons or if you choose to do dog sledding. These activities need to be booked beforehand.

If you have had enough of the snow then you can try out ice skating. Would you rather do more sightseeing? Then the Banff gondola might be a good fit for you. During this activity you will have an awesome view of all the mountains. Both of these activities can be booked on the bus. Another sightseeing activity is the ice walk. You are not actually walking on ice, as it is too fragile for that. However, you will pass several scenic areas where you will be able to see the true beauty of ice. This activity needs to be booked beforehand. If you have had enough of the cold, then the hot springs are perfect for you! It is a great opportunity to warm up and to relax before you go to work again.

The prices for additional activities are about:
Ice skating – $13
Banff Gondola – $50
Ski lift tickets – $95
Equipment rentals – $45
Ski or snowboard lesson package – $170
Snow tubing – $28
Ice walk – $68
Dog sledding (2 hrs) – $165 (min. of 3 people per sled is required)
Hot springs – $7

The Rockies trip is coming closer and closer and so is the deadline! You only have time to sign up and pay at the office or PuB NiGHT for the Rockies trip till the 30th of March. So make sure to sign up soon, because you really do not want to miss out on this trip. It is $359 and for INTERNeX candidates it is only $354. Unfortunately we can only take cash, so make sure to swing by the ATM beforehand. The price includes accommodation with breakfast, transport, entrance to a nightclub and the BC Wildlife Park. Please take into account that you can get a discount for some activities if you pay them beforehand and some of them require paying beforehand as well. You can find more information on the event page on Facebook.

– Iris

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

 

Review: Trip to the rockies – Part 2

Soo, after a great time around Lake Louise we continued to our next destination, the Banff gondola. The gondola led us to the top of the mountains where it was possible to walk around on pathways and enjoy spectacular views of the Banff mountains. Since we didn’t have too much time at the top of the mountains, some of us had a bit of exercise running up and down stairs leading from one end of the pathway to the other. When arriving back down in the valley some took the opportunity to have look a the tourist shop. We also had a lot of fun watching some of the pictures taken when entering the gondola at the top of the mountain. It was possible to buy the pictures at the tourist shop but perhaps it was a bit expensive.

After the visit at the Banff gondola we went to Banff city to check-in at our hotel, and then we went out to try out some of the local places to eat. Later during the evening some went out to dance the night away at a club, while others preferred to have a chat at some of the many great pubs that Banff has to offer.

The next morning, Sunday, we had to leave Banff at 8:00am after having our breakfast. However, some chose to skip the breakfast, sleep in and buy some food at one of our several stop along our bus drive instead. Actually we weren’t that much behind schedule and almost everybody managed to be outside the hotel ready to get on the bus at exactly 8:00 am. Yet another great day were awaiting. We passed by more beautiful mountains and amazing lakes and waterfalls. Along the way we visited Johnston’s Canyon, Bow Lake and Peyto Lake and we travelled the icefields parkway. The top attraction of the day was the Columbia icefield where we travelled with a so called SnoCoach up the glacier. A SnoCoach is a special bus specifically build for the purpose of travel up and down the glacier. As we reach the top of the glacier most of us tried to drink the ice-cold and refreshing glacial water. Water never tasted this good… very delicious!

Before arriving at our hotel in Valemount, our final destination of the day, we went to see Mount Robson. With its 3954 metres Mount Robson is the highest mountain in the Rockies. Fortunately the weather kept on being sunny, so we were able to see all the way to the top of the mountain. During the evening we had a BBQ dinner at our hotel. Everybody was sitting and chatting during this nice and cozy evening.

Keep your eyes peeled for the third and final part of the review of our great rockies trip.

 

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com