Rockies Review – Part 1

Starting the week on a Wednesday sounds pretty cool, right? Well, wait till I tell you about my weekend, because that was even cooler than just having a three working-day week.

On Saturday morning, I met 27 of you guys for our four-day trip to the Rocky Mountains. 6.45am seems pretty early, but the time that was lying ahead of us was worth the hustle of getting up so early. The bus took off at 7.30am and our adventure started. We got to know our West Trek tour-guide Hayley and bus-driver Lucien, who made this entire trip so much fun! Thank you to the two of you.

Our first stop was Hope, where we had some fun times at the playground and could 30066245188_6ae9f9a804_njust walk around the picturesque village. Aboard the coach again, we played some games, listened to music and started to get to know each other better. We had lunch in Kamloops and made a short stop at the Spahats Falls. And so, after a 9-hour drive in the bus, we finally arrived at our first night’s stay in Valemount. The evening activity there: Hockey in the Rockies. Teamed up and ready to win, both the “Pride Dragons” and “Tigers” chased the ball to score some goals.

While some of you were still playing, I settled down at the bonfire and enjoyed the last hours of our first day. We had some easy conversations, listened to Hayley playing the Ukulele, sang along to ‘Riptide’ and ‘Country Roads’ and just enjoyed the view of the mountains. At around 1am I decided to get some sleep, because I knew that we had a tight and busy schedule the upcoming days.

On Sunday morning at 7.45am, it was time for us to depart from Valemount. It was a stressful morning and I was quite relieved that I did not have to sing when I boarded the coach (the West Trek rule is that the person coming late has to sing a song for the entire bus). We had our first scenic Rocky Mountains stop at Mt. Robson. It is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies and it gave us the opportunity to have a breakfast with a view. 43887208892_9da7cf5a2b_nAfterwards, we all had the chance to take beautiful pictures with this giant mountain in the background. We boarded the bus again and drove to our next stop: The Athabasca Falls. Even though we had to leave quite soon after we arrived, everyone had the chance to take a stunning picture of and/or with the falls.

But the next stop promised some more breathtaking views: Athabasca Glacier. Already on our way to the icy phenomenon, Hayley taught us about the formation of glaciers and the relation to icefields. From the distance, we could see the Columbia Icefield, which is one of the biggest accumulations of ice south of the arctic. Some of us went up the glacier in a special bus called snowcoach. Personally, I did not join. Some of you just spent the time at the foot of the Glacier with me, having lunch and hiking through the moraine.

After the “Snowcoach-Group” returned, we boarded the bus again and continued the trip to Peyto Lake. Wow, what a beautiful place! The water was turquoise blue and the view was just breathtaking. Another perfect location to take stunning pictures your friends will envy you for. 😉 After this stop, we just had one more task to fulfil: The Polar Bear Swim in Bow Lake!43887208762_52b91d2c09_n The bravest among us got ready to be cooler than they’ve ever been before. Of course, you’ve always been cool, guys – but I think you know what I mean. So, to visualize it: 20 crazy INTERNeX-people running into ice-cold water, screaming at the top of their lungs and cheering with the kicking-in of adrenalin. FUN! Great job to those who did it! I really enjoyed it and can only recommend doing it.

Back in the bus, we were all looking forward to making it to our accommodation for the night in Banff: a cute, beautiful little village. We spent the evening having dinner, shopping souvenirs and getting ready for our night out. And besides celebrating the great group and the new friendships we made, we also had a special anniversary that night: Henrike turned 19! Happy birthday, again. I hope you had an unforgettable night. I walked back to the hotel at around 1am, I did not want to be too tired the next day.

To not overwhelm you with everything, I will tell you about the last two days tomorrow. Make sure you don’t miss out on the blog post!

I hope to see you tonight for PuB NiGHT at the Beaver Bar.

– Elisabeth

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

3, 2, 1… It’s Rocky Mountains time!

I’m sure we’re all counting down the days. Because in only a few days, we are going on one of the best trips of the year: the Rocky Mountains! Four days packed with fun and exciting moments are ahead of us. But what exactly is the plan and what do you all have to bring? I will gladly inform you about this in the following few paragraphs.

We are meeting early in the morning this Friday. At 7am to be exact. The meeting point is at the corner of Seymour and Cordova Street. Be there on time, because the bus won’t be waiting for you! We’ll be having lunch in Kamloops and we will arrive at our hotel around 6pm. This day is used especially for travelling, but you will see lots of beautiful nature anyway.

Saturday starts at 7:45am with the departure from the hotel and the pick-up of our breakfast. We will do lots and lots of sightseeing today. Curious how much sightseeing? Here it goes: First stop: Mount Robson. Second stop: Jasper. Third stop: Athabasca Falls (where we have lunch). Fourth stop: Columbia Icefields Centre. Fifth stop: Peyto Lake. Sixth stop: Bow Lake. Seventh stop: Checking into the hotel and visiting Lake Louise. See? I told you we’ll see a lot.

After a good night’s sleep, it’s Sunday already! We all start the day at 7:30am with breakfast at the hotel. We are leaving the hotel at 8am and are heading to Johnston Canyon. From 11am on, we can enjoy some free time! You have the chance to use the Banff Gondola, soak in hot springs or discover Banff by yourself. Later in the afternoon, we head to Emerald Lake and afterwards, we will check into our accommodation for the night: Mountain cabins. And because being in mountain cabins only isn’t good enough, we’ll have a campfire with s’mores and hot chocolate in the evening. The ultimate Canadian experience.

But, all good things come to an end. It’s Monday already. Our last day is spent with travelling again. We depart from the hotel at 8am and we’ll have lunch in beautiful Kelowna this time. The estimated arrival back in Vancouver is at 6.30pm. Time to say goodbye to everyone and wipe away the tears.

Very important! Do not forget to bring:

  • Enough warm clothes
  • A pair of gloves
  • A warm hat
  • Good shoes
  • Your bikini/ swim shorts
  • A towel
  • Sunglasses (in case the sun says hello)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste etc.)
  • 2 pieces of ID!
  • Your camera!

I am really looking forward to Friday, not only because of the trip, but because many of you will join me and we will have an amazing time.

– 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

Candidate Exposé – Iris van Knippenberg

Iris van Knippenberg 3

I am Iris van Knippenberg, a 21 year old Dutchie, and am studying International Leisure Management at NHTV in Breda.

I always wanted to do my internship abroad, as I think you learn way more from that and it is just an amazing experience. After I went abroad to Finland, I even wanted to go abroad more and preferred going outside Europe this time. Canada was in my top 3 of countries outside Europe, so it wasn’t hard to finalise my decision when I got the offer to do this internship.

I first tried out to find internships on my own in the US, but it was really difficult to get one as you really need a network for it and they prefer people who are a native speaker as well. When I couldn’t find one on my own, I decided to look at my school database and that is where I found the vacancy to do an internship with INTERNeX. It spoke to me, as it was outside Europe and I really liked the tasks I would need to do here with INTERNeX.

I am doing an internship with INTERNeX itself, so I am sort of part of the practicum Iris van Knippenberg (words)program of INTERNeX. I had to do an internship for my study, so I couldn’t choose another one. I really like the internship at INTERNeX, I feel like I already learned a lot and there is so much opportunity to actually learn something if you really want to. It is really nice to hang out with the others who are part of the program too, as they experience the same things as I do and therefore really understand it.

The atmosphere in the company is really good. Besides that I also like my tasks and the projects I am doing for them as well. Like I already mentioned, I also got a lot of opportunities to work on my personal goals, which I really appreciate. Characteristics and skills you need to be successful here are I would say networking, being client-oriented and having good communication skills.

This internship is part of my university program and I think it is really useful because you finally get to actually practice everything and learn the skills, which you should not be able to learn when you are just in a classroom.

Iris van Knippenberg 1When I arrived I felt like Vancouver was really big (the buildings and the city itself) and pretty warm. I expected snow before I came here, so I was really surprised to arrive in a city where there was no snow and 7 degrees. When I left the Netherlands, it was way colder, so that is why I expected at least the same temperature in Vancouver. Right now it doesn’t feel big anymore, I got used to the city and I know my way around now. Canadians are really polite and easy-going. Besides that I found out that Canada has beautiful nature and there is so much to do here.

I attend every trip we organise with the PR-team, because I always like to go with the INTERNeX family, there is a really good atmosphere among us. I also like the events and the pub nights are always really nice too, so I always try to go to as many things as possible.

I already did a lot in Vancouver. While I am here I visited quite some amazing places. The ones that stood out the most were the Rockies, Kelowna and Joffre lakes. Besides that I also did a lot of amazing activities such as bungee jumping in Whistler, going to my first professional hockey game, hiking at Lynn Canyon, celebrating King’s Day in Vancouver and I went to a boat party.

I love the nature here and that it is so easy to just go on a hike or to the beach. While doing this, I have the feeling that I am actually escaping my daily life routine. I have been homesick in the beginning and in the middle of my time here. In the beginning I wasn’t used to living alone anymore and had to get used to it again. In the middle of my internship, a lot of my good friends were leaving Vancouver again and I felt a bit alone because of that. However, because of all the great people of the INTERNeX family I felt way better.

I can’t choose between two experiences which have both been really amazing for me, the Iris van Knippenberg 2Rockies and Joffre lakes. When you are at the Rockies, it totally feels like an escape of reality when you are there. The mountains and views are amazing and the atmosphere here is just the best ever. At the Rockies I got the chance to do a hike at Johnston Canyon while every waterfall was still frozen. Besides that I also did a hike on the mountain in Banff where I got amazing views over the mountains. I also walked on Lake Louise to a frozen waterfall. It was a bit scary to walk over it, but also really great.

Joffre Lakes was an amazing day-long hike, which was challenging but really worth the time and effort. As I did not have the right hiking shoes yet, I kept falling and it took me a long time to get to the second lake. Climbing up the mountain was also not really helping either. However, once we were at the second lake, I forgot all the pain and exhaustion. The lakes are blue-greenish as they are fed by glaciers and absolutely look amazing.

This trip definitely inspired me to travel more since I heard about a lot of amazing events and places while I was here (Oktoberfest in München and Carnaval in Aachen). Besides that I do not have the time to see the other side of Canada now, so I would love to go to the other side to see Quebec, Montreal, Ottowa and the Niagra falls.

INTERNeX helped me to find my way in Vancouver regarding finding friends. Besides that the organisation also gave me the opportunity to explore a lot of places where I would not have gone without them. Yes, my experience would have been way different without INTERNeX and I would not change a thing about it.

When I get Back home I will eat a lot of chees and order a “frikandel speciaal”.

– 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

The Rockies Summer Trip by Iris

On Monday we came back from our amazing Rockies trip. Once again, it became one of my highlights of my stay. Thanks to everyone who joined on our Rockies trip, Westtrek, our great busdriver Darren and our amazing tour guide Janel.

20170811_091446Friday was finally the time to go to the Rockies and I was so excited that I barely slept the day beforehand. I could see that more people lacked some sleep, as a lot of people were getting coffees in Tim Hortons or tried to catch some sleep in the bus. The drive to Valemount was pretty long, so luckily we had enough stops along the way. Our first stop was at Hope, where everybody had time to get a coffee, breakfast and explore the town. We went to see the river and made a few pictures of it. After that we continued our journey to Kamloops, where we could get lunch in the mall. When all our stomachs were filled, we started driving to Spahat Falls. This is a cute little waterfall near Clearwater. As it was so small, you could take pictures with it with the water coming from your nose or mouth. Then we continued our journey to Valemount. On the way to Valemount, we were a bit unlucky, as there was a forest fire. The police blocked the road and we weren’t able to get to our hotel. According to the news, it would take about 2 hours for the road to open again, so we went back to Blue River to wait for new updates. After an hour we heard that the road would not open till the morning, so Janel tried to arrange an hotel in Kamloops. We tried to make the best out of the situation, so some of our group even started dancing on the music. When Janel could not arrange a hotel in Kamloops, he called the police for us. Apparently the road was open again, so the decision was made to get back to the hotel again. We were really happy 20170811_145832that we still could get to the hotel, because if we would have gone back to Kamloops, we would have needed to wake up 3 hours earlier. This made the bus drive even longer, but not less fun. During our long bus drive we played games with the whole bus. One of the games was called “Speeddating”. Basically, one side was just switching seats and you had a short time to get to know them. It was really nice to get to know people besides our INTERNeX gang. We also played another game during our long bus ride. While playing the game, Janel would mention a certain item. This item had to be brought to the back of the bus and then back to Janel. The row that managed to do it first won. Besides that we also sang a lot together and turned the bus a bit in a party bus. When we finally got to the hotel, we still went to the Cowboy ranch where we ate dinner, did line dancing and tried to catch a bull with a lasso.

On Saturday our adventure in the Rockies really started. We drove a short way to Mt. Robson where we had breakfast. Then we drove further to Jasper. On the way to Jasper something special happened, we drove into another time zone. The clock had to be forwarded 1 hour. This was sometimes confusing, because one of my phones didn’t change automatically while the other one did. In Jasper we could get lunch for at the Columbia icefields, as it can be really expensive there. I chose to do the Snocoach on this day, which was one of the optional activities. During the Snocoach we drove in a big tank up to the glacier. It was really nice to see all the snow in Canada again, because in a way I missed it a bit. Here we could try out the fresh water from the glacier. Besides that we also made a few great pictures in front of the mountain. After the Snocoach we drove up to Peyto lake, which was the first really blue lake that we saw on our journey. 20915875_1862323020449807_1096242011_nI was amazed by the amazing blue water and made some great pictures in front of the lake. Then it was time for the second lake of our big trip: Bow Lake. At Bow Lake we could do the Polar Wolf Swim. Basically, we ran with the whole group into the water, because that seemed easier. However, in my opinion the water did not get warmer while I was swimming in it, so I got out of it really soon. We all quickly changed back into our normal clothes and drove to our second hotel. We did not stay really long at that hotel, as we had to get dinner and then had to meet at the pub for pre-drinks. The drinks in the pub were really cheap, so a great place for pre-drinks for our big party in Banff. After getting some drinks we went to the club to dance the night away.

20170813_080315The next day a lot of people were still recovering from the day before. We already had to leave really early in order to see all the lakes that day. Our first stop was at Lake Minnewanka where we had breakfast again. After I finished my food, I decided to explore the lake for a bit and make pictures together with Lea. On the way back to the bus we also saw big horn sheep walking away and luckily I got the chance to make a picture of them as well. Then we drove further to one of the more famous lakes of the Rockies, Lake Louise. We first did a hike to a hidden spot. From this hidden spot, you could make a beautiful picture of the lake without all the tourists on it. After I got pictures from the lake, I decided to go back to the lake and enjoy the view from the bottom. However, I could not spend a lot of time there, as I already did a long hike before that. After time at the lake itself, we could either choose to go to Lake Louise village or do the Lake Louise gondola. I decided to do the Lake Louise gondola, which meant that I could also enjoy the 20170813_122705all you can eat buffet beforehand. The food was really good and after I ate I was ready to go up to the top of the gondola. Franz, Alex and I took the open gondola, as we wanted to make sure that we could make nice pictures if we would spot a bear on the way to the top. Unfortunately we didn’t see any bears. Once on the top, we did a hike which took us to a really nice viewing point. From there you could see the mountains on the back and the clouds also added something mystical. As I was a bit late, I had to sing a song in front of the bus. I decided to sing “Het is een nacht”, which is a famous Dutch song. It was fun to see Danielle and Bart singing along, which made it less awkward for me. After enjoying the amazing view at the top of the gondola, it was finally time to go to the best lake in the Rockies, which I think is Moraine Lake. Moraine Lake is the most blue lake in the Rockies and great for pictures. We hiked a short time to get a better view of the lake and made a picture there. I was so amazed by the blue color of the lake. I also tried to make one on the rocks, which was really scary for me. After Moraine Lake we 20170813_160458continued our way to another amazing lake, namely Emerald Lake. A lot of people decided to do canoeing. I went together with Lea and Merle. We all got a paddle and I think we were doing a pretty good job with directing the boat. On the lake we were enjoying the views of the mountains and the beautiful lake. After that we drove up to the Mountain View Cabins. There were only a few cabins, which basically meant that we were the only one at the cabins. We had a great BBQ and then I explored the area a bit. After that I played a game with Dawid, Marko, Mandy, Tess and Nathalie. I ended that night early, while others decided to party.

20170814_140513

After getting breakfast we already had to drive back to Vancouver. It was a long way back to Vancouver, so we played some games again, watched a movie and also had a few great stops. We had one stop at Kelowna to get lunch. We got pizza and ate this next to the lake. We also had one more stop next to a beautiful mountain. On our way we got a bit unlucky again, as there was an accident on the highway near Chilliwack. At the end of our trip it was an emotional goodbye, as Danielle, Tess and Merle are almost leaving.

I hope you had a great time in the Rockies, because I certainly did! See you soon 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: What is included?

On the 11th of August, INTERNeX is going on an adventure again. We are going on a 4-day trip to the Rockies, which is the perfect place to spend your summer.

29698236184_8cba6b613b_oOn the first day of our big trip we are going to start our adventure at Waterfront at 7 AM. It is only a short drive to our first stop, Hope. This is where the original Rambo First Blood movie was filmed. Along the way you can enjoy the beautiful views while we are driving over the Coquihalla Highway to Kamloops. In Kamloops we will have a stop to get lunch. After filling our stomachs we will continue our way to Valemount. We will have one more stop at the Spahats Falls where we will have some time to make pictures. Once we arrive in Valemount and are checked into the hotel, we will head out to a Canadian ranch for a real Cowboy experience. There we will watch a Cowboy show and eat dinner (included). After the Cowboy show we will go back to the hotel. Here you can play hockey and afterwards warm up at the campfire.

The second day we will first have breakfast (included) at the hotel before we continue our journey to Banff. We will drive up to Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. After a short break to make pictures we will get back on the road to Jasper, another famous city in the Rockies. Then we will continue our way on the Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefields, which is known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world. On the way to the Columbia Icefields we will have a stop at Athabasca Falls, a beautiful water fall in the Rockies. Once we are at the Columbia Icefields we will have some free time. During this free time you will have the chance to join the Snowcoach tour (optional activity). After spending some time at the Columbia Icefields we will continue our way to the first amazing lake we will visit, Peyto lake. From there it is only a short drive up to the second lake, Bow lake. If you are brave enough, you can try out the Polar Wolf Swim at Bow Lake. From Bow Lake we will drive up to our hotel in Banff where we will have time to get dinner (not included). In the night we are going to end our night properly at a nightclub in Banff!

Lake Louise WT.jpeg

After our night in Banff we will have breakfast at Tim Hortons (included). We will leave Banff and drive up to Lake Minnewanka, Two Jack Lake and Cascade Ponds. From there we will head out to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. At Lake Louise we will have time to walk around or to go on the Lake Louise gondola, where a lunch buffet is included (optional activity). After Lake Louie we will go to Emerald lake where you have the opportunity to go canoeing (optional activity). After another busy day we will spend the night at the Mountain View Cabins. Here we will eat as much as we can at the all you can eat barbeque dinner (included). After that we will have a campfire where you can try to make s’mores (included).

On the fourth day we will prepare ourselves for the long way back with an all you can eat breakfast (included). We will drive through Rogers Pass to the Last Spike of the trans-continental railway. After a short stop we will continue our journey to Kelowna, where we will have lunch and possibly a beach stop (weather permitting). After our stop we will drive through the Coquihalla Valley back to Vancouver. We will arrive in Vancouver at approximately 7 PM.

To ensure your spot on the Rockies trip sign up in the office or on PuB NiGHTs before July 25th. The price is only $420 for INTERNeX candidates and $430 for non-INTERNeX. If you would like to know more about the trip, then check out our Facebook page.

– 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

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
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

 

The Amazing Rockies Trip by Iris

A few days ago we came back from our amazing trip to the Rockies. It was one of the best trips I have ever had, so thanks to all of you, Discover Canada and our great tour guide Chris for making my Easter weekend great.

On Friday we finally went to the Rockies. I have been looking forward to going there since I arrived and was way too excited on the day we left Vancouver. We all conquered seats for everybody in the back of the bus. Soon after we turned into little INTERNeX bunnies with our new bunny ears. During our trip we saw all kinds of weather in just one day. The weather went from rain to sun and from sun to snow. That sometimes confused me in a way. We made a short stop in Hope, the city where people were hoping to find gold. 18009954_1453124611427346_486553438_nAfter that we continued our journey to Kamloops. In Kamloops we went to the BC Wildlife Park where I learned about the difference between a spirit bear and a polar bear. I also had time to do some shopping in the souvenir shop with my $5 gift card. A bit later we got into the bus again and drove up to Chase. We spent the night at a First Nation’s hotel. It was a beautiful hotel with hot tub and a swimming pool. We quickly settled in and went up to the lake to make beautiful pictures. After exploring the surroundings a bit, we went up to the campfire, made smores and listened to stories of the First Nations. As I am not really handy at all, I already expected that my s’mores would not turn out to be that great. The first one was not melted enough and on the second one I just had too much marshmallow. However, it was great to try it out. It was pretty cold at the campfire, as we were sitting next to a lake. So we ended up going to the hot tub and the swimming pool to warm up. Here we got to talk with a few people from our bus and learned about the different cultures. In the end we all went to Janel and Danielle’s room for a few drinks.

The next day we had still quite a drive to get to the Rockies. Luckily we still had stops at beautiful places such as Emerald lake and Roger’s Pass. Once we were at Emerald lake, we all walked on the frozen lake and some people even got wet shoes after our little stop. Of course we had to be the typical tourist, so we made lots of pictures and videos at this beautiful lake. Our tour guide also told us lots of stories about the little villages that we passed. 18009267_1401739859889828_359732502_nMost of them were mainly built because of the train passing through it. It was great getting to know more about Canada and its cute little villages. Along the way to the Rockies we had to change our time on the watches as we got into mountain time. This meant that the clock would go one hour forward. It was really strange to hear about mountain time. I first did not believe our tour guide and thought he was fooling everybody in the bus. However, my phone proved it to me that mountain time actually exists. We drove all the way up to Lake Louise where we could either walk to the other side of the lake or go to the Fairmont hotel. The choice was not that hard to make anymore when our tour guide told us that we could see a frozen waterfall. It was a bit strange that the lake was frozen enough again, as our tour guide told us that they did it a few weeks ago too and then they heard the ice crack underneath their feet. Many people walked on the lake, so we were not that scared that the ice would break. Luckily it was solid ice again and we did not have any troubles on our way to the frozen waterfall. After we reached the frozen waterfall we walked back around the lake and back to the bus. I think this walk was a good practice for my ice walk the day after, as it could be slippery at and around the lake too. Then we drove to Banff and checked in at our second hotel. A lot of us were hungry again so we went back into the city to find a good restaurant. We all had a great laugh at the bus stop, as we were with so many people and it took forever to get onto the bus. When we were in the city, it was quite hard to find a spot for so many people. However, we managed to fit us all in Earls. After we filled our stomachs again, we went to Janel’s room and waited for cabs. We did not want to make the bus drivers in Banff too annoyed, right? We ended our night with a great night out at one of Banff’s clubs.

On Sunday it was finally time to do the optional activities. I already booked the ice walk before I went to the Rockies and therefore only had a short amount 18009430_1453128441426963_967056228_nof sleep. However, it was good that I was forced to get out of bed, because the fresh air and me being active really helped. Another guide picked us up at the hotel in a small bus. On the way to Johnston Canyon he talked about the nature of Canada. He also did a small quiz with us. If you answered the questions right, you would get a cookie. Everybody was actively participating in it and tried their hardest to come up with the answer. To me that was quite logical, because who does not like to get a cookie? When we reached our final destination we had to put on spikes on our shoes for the really icy parts. Of course I was the person who got two different sizes. As I already asked to change the size, I did not want to bother him anymore and therefore just let it be. He already mentioned that it did not matter if the spikes would not totally fit and therefore I thought it would not matter for me too. On our way we walked passed frozen waterfalls, fossils and even some animals. I was acting like a tourist again and kept asking questions. The whole walk was sometimes a bit rough, as we had to walk up and down on hills and had some icy parts. According to our tour guide you can even be short of breath if you are fit, as the altitude in the mountains is way different than the altitude in Vancouver or even the Netherlands. This gave me a much better feeling, as I already thought I was not in shape at all. Our guide also showed us how to hike down an icy hill. He said that you have to bend your knees and stamp your feet into the ground. In the end we all looked like tiny elephants walking around at Johnston Canyon. On the way back we could enjoy the scenery again and look if there were any animals. In the
18035697_1450314021655639_470381007_nafternoon we decided to do a hike on the Sulphur mountain. We were supposed to be at the top in one hour, but were only able to get half way because of all the ice and snow. However, the views were still really great. Every time we kept looking down to see how much we already completed to keep us motivated to get to the top. At the end of our hike we walked 16.7 km in total, so we were definitely able to make up for all the unhealthy food we have been eating. After being so active, we were happy to sit in the bus again for our journey to Golden. Here we spent our last night around the campfire. It was really cosy and warm around the fire. Sometimes it was so hot that I had to switch with others to let my legs cool off a little bit.

The last day we drove back to Vancouver again and had a few stops along the way. One was at Craigellachie where I made a few crazy pictures at the wagon. We also played the game 2 truths and 1 lie. It was hard to come up with a lie about myself, but in the end I went up there and was trying to convince everybody that my lie was true. The game was a fun way to get to know others from the bus and from the INTERNeX group. After a bit time in the bus we also had a stop at the Aberdeen mall. Here I had my very first hamburger wrapped in a lettuce wrap. I have to admit that it felt good to have some veggies after all the unhealthy food in the Easter weekend. After we arrived in Vancouver again, I was in for some sleep and immediately went home.

I hope you all had an awesome weekend and catched some sleep, so that you are ready to do activities in the weekend again!

– 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