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-


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-

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

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-

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-

Rockies tour guide: practical information

Only 3 nights of sleep left until we are finally going to the Rockies! We are very excited and we hope you are too. Because the trip is already coming so close, we wanted to give you some practical information, starting of with the rough schedule:

Day 1 – Friday April 14

  • Meet the INTERNeX PR-team and Discover Canada tours at 7.30am at Canada Place, we will depart Vancouver at 8.00am.
  • We will enjoy some sights along the way: Coquihalla Highway, Bridal Falls and Okanagan Valley.
  • Around 2pm we will arrive at BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops where you can guide yourself through the park, or you can take the miniature train for 1 dollar. There will be a Bobcat feeding at 2.15pm.
  • After visiting the park, we will drive further to Chase and check-in at Quaaout Lodge & Spa. The resorts First Nations Cultural Host will take everyone on a tour while telling entertaining stories and legends.
  • After settling in the rooms there is an option to enjoy the hot tub and indoor pool. Then join the guide for a campfire and marshmallow roast. (weather permitting)

Day 2 – Saturday April 15

  • Breakfast at the hotel (included) and depart the hotel in the morning.
  • Drive through Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park.
  • Visit Rogers pass, a high mountain pass through the Selkirk Mountains of BC used by the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Trans Canada Highway.
  • Explore Lake Louise.
  • Continue the drive to Banff, where we will enjoy a driving tour of the town.
  • Check into the hotel in Banff and have free time to go shopping on Banff Avenue and have some dinner. (Dinner is not included)
  • You have the option to join the guide for a night out dancing! (18+ with 2 pieces of valid ID)

Day 3 – Sunday April 16

  • Have breakfast at the hotel (included)
  • Option to go on the optional activities like skiing at Lake Louise Mountain, ice walking or enjoying the view from the Banff gondola.
  • If you are not participating in an optional activity, you can sleep in for a bit and have breakfast later. After that you can meet the guide for an extended tour of Banff.
  • After the activities or extended tour there is an option to go soak in the Banff Hot Springs.
  • Depart Banff in the afternoon and head to Golden.
  • Check into the Golden hotel and enjoy the indoor pool with water slides and hot tub.
  • Option to visit the local pub for an end of the tour party.

Day 4 – Monday  April 17

  • Have breakfast at the hotel and depart from Golden. (breakfast included)
  • Stop at Craigellachie to see the last spike of the Canadian Railway.
  • Enjoy the entertainment, movies and games in the bus.
  • Stop at Aberdeen Shopping Mall (near Kamloops) for lunch and shopping.
  • Driving further to Vancouver to arrive there approximately 7.30pm

To be sure you are in the right spot Friday morning, see the map below:

meeting point discover canada

Also please bear in mind to pack the following things:

  • Your passport
  • Medical insurance card
  • Medicines if necessary
  • Swim clothes (if you are planning to take a dive)
  • Comfortable but good walking shoes
  • Warm winter clothes: it still gets quite cold in the Rockies, especially during the night.
  • Rain clothes and sunglasses: you never know what to expect in Canada
  • Make sure you have enough money with you, if you want to be sure also take cash with you to avoid problems with credit / debit cards.

Besides that we want you to bear in mind that only breakfasts are included and you are responsible to get your own lunch and dinner. There will be time to go to some places to eat, but don’t forget to take money with you for the meals.

If you have any further questions you can always contact us! We hope you are all as excited as we are. See you on Wednesdays PuB NiGHT or Friday morning 🙂

– Tess

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-