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-

Expose of the Week

Sonja, Germany

How did you find INTERNeX international exchange?

I was looking for an organization that offers a farm stay on the Internet and found Ayusa/ INTERNeX.

Why did you choose INTERNeX international exchange?

INTERNeX to me seemed to be a serious organization and I read a lot of positive field reports.

Why did you choose to go to Canada?

I always knew that I wanted to travel abroad and I wanted it to be an Anglophone country. Canada and the US were my favorites, as I already traveled to the States several times and really enjoyed it. I finally decided to go to Canada in order to get to know a new country and new places and because I really wanted to do the farm stay, which didn’t work out for the States.

How did you find a place to stay?

The program that I chose has different farm types to offer (horse ranches, guest ranches etc). As I already had a lot of experience with horses I definitely wanted to be placed on a horse farm. I just needed to fill in some questionnaires and prove that I had experience in this sector and then INTERNeX “brought me and the “farmers” together.

What kind of program were you doing and did you find it useful?

As I already mentioned, I participated in a program called farm stay. For me, this experience definitely was useful, useful in a way that I learned a lot of things, and not only new things about training, working and living with horses, but also about the Canadian mentality and last but not least about myself. Although I’m not planning to work with horses for a living, I wouldn’t want to miss the experiences I made. Working with animals always tells you a lot about yourself, useful things for a life time.

How did you like your program?

I liked it a lot! It was one of the best times in my life and I’m really happy that I decided to do the farm stay. Although I first made some really negative experiences (I had to change the farm) everything finally turned out to be great. The people I lived with soon became a second family and I met many wonderful persons and really enjoyed my work.

What kind of tasks were you responsible for on a daily basis?

Actually every day looked really different, but what definitely was an essential part of my work was the training of young horses that had little or none experience with a rider on their back. Of course other chores like feeding and brushing horses were a part of my work as well, although not on a 100 percent daily basis.

What do you like best about Canada?

I really like the Canadian mentality, I like that everything is more relaxed than in Germany and that the great majority of people are always welcoming, friendly, helpful and generous. I like the wide spaces, the nature, the wilderness, the contrasts and the diversity that you can find everywhere…!!

Where have you been in Canada?

I lived more than two months in Valemount, a small town about an hour away from Jasper. I also spend a longer time in Vancouver and travelled to several places such as Vancouver Island, Whistler, Jasper, Edmonton, Nelson etc. And hopefully there are many more places to come!

What do you like most about Vancouver?

I really like that Vancouver is as green as it is, that you can find parks and recreations areas almost everywhere. To have the sea and Vancouver’s beaches just minutes away from the mountains is awesome. The city has lots of different faces as well, many different neighborhoods, each of them with its own character. And I really like the sea bus and the aquabuses 😀

Where have you been in and around Vancouver?

I’ve seen most of the downtown areas and hot spots and also lived a short time in Burnaby and North Vancouver.

What was the most memorable thing that you did in Canada (so far)?

I did a lot of memorable things, things that I never would have done in Germany and things that told me a lot about Canada and its people and myself. To see whales diving into sunset on Vancouver Island for example was unforgettable as well as being out in the Canadian wilderness for some days during my farm stay.

Let’s sum it up: What was the best thing about your program in Canada (so far)?

It’s hard to find one best thing, but I guess the thing is not a thing but some of the people who I met and who hopefully will stay friends for a life time. It’s also a great feeling to know that you found a second home at the other end of the world.

And what the worst thing?

The worst thing … Probably my first week where I had to learn that not everybody welcomes you with open arms and that reality most of the times doesn’t meet your expectations.

What is the first thing you will do back home in Germany?

First thing is to embrace my family and friends and then go to my favorite bakery and buy everything they have 😉 and eat it!:D

Would you recommend INTERNeX international exchange?


Cheers Sonja


INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 9N9-