Rockies Review – Part 2

Wakey wakey. After our night out, it was visible on some of your faces that the departure at 7.45am from the hotel in Banff was not the easiest. But just like the two days before, we had a couple of hours on the coach to sleep. Even though this was pretty hard for you guys, ’cause the scenery was just too stunning.
We had breakfast at Lake Minnewanka and stopped shortly afterwards at the Two Jack Lake. Impressive views all over again! After another ride on the bus we came to our first active stop of the day: Lake Louise. Half of the group happily accepted the option of hiking up the trail to the Fairview Lookout. After 45 minutes of hiking uphill we ended up at a platform with an amazing view over Lake Louise and the Fairmont Chateau.

43238145634_172125e426_nLunch was then scheduled at the Lake Louise Gondola, where we enjoyed a delicious buffet. I really recommend it – so whenever you’re considering riding the Gondola, book it as a ride and dine. 😉 Riding the Gondola was just breathtaking. It was stunning to look around and see all the amazing scenery around you. Snowcapped mountains and Lake Louise just at the foot of the big chain of mountains behind us. Sadly, we did not see any wildlife on our ride in the Gondola – but oh well, you can’t have everything, can you?

42148186840_b7a5986bcb_nThe views were great, but we were still ready to see some more, so we took off to Moraine Lake. WOW! Turquoise-blue water surrounded by picturesque mountains and some chiselled rocks. Perfect to just reminisce, look at the beautiful nature or – for the active among us – to climb. I somehow managed to injure my hand, but don’t even ask how it happened – you’ll just get a story about a bear-fight you won’t believe anyways. 😀
Many of you asked me if we just couldn’t stay at this beautiful lake forever – just put up a tent and spend the rest of our lives at this beautiful place. Sorry, to those who wanted to and I didn’t let. But how could I let you miss out on the next stop? No chance…

So, next stop was the most peaceful part of our entire trip: Emerald Lake. Renting a canoe just paddling across the emerald-green lake. I cannot describe it with words. You must do it, to understand what I mean! After an hour of paddling around and enjoying 29019095217_b58081e1e2_nthe quiet surroundings, we headed back to the bus and already drove to our accommodation for the last night: The Mountain View Cabins.
They are literally in the middle of nowhere and offer the full nature experience. We had dinner and discovered the environment of our last night’s stay. Hammocks to look at the stars, trails that led “into nowhere”, a grill to roast s’mores and perfect views of the mountains around us. Who would want more? We chatted with each other, enjoyed the location and started playing games. With the hours passing by and the sun setting, we quickly figured what the most charming of the mountain view cabins actually was: the night sky. Just standing on a clearing between the trees – we all got stiff necks – but no regrets. Watching shooting star after shooting star, exploring the star formations and just watching satellites passing by, the milky way in the background – breathtaking!

On Tuesday we already had to say goodbye to the Rockies. We enjoyed breakfast at the Cabins and talked about last night’s fun. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the coach, so we waited about an hour for Lucien to pick us up. Even though we had a delayed departure, we caught up on the schedule quite well. We made a quick break at “The Last Spike”, where the famous Canadian Pacific Railway was finalized, had lunch in Kamloops and made it back to Vancity by 6.15pm. It was sad to say goodbye to Hayley and the rest of the Wolfpack, but I believe we will all keep the memories of this amazing trip in our minds.

I am so thankful for each and every one of you who joined this trip. I hope you enjoyed it, as much as I did. I hope to see you guys on Saturday in CRAB park, or next Wednesday for another PuB NiGHT.

– Elisabeth

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

How was your weekend?

My weekend? Sunny, active, great!

Saturday morning, 7.45am. Prepared with hiking shoes, sunglasses and lunch packages, 16 motivated people gathered at Pacific Central to spend the day in Squamish. Everyone was ready for the big hike. Well, everyone except for our bus… Unfortunately, the bus company cancelled the ride we booked our tickets for. To be honest, that was not the best news to hear at this time of the day. Going back home? No way! So, some hot discussions later, a bus was eventually arranged for us and the adventure could start.

About an hour later, we stepped out of the bus. We stood directly in front of the gondola, the one we would take to get down after our hike (at least that is what we still thought would happen). But before heading to the trail, we had to celebrate. It was Lore’s birthday! And so, we had a chocolate cupcake for her with a candle, a birthday song, a crown and even a birthday balloon; the full package for our Belgian birthday girl.

The sky promised a lovely day and even in the shadow under the trees, it was perfect! Just like many other people, we followed the signs of the sea-to-summit trail (again, that is what we thought). The first part of the trail was quite steep with many stairs and steps of stones. No problem for our motivated group, so we made our way up along the waterfall with some breaks to enjoy the views. Every ten minutes, I heard a ‘Happy birthday’ – ‘Thank you’ conversation between Lore and some hikers on the trail. The balloon did its job, so she a lot of attention during the day.

davThe final part before reaching the top of the mountain was more challenging. The trail ended in rocks that we had to climb up. Ropes installed in the rocks and a ladder helped us to overcome the last metres until the top. Not being surrounded by trees anymore, finally allowed us to see where we were actually standing. Wow! The view was just amazing! After the past exhausting hours, it was time for lunch break. We found the perfect spot and could enjoy our sandwiches while looking at mountains with snowy tops. Some people took a power nap and some even came up with the great idea to use some sun cream.

Recovered and ready for the next part, we continued our trail where we spot even more
beautiful sceneries. While looking around and taking pictures, we suddenly saw it: the gondola that was supposed to be our destination of the hike. Frankly, it was still quite far away, so we better hurry up a bit. It was weird though that the trail continued downhill… That is when we became doubtful whether we were on the right trail or not. A local hiker could confirm that we actually weren’t. Without noticing, we left the official sea-to–Blog 0summit trail already hours ago and hiked the Stawamus Chief instead. Next surprise of the day! There was nothing else we could do, but walking down again. So that is what we did until we reached the base of the gondola again. Since there was still time left until the last ride down, some of us decided to take the gondola up. And what a beautiful outlook we had waiting for us at the top: White Mountains, a blue sea and a green forest. Amazing! We walked over a suspension bridge and enjoyed both the sun and the landscape.

After riding down the gondola (surprisingly, no one wanted to hike), some of us took another ten minute walk to the Shannon Falls. Impressive to see how much water can come down from a mountain. We rounded the day off with dinner and laughs about this day full of surprises. At least the bus ride back to Vancouver did not have any problems and we could all get our well-deserved sleep. I had a great day and was happy that so many of you joined us on this adventure!

Blog SU.jpgSunday, it was time to relax. Well, only in the morning though, because the next active program was already planned for the afternoon. We only trained our legs Saturday, so it was time to get the arms active as well. We reserved our seats for a dragon boat session during the Community Paddling Day of the Dragon Zone Paddling. Perfect weather for that! After a short introduction, Stefan, Lisa, Lotte, Angy, Nadine and I were equipped with lifejackets and paddles. So, we spend our afternoon learning how to paddle in a dragon boat on False Creek. As a highlight of this hour, we could spot a sea lions’ head above the water. Finally, we competed with the other boats in fun races. I spent the rest of the afternoon with coffee and our paddling crew at the seaside enjoying the sun.

Take care of your sunburns and see you on Wednesday for our PuB NiGHT!

– Kerstin

INTERNeX International Exchange
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Stop, Squamish time!

Only one… two… three more days until we are on our way to Squamish! Although you already know what we are going to do, let me provide you with some more details.

We will meet at 7:45AM at the Pacific Central Station (1150 Station St) in Vancouver. We will arrive in Squamish at approximately 10:00AM. Then, we will walk for an hour to the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola where we will start our hike. The hike will last three hours and is filled with beautiful nature, amazing views and there will be time to enjoy a little picnic. At the end of the hike, we will be on the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola where we can find the Summit Lodge. The perfect place to treat ourselves to a drink and celebrate we made it! 21062859398_0c95352186_n

After that, it is time to go to the next activity: the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge! The suspension bridge is 100 metres long and gives visitors a breathtaking view of the Sky Pilot Mountain and Howe Sound. When we have had enough of enjoying the sun (although honestly, could we ever?), it is time to take the gondola down again. But no worries, the trip is not over yet! When we are back at the base of the gondola, we will walk for about 20 minutes to have a look at Shannon Falls Provincial Park. Fun fact: Shannon Falls is the third tallest waterfall in British Colombia!

After visiting the waterfall, you will have the opportunity to have a Subway/A&W/McDonald’s (or bring your own) dinner before we head back on the bus. We will arrive in Vancouver at approximately 10pm. The day will consist of a lot of walking, however, it will all be worth it! According to the weather forecast it will be 26 degrees that day so don’t forget to bring your sunglasses and sunscreen! Also, make sure to bring enough food for the picnic and water to make sure you will not get dehydrated.

I hope you are just as excited as I am! See you tonight at the Beaver Bar!

– Angy

INTERNeX International Exchange
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How was your weekend?

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2017 and hello 2018! I wish you all the best luck and more beautiful moments during all your adventures. May it be in Canada, may it be somewhere else in the world. Before we can start talking about 2018, I first want to tell you how I experienced the last days of 2017.

The Christmas party on Thursday in the office was a good start to begin the holidays. We drank some eggnog with rum, beers and a lot of food, we were ready to continue our night in the Blarney Stone and later on karaoke in the Bourbon.

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On Saturday we met up early in the morning to take the bus to the Rocky Mountains. It was a really cold trip, but what an amazing views! The first day of our trip, we drove to the cabins in Golden. We made S’mores above the campfire and we did a nightly glow-snow-shoe hike in the woods.

The next day we drove early in the morning towards Banff. We saw a lot of beautiful views along the way. The first activity we did today was snow tubing. After that, we stopped at Lake Louis to go Ice-skating. Later we also did a hike through Johnston Canyon to see the frozen waterfalls. We went back to the bus to make our last stop for today, we were in Banff! We dressed up nicely and went to a sushi place where we got served by a train. After the stomachs were filled, it was time to party. We began at a cheap pub before heading to nightclub Hoodoo.

IMG-20171230-WA0005Merry Christmas! It was the time of the year again. We started the day with viewing the sunrise at Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake. Both were frozen and very beautiful. Because the temperature was minus 30 degrees, we decided to warm up in the hot springs in Banff. It was really strange sitting outside in your swimming pants with temperatures colder than your freezer. After we warmed up, we went up to Sulphur Mountain with the Gondola. Here we had a 360 degrees view over the landscape. It was definitely worth the cold. When we were down again, we drove back to Golden to have our Christmas diner. Even Santa Claus came to give us our Christmas presents. I went with our new friends to the hot tub and did a polar beer roll (rolling in the snow in our swimming pants) before going to the sauna. We ended this Christmas day around the campfire. Then the day arrived we had to go back to Vancouver. We stopped at some nice places to take photos and we did some fun games in the bus (which our side of the bus won of course).

You would think that we were exhausted after our trip, but because we are diehards we keep going. We had to say goodbye to two of our friends, Dawid and Maxine, who were about to leave Canada after several months. We met up at Malones for some drinks and went to the Met afterwards for some karaoke.

20171228_183415The next day was the perfect day for Ice Skating. So we went to the Ice rank on Robson to try out the ice. For some it was very easy, for others this was one of the first times ever they stand on skates. Later on we did some games and we ended up in the pub for a beer.

Friday was the last day of Julia with her host family. Because of that reason, her host family decided to throw a party for her. We had a really delicious diner, a cake and champagne. After a lot of laughs it was time to leave Surrey and go back to Vancouver.

On Saturday we decided to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The Capilano Light festival is still going on, so we enjoyed some nice views in the lighten-up park. When we were back in Vancouver, we met again with the rest of the group to play some games. After the games were finished, we went to the Roxy to close our night with some Jägerbombs and dances.

New years day! When the afternoon arrived, we did some games (surprise!) and popped a bottle of champagne. When the evening started, we headed to Canada place to see the firework show. When the show was over, it was time to go somewhere warmer, so the club it was. Once inside we counted down to the New Year with a balloon drop and some more champagne.

And now it is time to say hello to 2018! Let’s be real, no one is keeping their resolutions, so we might as well break them all in one night. So set aside that new gym membership, grab a beer and kick off the New Year with us during the first PuB NiGHT of the year tomorrow!

– Bart

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
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Rockies Tour Guide: Optional activities

As you may have already noticed that we have a busy schedule when we are at the Rockies, but there is still time left to do optional activities. We wanted to update you on which optional activities you can choose to do!

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Snowcoach
All the optional activities are taking place on the second or third day. On the second day we will go to the Columbia Icefields where you can choose to do the Snocoach. The Snowcoach takes you up to the Anthabasca Glacier and gives you the chance to actually walk on the glacier itself. Here you can make beautiful pictures and taste the fresh water of the glacier itself. You can take an empty bottle of water with and fill it at the glacier.

Lake Louise gondola + buffet
Lake Louise WT.jpegThe day after you have the chance to do the two other optional activities. The first one is a bit more relaxing and a perfect activity when you would like to get some rest during this busy schedule. You can take the Lake Louise gondola up and have an amazing view over the Rocky Mountains at the top. The activity includes an all you can eat lunch buffet, so you don’t have to worry about getting any lunch beforehand. You may even see bears on the way to the top!

Emerald Lake canoeing
If you would like to do something more active then you can go canoeing at Emerald Lake. Canoe on the beautiful blue waters of Emerald Lake and forget the world for a second.

The prices for additional activities are about:
Lake Louise Gondola & Buffet – $45
Snocoach Glacier Experience – $65
Snocoach & Lake Louise Gondola & Buffet – $105
Emerald Lake canoeing – $60

To ensure that you can do these activities you have to go to the Westtrek office and book your activity. You can also book the activity on the bus itself, but there is no guarantee that there will be spots available.

Are you getting excited about the Rockies trip? Then come to the office and sing up to make sure that you get to go on this amazing trip!

– Iris

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
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Smartsaver Vancouver

Summer is finally here! During summer time there is a lot to do around Vancouver and there are some good cheap options for that! So to get your summer started here are some ideas.

From July 4th till August 22nd you can watch an outdoor movie for free on Second Beach. They are a part of the Evo Summer Cinema series and all you have to do is bring your own chair or blanket, or just sit on the grass if you don’t mind! You can download the free Outdoor Movies BC App to see the schedule!

They also show outdoor movies in Burnaby, North Vancouver and at Canada Place. Burnaby shows movies on Sundays from July 9th till August 27th. The dates for North Vancouver differ, so make sure to look that up if you decide to go. Every Thursday night there will be a movie at Canada Place from July 27th till August 31st. All of these movies are free to watch!

grouse grind

If you would like to become a little more active this summer you can take Zumba classes at Canada place. Every Monday from July 24th till August 28th you can join the free Zumba class! Or hike the Grouse Grind to see the beautiful view from the top of the mountain. If you hike up, you only have to pay $10 to take the Gondola back down.

If it becomes too warm to do something active you can always cool down in the Kitsilano pool. The pool is located at Kitsilano Beach and the admission is only $5.86!

You might have been thinking about doing a boat tour around Vancouver, but these can be quite expensive, so a great alternative to that is taking the Aquataxi. The Aquataxi will take you around downtown, but it’s only around $6!

And let’s not forget that all the beaches around Vancouver are free and a perfect place to spend a lazy day!

I hope to see you all tonight on PuB NiGHT!

– Danielle

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Review: PuB NiGHT at Mahony & Sons

Yesterdays PuB NiGHT was amazing once again! We even needed to create an L shape table because so many people of you showed up, which was great! Thank you all for coming!

The PuB NiGHT was at Mahony & Sons at Canada Place, which is a really nice traditional Irish pub. We enjoyed the experience there, but you can find the other 2 pubs at False Creek and the UBC Campus. Mahony & Sons also has great deals, like wine Wednesday. On this day all the wine bottles are halve price, which makes it a really sweet deal for us since all our PuB NiGHTS are on Wednesdays.

It was also not a regular PuB NiGHT, since we had guests from Discover Canada Tours, who 17554142_10155140206567103_5741155944120773681_nwere invited to inform you all about our big Rockies trip! After some information about the Banff gondola, where to look for cute bears and the amazing hot springs, it was time to give away the prices! We hope everybody enjoys their new green sunglasses on this beautiful shiny day. The sunglasses where not even the best part yet, since we also had other great prices to give away too. We want to congratulate Suzanne and Sol with their free Gondola ride in Banff and Nicola with her tickets for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Thank you all for joining again and if you still want to join us on the Rockies trip, please stop by the office today since it is the last day you can sign up!

– Tess

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
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Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
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