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 just 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. Afterwards, 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! 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.
INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-