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

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-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Rockies tour guide: Schedule

Our Rocky Mountains trip is less than 1 month away! We wanted to give you a clear and short overview of the trip.

Friday
We will meet between 7.15 AM and 7.30 AM at Canada Place Way between Howe & Burrard Street. The bus will depart at 8 AM, so please make sure that you are on time. On our way to Chase we will make a stop at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops. Here you have time to walk around, make a ride on a miniature train or go to the bobcat feeding. You will also have some time to get some food or buy souvenirs. After our stop we will continue our journey to Chase. Once we are in Chase we will check into the Quaaout Lodge & Spa. At the hotel we will get to know a bit more about the Canadian culture from an aboriginal Shuswap Tribe member. After that you will get free time to rest, freshen up, go to the campfire or to use the hotel facilities like the hot tub or the swimming pool.

Saturday
On Saturday it is time to go to the beautiful place Banff. We will drive through the Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park. This means you will get enough opportunities to make beautiful pictures on the way to Lake Louise. At Lake Louise you will get free time to either do ice skating, play ice hockey or just to explore the area. After these amazing activities, we will head to our next hotel on Banff Ave. In the evening, you can go shopping, visit the hot springs or just relax at the hotel. When you all had your rests, you will get the chance to go to a night club. This night out will be in Alberta, which means that 18 year old candidates can join us as well!

Sunday
On this day you will have time to do optional activities such as skiing/snowboarding at Lake Louise Mountain, dog sledding, ice walking or going on the Banff Gondola. If you choose to not participate in any of these activities, you can sleep a bit longer and join an extended tour of Banff. In the late afternoon, we will leave beautiful Banff and drive to Golden. Once we checked into the hotel, there will be free time to make use of the hotel facilities. The hotel has an indoor pool with waterslide and a hot tub, so put on your bathing suit and take a dip into the pool. If you prefer to go out again, you can also go to the local pub for an end of tour party.

Monday
On Monday we still got a few nice activities planned for you. On our drive back to Vancouver, we will first go to Roger’s Pass National Historic Site. After that we will make a stop at Craigellachie before we continue our journey to Vancouver. We will arrive in Vancouver at about 7.30 PM.

Packing list
We know it is sometimes hard to figure out what you need to bring on your trip. Therefore, we made a packing list of items you definitely should bring to the Rockies:
– Cash
– Phone + charger
– Walking shoes
– Passport + second ID
– Toiletries
– Bathing suit
– Camera
– Bath towels
– Warm clothing
– Proof of medical insurance

If you want to get more information about the prices of the activities, please check out the previous blogpost. Make sure to pay for the ski or snowboard lessons, the ice walk and the dog sledding beforehand.

headerrockies3There are only 3 days left to sign up for the Rockies trip, so sign up and pay at the office or at PuB NiGHT. You can even win a price if you sign up before or 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: Add-ons

Since there are so many things to do in The Rockies, we wanted to give you a quick update on all the additional activities you can do during our tour! There is also a small update on the schedule.

Due to the warm weather in the Rockies we are going to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops instead of the sleigh ride. Wildlife can be dangerous in real life and therefore this is the perfect opportunity to get to know more about the wildlife of BC. You may even meet the Spirit Bear or one of the Bobcats during the Bobcat feeding. If you prefer to see other animals, you can also walk around the park on your own or take a ride on the miniature train. This activity is included in the program and therefore no additional cost, except for the miniature train. The miniature train ride is an additional $1, which needs to be paid in cash. After that you can get something to eat at the full-service café or get some souvenirs at the gift shop.

17454838_1678236365525141_1539661662_oThere is a lot to do during spring time and the Rockies are just as beautiful as they are during summer. As there will be some snow in the Rockies, you are able to go skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing or dog sledding. Skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing can be booked on the bus to the Rockies, so there is no need to decide on this matter beforehand. However, this is not the case when you would like to have lessons or if you choose to do dog sledding. These activities need to be booked beforehand.

If you have had enough of the snow then you can try out ice skating. Would you rather do more sightseeing? Then the Banff gondola might be a good fit for you. During this activity you will have an awesome view of all the mountains. Both of these activities can be booked on the bus. Another sightseeing activity is the ice walk. You are not actually walking on ice, as it is too fragile for that. However, you will pass several scenic areas where you will be able to see the true beauty of ice. This activity needs to be booked beforehand. If you have had enough of the cold, then the hot springs are perfect for you! It is a great opportunity to warm up and to relax before you go to work again.

The prices for additional activities are about:
Ice skating – $13
Banff Gondola – $50
Ski lift tickets – $95
Equipment rentals – $45
Ski or snowboard lesson package – $170
Snow tubing – $28
Ice walk – $68
Dog sledding (2 hrs) – $165 (min. of 3 people per sled is required)
Hot springs – $7

The Rockies trip is coming closer and closer and so is the deadline! You only have time to sign up and pay at the office or PuB NiGHT for the Rockies trip till the 30th of March. So make sure to sign up soon, because you really do not want to miss out on this trip. It is $359 and for INTERNeX candidates it is only $354. Unfortunately we can only take cash, so make sure to swing by the ATM beforehand. The price includes accommodation with breakfast, transport, entrance to a nightclub and the BC Wildlife Park. Please take into account that you can get a discount for some activities if you pay them beforehand and some of them require paying beforehand as well. You can find more information on the event page on Facebook.

– 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