Vancouver Island – Weekend Recap

What a weekend trip!

Some of us got to experience such a nice weekend on Vancouver Island! We went there with Moose Travel Network, with whom we’ve done many trips together in the past!

We were meeting on Friday morning to head towards the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay. After enjoying the natural hair dryer on top of the ferry deck from the blowing wind we arrived in Nanaimo and got some groceries for lunch. The spot at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park let us take in a beautiful scenery while having lunch.

Afterwards, we got to see some of the biggest trees in Canada at the MacMillan Provincial Park! One tree is 75 metres high and some trees even 800 years old. Guess they survive all of us =). A true highlight was the stop at Wally Creek, where you can see one of Canada’s most beautiful nature places. Rivers and sources who go through rocks and a big valley of trees around it. Such a vibe! After seeing the big trees, we headed towards Long Beach on Vancouver Island, on which parts of the Twilight Saga were filmed, how cool is that? 🙂

In the evening we arrived at our first destination: Tofino is a nice little harbour city with a quiet, calm, but at the same time overwhelming atmosphere, caused by the surrounding nature of the sea, the mountains, and the forests. We all had a nice meal at a restaurant in the evening and a little gathering at a pub with some live music!

With the tummy full of a great breakfast we went to the beach to go surfing on Saturday morning. The fresh air, the 4 metre tall waves, the cold salty water, and the sun shining through the trees was definitely an experience we will never forget! Some of us chose a calmer option and went kayaking instead. 🙂 Luckily, due to our super tour guide Terence, we get to experience not one, but two events on Saturday! We drove with a boat out on the sea to see some grey whales! It’s a super extraordinary feeling to see such an enormous animal in the depth of the blue ocean! Some of us got to experience bear watching, which I heard was also amazing. To finish up the day we gathered together at a beach with a clear sky for stargazing and a cozy bonfire where we made classic Canadian S’mores, right after we watched the sunset. That was a whole day of events there!

Early in the morning on Sunday we left Tofino with everlasting memories and drove back to Nanaimo. We stopped at Sproat Lake to see old fossils which could be seen in a stone wall. Slowly bumping up our heartbeat, we headed towards the Nanaimo Wildly Park to go Bungee Jumping! I can tell you, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. Overcoming your fears gives you so much energy! The bridge over Nanaimo River was 150 ft (45 meters) high and they were doing bungee jumps since 1990! I guess we can be sure the bungee doesn’t tear apart =). With adrenaline still in our veins from the bungee jump, we went to Mount Douglas. This mountain is right before Victoria, our second destination on the trip. From this mountain you can even look over to the United States! Such a breathtaking view! Arriving in Victoria, we ended our evening with a tour from our bus driver Terence and a Pub Night in Victoria.

Waking up in Victoria gives you many options on what to see. We decided to go to the Royal BC Museum which has an exhibition about Natural History and the animals there. The animals were displayed in their original size. Can you imagine how big a mammoth is? Me neither until I saw it there. One exhibition was also about how the climate change can affect the biodiversity and the vegetation in British Columbia. They even believe that with the year 2080, the degrees climb up by 8! Walking out of the museum you can see the parliament building and next to it the Beacon Hill Park with access to the beach. After seeing the beach and the sea, we went to some souvenir shops and to a restaurant to grab some food. Sad that the trip came to an end, but also grateful for the many experiences, we took the ferry from Sidney to Tsawwassen to go home to Vancouver. On the ferry, we got many chances to spot some sea otters in the water and see the beautiful islands around us.

To conclude I must say that this experience and the whole trip will last forever in my heart because I got to see so many things and make memories every day. I’m very glad I joined this trip and I’m so excited for the next one.

We hope all of our participants in this trip could enjoy the Island just like I did. Maybe we can talk about it during the next Pub Night? =)

See you there! Have a good one!

Tino =)

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

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