Winter in the Rockies: Part 1

I’ve had the time of my life and I never felt like this before, yes I swear it’s the truth and I owe it all to YOU!

Time flies when you’re having fun! The Rockies trip we were so excited about has already ended… Sad. But what a great weekend we had! We knew it was going to be impressive, but the real life experience exceeded my (high) expectations. There is so much to talk about, but let’s start at the beginning…

41175779622_efacb8c211_nWe all met at the bus at 7am to mark the start of our adventure. It was early, but luckily the long bus ride made sure we could all catch up on some sleep. Our first stop was Hope, where we could admire wooden sculptures of bears and a beautiful rainbow. Next stop: Kamloops. Lunchtime! Back on the bus, we played the ‘Moose or Beaver’ game, where everyone had to choose whether the loony (another word for a Canadian dollar) that Erin, our fantastic tour guide, flipped would land on the loon bird or the queen. Everyone looked hilarious, but we were all in this together. Right before we arrived at the hotel in Valemount, we went to visit Rearguard Falls Provincial Park. The entire park was covered in snow, which was breathtaking. Then we checked into the hotel, had dinner at a nearby restaurant and to end this busy day of traveling, we had a little party in our room.


Saturday: 7:45AM. Time to get on the bus again! We started the day with a stop at Mount Robson. It was cold. Like, REALLY cold. But it was so worth it! We had the most beautiful view and there was not a single cloud in the sky, which is really unusual during this time of year. Then, it was time to warm up again and travel to our next stop: Jasper. Time to get some fresh air, get a coffee, get lunch, buy souvenirs and enjoy the view of the mountains.

Unfortunately, due to an avalanche, we had to take a detour and therefore we were not able to see all the things we had planned. Once we arrived at the hotel later in the evening, we wanted to get a drink and have dinner at the pub. Long story short: We did not have dinner and the only thing saving many candidates from starving was the vending machine. It was a long day, but in the end, we still had fun and we knew Sunday would make up for it!

Curious about the last two days of the trip? Come back tomorrow to read Nadine’s post!

See you all at PuB NiGHT at The Beaver Bar tonight! (Mmm, K!)

– Angy

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-

3, 2, 1… It’s Rocky Mountains time!

I’m sure we’re all counting down the days. Because in only a few days, we are going on one of the best trips of the year: the Rocky Mountains! Four days packed with fun and exciting moments are ahead of us. But what exactly is the plan and what do you all have to bring? I will gladly inform you about this in the following few paragraphs.

We are meeting early in the morning this Friday. At 7am to be exact. The meeting point is at the corner of Seymour and Cordova Street. Be there on time, because the bus won’t be waiting for you! We’ll be having lunch in Kamloops and we will arrive at our hotel around 6pm. This day is used especially for travelling, but you will see lots of beautiful nature anyway.

Saturday starts at 7:45am with the departure from the hotel and the pick-up of our breakfast. We will do lots and lots of sightseeing today. Curious how much sightseeing? Here it goes: First stop: Mount Robson. Second stop: Jasper. Third stop: Athabasca Falls (where we have lunch). Fourth stop: Columbia Icefields Centre. Fifth stop: Peyto Lake. Sixth stop: Bow Lake. Seventh stop: Checking into the hotel and visiting Lake Louise. See? I told you we’ll see a lot.

After a good night’s sleep, it’s Sunday already! We all start the day at 7:30am with breakfast at the hotel. We are leaving the hotel at 8am and are heading to Johnston Canyon. From 11am on, we can enjoy some free time! You have the chance to use the Banff Gondola, soak in hot springs or discover Banff by yourself. Later in the afternoon, we head to Emerald Lake and afterwards, we will check into our accommodation for the night: Mountain cabins. And because being in mountain cabins only isn’t good enough, we’ll have a campfire with s’mores and hot chocolate in the evening. The ultimate Canadian experience.

But, all good things come to an end. It’s Monday already. Our last day is spent with travelling again. We depart from the hotel at 8am and we’ll have lunch in beautiful Kelowna this time. The estimated arrival back in Vancouver is at 6.30pm. Time to say goodbye to everyone and wipe away the tears.

Very important! Do not forget to bring:

  • Enough warm clothes
  • A pair of gloves
  • A warm hat
  • Good shoes
  • Your bikini/ swim shorts
  • A towel
  • Sunglasses (in case the sun says hello)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste etc.)
  • 2 pieces of ID!
  • Your camera!

I am really looking forward to Friday, not only because of the trip, but because many of you will join me and we will have an amazing time.

– Nadine

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-

The Rockies Summer Trip by Iris

On Monday we came back from our amazing Rockies trip. Once again, it became one of my highlights of my stay. Thanks to everyone who joined on our Rockies trip, Westtrek, our great busdriver Darren and our amazing tour guide Janel.

20170811_091446Friday was finally the time to go to the Rockies and I was so excited that I barely slept the day beforehand. I could see that more people lacked some sleep, as a lot of people were getting coffees in Tim Hortons or tried to catch some sleep in the bus. The drive to Valemount was pretty long, so luckily we had enough stops along the way. Our first stop was at Hope, where everybody had time to get a coffee, breakfast and explore the town. We went to see the river and made a few pictures of it. After that we continued our journey to Kamloops, where we could get lunch in the mall. When all our stomachs were filled, we started driving to Spahat Falls. This is a cute little waterfall near Clearwater. As it was so small, you could take pictures with it with the water coming from your nose or mouth. Then we continued our journey to Valemount. On the way to Valemount, we were a bit unlucky, as there was a forest fire. The police blocked the road and we weren’t able to get to our hotel. According to the news, it would take about 2 hours for the road to open again, so we went back to Blue River to wait for new updates. After an hour we heard that the road would not open till the morning, so Janel tried to arrange an hotel in Kamloops. We tried to make the best out of the situation, so some of our group even started dancing on the music. When Janel could not arrange a hotel in Kamloops, he called the police for us. Apparently the road was open again, so the decision was made to get back to the hotel again. We were really happy 20170811_145832that we still could get to the hotel, because if we would have gone back to Kamloops, we would have needed to wake up 3 hours earlier. This made the bus drive even longer, but not less fun. During our long bus drive we played games with the whole bus. One of the games was called “Speeddating”. Basically, one side was just switching seats and you had a short time to get to know them. It was really nice to get to know people besides our INTERNeX gang. We also played another game during our long bus ride. While playing the game, Janel would mention a certain item. This item had to be brought to the back of the bus and then back to Janel. The row that managed to do it first won. Besides that we also sang a lot together and turned the bus a bit in a party bus. When we finally got to the hotel, we still went to the Cowboy ranch where we ate dinner, did line dancing and tried to catch a bull with a lasso.

On Saturday our adventure in the Rockies really started. We drove a short way to Mt. Robson where we had breakfast. Then we drove further to Jasper. On the way to Jasper something special happened, we drove into another time zone. The clock had to be forwarded 1 hour. This was sometimes confusing, because one of my phones didn’t change automatically while the other one did. In Jasper we could get lunch for at the Columbia icefields, as it can be really expensive there. I chose to do the Snocoach on this day, which was one of the optional activities. During the Snocoach we drove in a big tank up to the glacier. It was really nice to see all the snow in Canada again, because in a way I missed it a bit. Here we could try out the fresh water from the glacier. Besides that we also made a few great pictures in front of the mountain. After the Snocoach we drove up to Peyto lake, which was the first really blue lake that we saw on our journey. 20915875_1862323020449807_1096242011_nI was amazed by the amazing blue water and made some great pictures in front of the lake. Then it was time for the second lake of our big trip: Bow Lake. At Bow Lake we could do the Polar Wolf Swim. Basically, we ran with the whole group into the water, because that seemed easier. However, in my opinion the water did not get warmer while I was swimming in it, so I got out of it really soon. We all quickly changed back into our normal clothes and drove to our second hotel. We did not stay really long at that hotel, as we had to get dinner and then had to meet at the pub for pre-drinks. The drinks in the pub were really cheap, so a great place for pre-drinks for our big party in Banff. After getting some drinks we went to the club to dance the night away.

20170813_080315The next day a lot of people were still recovering from the day before. We already had to leave really early in order to see all the lakes that day. Our first stop was at Lake Minnewanka where we had breakfast again. After I finished my food, I decided to explore the lake for a bit and make pictures together with Lea. On the way back to the bus we also saw big horn sheep walking away and luckily I got the chance to make a picture of them as well. Then we drove further to one of the more famous lakes of the Rockies, Lake Louise. We first did a hike to a hidden spot. From this hidden spot, you could make a beautiful picture of the lake without all the tourists on it. After I got pictures from the lake, I decided to go back to the lake and enjoy the view from the bottom. However, I could not spend a lot of time there, as I already did a long hike before that. After time at the lake itself, we could either choose to go to Lake Louise village or do the Lake Louise gondola. I decided to do the Lake Louise gondola, which meant that I could also enjoy the 20170813_122705all you can eat buffet beforehand. The food was really good and after I ate I was ready to go up to the top of the gondola. Franz, Alex and I took the open gondola, as we wanted to make sure that we could make nice pictures if we would spot a bear on the way to the top. Unfortunately we didn’t see any bears. Once on the top, we did a hike which took us to a really nice viewing point. From there you could see the mountains on the back and the clouds also added something mystical. As I was a bit late, I had to sing a song in front of the bus. I decided to sing “Het is een nacht”, which is a famous Dutch song. It was fun to see Danielle and Bart singing along, which made it less awkward for me. After enjoying the amazing view at the top of the gondola, it was finally time to go to the best lake in the Rockies, which I think is Moraine Lake. Moraine Lake is the most blue lake in the Rockies and great for pictures. We hiked a short time to get a better view of the lake and made a picture there. I was so amazed by the blue color of the lake. I also tried to make one on the rocks, which was really scary for me. After Moraine Lake we 20170813_160458continued our way to another amazing lake, namely Emerald Lake. A lot of people decided to do canoeing. I went together with Lea and Merle. We all got a paddle and I think we were doing a pretty good job with directing the boat. On the lake we were enjoying the views of the mountains and the beautiful lake. After that we drove up to the Mountain View Cabins. There were only a few cabins, which basically meant that we were the only one at the cabins. We had a great BBQ and then I explored the area a bit. After that I played a game with Dawid, Marko, Mandy, Tess and Nathalie. I ended that night early, while others decided to party.


After getting breakfast we already had to drive back to Vancouver. It was a long way back to Vancouver, so we played some games again, watched a movie and also had a few great stops. We had one stop at Kelowna to get lunch. We got pizza and ate this next to the lake. We also had one more stop next to a beautiful mountain. On our way we got a bit unlucky again, as there was an accident on the highway near Chilliwack. At the end of our trip it was an emotional goodbye, as Danielle, Tess and Merle are almost leaving.

I hope you had a great time in the Rockies, because I certainly did! See you soon at PuB NiGHT!

– Iris

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-

INTERNeX Goes Rockies Review – Part 2

Day 3
It’s getting more and more difficult to get up in the morning after partying so hard at night. But just as Japanese would say: “Gambate” which means something like “give it your all” we kept going and overcame our challenges. So, we forced ourselves out of bed to maybe catch a glimpse of some wildlife and check out yet another beautiful lake.

Shortly after, we returned to the hotel to pick up some of our sleepyheads and moved on to Bow Lake. This is my personal highlight of the trip because this is where we did a polar bear swim. What is that you may ask? Well, you put on some swimwear in not so warm weather and run into a freezing cold lake. And because that was not enough for us we repeated this process. It was super cold but also really refreshing. It immediately washed away everyone hangover.
Afterwards came Peyto Lake which has the form of a wolf when looked upon from above. It’s pretty amazing what strange things nature does sometimes.
Next stop? Athabasca Glacier where we took a snow coach. That’s a bus with some really huge tires which are needed to drive on the ice in order to get us to a prepared area to walk on the glacier.
Thinking back we saw quite a lot of interesting places on our way to the third day’s destination Valemount.
Before we arrived we visited the powerful waterfall at Athabasca Falls and then a park from where you had a great view on the Canadian Rockies’ highest mountain: Mount Robson.
In Valemount we checked in to a very North American looking motel, had dinner and then started playing some Street Hockey while other sat around a huge bonfire. As our final night of party and fun progressed the bonfire also grew bigger and bigger. Eventually we had to think of damage control and tried to put out some of it before turning in to bed.

Day 4
The day of return. But first we had to visit the enormous salmon spawning in the river close to the motel we were staying at.
After this we only had 2 more stops before our homecoming. One of them was at Spahats Creek Falls and the second at Kamloops. It was only a short stop though. We ate lunch at a shopping mall and got right back on the bus.
Everyone was very exhausted but didn’t really want the trip to end. Just like a real wolf pack we had become a family and didn’t want to part.
It was inevitable though. We ended the bus ride with a hilarious Lego animation movie. However, we will meet again!
Hopefully at tonight’s Rockies Reunion at Malone’s!

Cheers and remember: Everything Is Awesome!

Your PR Team
Natasja & Amiel

INTERNeX International Exchange – PR Coordinator
work + live + learn – Email – Web – Blog – Facebook – YouTube – Twitter – Instagram – Flickr

Review: Trip to the Rockies – Part 3

On our last day we left our hotel at 7:30am to get our breakfast. After breakfast we went on the bus again. We had hundreds of kilometres of road in front of us. Fortunately we also had several stops during our trip, and we definitely didn’t get bored. Most of used the first part of the trip to try to get some sleep, although it sometimes could be a bit difficult because of the beautiful scenery. Our first activity of the was a bear safari. Already before doing the bear safari we were lucky to spot a bear very close to the road. This was all very exciting, and everybody rushed to the one side of the bus to get a picture. A man driving in front of us was a bit too curious. He had stopped his car and got out of the car to take pictures. When you’re this close to a bear, the last thing you should do is of course to get out of your car.

After some time we arrived to the place where we could either enjoy a smoothie, bagel or whatever else on offer at a nice houseboat or join the bear safari. Once again the weather was perfect: hot and sunny. Perfect for bear watching. However, not only did we see bears, also eagles were to be spotted. The bear safari lasted about an hour. After the trip you could, of course, buy pictures of yourself standing in front of or right next to a bear.

After the bear safari it was time to visit Spahat Falls. A small path led to a viewpoint from which you could see the great waterfall. Our tour guide told us that there was something magic to this waterfall. He told us stare at the waterfall for about 20-30 seconds, and then look at the rock next to the waterfall. As we tried to do this, it felt as if the rock started to move up and down. Perhaps it was actually even more funny to watch other peoples’ reaction to this optical illusion.

Before arriving back in Vancouver, we stopped at a very nice lake where we could get something to eat and take a swim. As we were getting closer to Vancouver it started to get more hot, so a lot of us took advantage of the opportunity to get out for swim in the lake.

On our way back to Vancouver we had a quiz about the different facts our guide had given us during the trip… great fun. On our arrival to Vancouver we thanked our bus driver and tour guide for an amazing trip.

Click here if you want to see more pictures from this great trip.

We hope that just as many will join our next monthly trip which will be to Whistler. So be on the lookout for the next trip. 

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-