When Marion and Mirjam entered a contest with Germany’s number one radio station, SWR3, they never dreamed they’d soon be on their way to Edmonton. Let these two lucky winners tell you all about their whirlwind trip to our winter city. Encounters with Bison, a VIP hockey experience, and a personalized concert by a German popstar are just the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes dreams really do come true…
Throwback to September of 2016: Grey and rainy fall days in Germany. The year is almost over with no highlights to look forward to. Little did we know...
It all changed the day we learned that the biggest German radio station, SWR3, would hold a contest to win a trip to Edmonton with a 24 hour stopover in Reykjavik, Iceland, for 50 winners. Neither of us had been to Canada or Iceland before, so we tried our luck and entered.
Fast-forward two months to November. Here we are at the Frankfurt Airport eagerly waiting to meet the other winners as well as the radio station staff. As the cherry on top, Max Giesinger, German singer songwriter, was going to be a special guest. We took off on a flight with Icelandair to Reykjavik, the picturesque Icelandic capital, and arrived at our beautiful hotel in the centre of the old harbour. The following day we had some time to discover this beautiful city on our own.
Off to the airport again. Destination: Canada. Or more precisely Edmonton. Another first—we were ready to meet some cute elk and eat nothing but maple syrup.
Departure time: 5pm
Arrival time: 5pm
Result: massive jetlag
Our excitement won out over the fatigue. The Matrix hotel, situated in downtown Edmonton, was lovely and we all had a goodie-bag containing some useful gear and gifts waiting for us in our rooms. This was only the beginning.
The next morning we got to experience Canadian wildlife with a guided tour through Elk Island National Park and learned all about the bison. After lunch at Rostizado, a charming Mexican restaurant, it was time for yet another highlight: Max Giesinger's acoustic set. He mostly played songs from his new album “Der Junge, der rennt” (Running boy), but following the motto “when in Canada sing like Canadians do”, he channelled his inner Céline Dion and performed “My Heart Will Go On” with the entire audience joining in—priceless!
We were lucky that the Canadian Finals Rodeo was taking place in Edmonton the very week we were there. That's where we spent the rest of the day: visiting the rodeo market, getting a guided backstage tour, and of course attending the main event followed by the official after-party at The Needle Vinyl Tavern, a bar and live music venue.
The next day, after shopping at West Edmonton Mall, our group got to watch a proper NHL match at the futuristic Rogers Place where the Oilers, the local NHL team, played against the Dallas Stars. We had never been to an ice-hockey game before, so everything was exciting and new. Even though “we” lost the match, it was still an amazing experience as we were 50 metres up in the sky lounge with the best view over the entire rink. Check out this clip of our group enjoying the game here.
Always celebrate a good time they say. And that's what we did afterwards at The Pint, a popular pub in downtown Edmonton. The DJ even put on some German tunes which was hilarious!
On the last day we got to meet Leon Draisaitl, German player and one of the stars of the Edmonton Oilers. Afterwards we had some time to walk through Old Strathcona, a historic district with the cutest little shops. Before heading to the airport we had lunch at one of Edmonton's microbreweries, Situation Brewery. There's nothing better than having a proper Canadian beer before leaving the country. Keep that in mind for your next trip to Canada.
That was it. The past few days felt more like a dream than reality. Everything was just perfect. A trip we will never forget—memories made for a lifetime! And although it was already more than anyone of us could have hoped for, we even got to see some northern lights on the flight back home. What a treat! As for us, we would be ready to do it all over again anytime.