Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Greetings, or as the Icelanders say, "kveðjur"

Greetings from Iceland! After a six-hour flight, we arrived at Keflavik international airport in Reykjavik. We hit the ground running and made the most of our first day by touring the Svartsengi geothermal power plant, relaxing in the blue lagoon, and hiking through breathtaking landscapes.
Greetings from Iceland! After a six-hour flight, we arrived at Keflavik international airport in Reykjavik. We hit the ground running and made the most of our first day.

First, we travelled to the Svartsengi geothermal power plant and took a tour of the facility. The plant was originally founded as a heating company, and over time it evolved to becoming a provider of hot water and electricity to residents of the Reykjanes peninsula. The turbines are powered by high-pressured steam, made by water that comes from the ocean and gets heated up from hot lava just below the earth's core. In keeping with general Scandinavian beliefs, the plant was extremely clean and tidy.

Powerplant.JPG

We also relaxed in the blue lagoon for a couple hours. These waters are known to be rejuvenating to health, making this lagoon a very popular destination for tourists. Everyone took a big scoop of white mud and rubbed it all over their faces to experience its legendary exfoliating effects.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of hiking through some breathtaking landscapes. We walked around the extinct volcano known as Eldborg, which is Icelandic for "The Fire Castle" (so epic).

Additionally, we spent a couple hours at the Continental Divide. The boundary between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates forms the Continental Divide in southeast Iceland. Iceland's largest lake, Þingvallavatn Lake, is located in the divide, adding to the view.

Volcanotour.JPG

Today's experience in Iceland has gotten the group and me thinking more about the country's commitment to reducing dependence on fossil fuels. I am excited to learn more about this country and geothermal energy.

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