Friday, March 13, 2015

Thursday: Geothermal Plant, Museums, Shopping in Old Town, and Weather

Today, something unbelievable happened. After dinner, Rikako, Yeva, Ms. McClure and I went to the shopping mall. On our way back to the hotel, we tried to take a bus instead of walking for half an hour. We were waiting at the bus stop in the cold for nearly 30 minutes because the lady in the information desk gave us a wrong time and we were a little bit early. Finally, the bus came but it didn't stop!! The driver didn't even slow down to see if anybody was waiting and he just went by. We couldn't believe it. There were at least 10 other people waiting there. The next bus wouldn't come for another 30 minutes and we were already late for check in, so we decided to take a taxi. We found a taxi in front of the mall. The driver said he had an appointment, but there wasn't anyone else, so he let us take it. He drove really fast and it took under 2 minutes to get to the hotel. Probably, he went back to the mall for the appointment. The taxi cost 1450 kr. We should have taken the taxi in the first place because if we took the bus, each of us had to pay 400 kr, so it's more expensive in total.

The most interesting part on Thursday was the visit to the geothermal plant where the Icelanders get most of their energy. Because the American plate and the Eurasian plate drift 2cm apart per year, there is a lot of thermal energy in Iceland. Some other effects of that are the earthquakes and the volcanic activities. Iceland uses the geothermal conditions for space heating, energy production, industrial use, tourism, health care/welfare, fish farming, greenhouses, and snow melting. The Icelanders experience numerous benefits of geothermal utilization, such as better air-quality, better homes and better health. Today in Reykjavik 99.9% of all houses are geothermally heated and the geothermal energy is a landmark for Iceland.

We went to a geothermal plant and learned about how Iceland is on two tectonic plates that are moving apart. Because of these tectonic plates in Iceland they make a lot of thermal springs. Thermal springs are made by ground water heating up because of the magma underneath it. There are many thermal springs in Iceland. the Icelandic people are clever enough to harness this energy to make electricity and hot water. First they use steam to go through big turbines to make electricity then they pump the hot water throughout Iceland. I think that this was very interesting because the process is very well planned out to help the community with hot water, heat, and electricity.

Today in Iceland we went to three places. First we went to the country's museum in Reykjavik, which had a lot of interesting Viking history, Viking weapons, and every-day tools that they used. Then we went to a very important place in Iceland. This was their geothermal plant. This one place provides 97% of Iceland's hot water and also uses steam from the hot water as an energy source. This is good for Iceland because it also doesn't produce air pollution. Lastly, we went to a horse stable where we got to see and pet the horses that they have there, which are different from the ones in New Hampshire.
- Branton

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