Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Reflections From The Land of Fire and Ice - Day 2

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It was a great day with the group. We saw lots of sights in some pretty nasty weather and then clear blue skies 30 minutes later. We started by departing the hotel in Reykjavik. Many of the students were surprised by the sparse accommodations but later began to understand the Icelandic way is a minimal one, and that was reflected in their hotels.

Our first stop was the tectonic plates. A great space to get some perspective on how big our world is.  We also learned a good lesson regarding the nature of Icelandic culture when we had to slide down the steps which were full of snow. Icelandic people just deal with any condition with the support of others. They do not change their ways for tourist sake; no one was coming by to shovel the steps even though it is a very popular tourist site.

We then went to the Gulfoss waterfall, the geysers, and then the green house. All so amazing in their own way. Look closely and you can see the geyser breathing before it blows. 

We visited a very interesting Green House! This Green House was capable of producing 320 tons of tomatoes annually. This is very important to Icelandic people because due to their harsh climate and harsh terrain, it is difficult to grow tomatoes outside. In order to heat the Green House, they use Geo-Thermal energy (hot water from under the Earth's crust).
-Oliver S.

Today at the greenhouse we learned that the tomatoes are 18% of Iceland's economy. The reason that Iceland is so good for growing tomatoes is because it is separated from other countries, which makes it harder for diseases to infect the plants. Also, Iceland has many earthquakes but the area where the greenhouses are located do not have as many. We also visited tectonic plates and we saw where the parliament happens to run. Historically, this area was used because it made a good place for them to corral their horses. Horses were their only way of travel. This house was also right on the lake, so during the witch trials they dumped the witches in the water.
-Jess C.

Today we went to the continental drift. The drift was a very interesting piece of land because it was interesting to see the land itself being split apart. The area where the continental drift is located was actually a very significant meeting place for meetings for the people that rode on horses. We also visited a very interesting greenhouse as well. The greenhouse itself used the springs and rivers near by to run everything that happened inside, such as the heating and the lights. In conclusion the people of Iceland have great ways of using their geothermal energy in their everyday live.
-Aurdric S.

After all the places we went through today, I found out that the lifestyle of Iceland's people is very different from my country and America. In Iceland, people do not often have fresh vegetables and fruits for their daily food sources. Because there is not a lot of farming land, they instead build greenhouses in order to get fresh vegetables and fruits. Also, building greenhouses is not easy to do, because of the weather and the way the land is constructed. In conclusion, people in Iceland are smart and grateful, they appreciate what they have, and they get the most out of it.
-Mingyu Y.

This photo was taken at the tectonic drift site. In the background is the traditional site for the Icelandic parliament sitting on the Eurasian Plate, while our group is on the North American tectonic plate. This is the site where these two plates are moving away from each other creating new land at the rate of 2 cm per year. 

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