Photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49603947@N07/

We made the home page of Hella School! http://grhella.is/
Here's the web page for the school fitness competition with Google translator.


Friday - After sleeping a bit later, we headed over to the rescue squad for a tour. The headmaster of Hella is the person in charge of rescuing all from the volcanic activity. He showed us command center, equipment and the trucks they use to go into extreme areas. They area also responsible for rescuing hikers in the wilderness, etc. We then headed out to the inland part of Iceland. The weather was cold and rainy, but we were able to go out to see a replica of an early settlement house, went into a greenhouse, had a taste of Icelandic banana (which is sweeter), saw basalt crystals near a waterfall, had a picnic lunch indoors and finally returned to Reykjavik for some shopping, relaxing, and swimming.

Recovered items: earbuds, socks, boxer shorts (not claimed, wonder why?), belt, deck of cards, water bottle

I've reached my limit for this month on flickr so I may not be able to load more pics for now. I was thinking we could start a filckr group, if you all would like to share photos. We can decide later; email Sheila if interested.


Thursday - So busy I had no time to get to a computer . .. .

Basically: We went to the Hella school next to our hotel. We toured the school, a local cave where Irish monks kept their cattle during the winter (9th century), a geodesic home (where we were served smoked lamb on homemade flatbread). In the afternoon, we went to a waterfall where you can walk behind the fall. We went to another waterfall area and where the farms were previously covered in ash. Amazing how quickly the area was cleaned up. The rain has kept any remaining ash as mud now. We had a picnic near a waterfall and in the distance we could hear the volcano rumbling! Later that night we were guests of the Hella students at a national fitness competition. Ms Cronin has some ideas now! We got in late and all went to bed ready for the next day.

Recovered items: jacket, 2 backpacks (not bad!)


Wednesday - We have arrived at our new hotel for 2 nights and have some down time. (I'm finally writing and uploading before midnight! Ahh!) We are in the town of Hella (pronounced het-la).

We went to school today in Eyrarbakki. The whole school came out to meet us. It's a small school on the seacoast. We were given a school tour, met the students through a quick activity and then played kilo (similar to baseball and volleyball). The students did a great job talking to others of a different language. The Icelanders did an even better job trying their English out on us! Some students exchanged email addresses. As a thank you for hosting us, we shared small gifts and gave the school a quart of maple syrup. They presented us with a book about their school. It's the oldest school in Iceland! The people were very nice and welcoming!

We travelled around the area to see the farms and greenhouses where most of Iceland's vegetables come from. We also stopped at a church with an underground tunnel in Statholt(?). Next we went to the waterfall that has the largest volume of water flowing through it. There was also a geocache here so we left a travel bug. You can track it at http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?guid=602e9db3-f1ba-46ec-9e90-63062037cd8f
The geocache was at http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=fc9fad83-824d-41e4-b59d-55d831ae7602

Last night we had our meeting and our tour guide read us a story of some of the folklore of a nearby volcano. Due to the sunlight, most of the students went to the nearby basketball court to play with some Icelanders.

Lost: one jacket, one backpack, one hat, a few krona (coins) and one glove (that must belong to a student in Eyrarbakki)! All found by . .. you guessed it the chaperones.


If it's Tuesday, it's still Iceland! Today we another full day! Pony ride today! We hit the trail on our sturdy, yet shorter, steeds. No one fell off and a small group was allowed to come back a different way at a gallop! Of course this was the highlight of the day for a lot of people.

We headed back for a hot dog at a famous hot dog stand. Many famous people have been there. (Quite surprised by the names actually!) After lunch, we walked over to the Settlement Museum. This was not a typical museum. The main floor had the actual archaeological site in the middle of it. The building was permitted to be built before they knew of the significance of the site. The powers that be worked it out and the museum is in the "basement" of the business above. The displays surrounding the dig site used technology to its fullest making it interactive by motion and touch!

Next was the Blue Lagoon! We had dinner in a very nice restaurant and then went into the pools. There was even a little geyser at one end of the pool (simulated). We came out of the water refreshed but our hair . . . well, it will take a few shampoos to get the silica out.

Today, the lost item count was 5 backpacks, 1 set of gloves, and 2 pairs of mittens. (All found and returned by the chaperones . . . )

Update - sulfur smell - At first everyone was amazed the water, especially in the showers smelled. "There must be something wrong with the hot water!" Most didn't think they could stand it. Our guide explained it was the smell of luxury. Well, after several showers now, they don't seem to mind it at all. Some don't even smell it anymore!

The sunset was amazing tonight. We left Blue Lagoon at 9 pm and started to watch it fall into the horizon. By 10:30 it was twilight!

School tomorrow! We are meeting 11 students in one class. We will do a quick activity and then they will teach us an Icelandic game.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Well this morning we had a hard time rolling out of bed. With a few (or many) knocks we made it for an Icelandic breakfast. Our tour guide (English teacher) helped us start the day, getting Icelandic Krona at a bank and then we were off for the Golden Circle Tour.

The tour included many of the major attractions of geological interest. Being on the mid-Atlantic ridge, we were able to see the fissures where the two tectonic plates separate, hot springs and geysers. We were treated to a wonderful buffet of delicious and unique foods. We even tried whale! I think most were adventurous and tried it! At some of the gift shops, we kept the Icelandic economy going, especially with hats. They did come in handy today as it was rainy and then snowy in the highlands! Off for another buffet at the organic restaurant across the street, then a harbor walk. Maybe you'll be able to see us on one of the webcams! [We'll give a look around and see if we can find the 2 cranes. We probably won't be there until sometime after 4 pm your time if we can find it. Wouldn't that be fun! We'll give a wave!]

Monday evening (getting dark around 10:30)
We did make it to the webcam around 4:20 ish your time. Wondering if you saw us. We strolled the city a bit after dinner and had our nightly evening. Each night we have things planned to keep things fun and build a sense of community. Tonight we had our medallion ceremony. Each day, two students are awarded medallions for a predetermined characteristic. The students didn't know it but the two who had the medallions were looking for a student who asked the best questions and another who was the best listener. Tomorrow, they will get the medallions to wear and they will have to pass them on to others.

We don't have a lot of down time, so we will try to post some more photos later. Tomorrow, ponies and Blue Lagoon!


Sunday, April 25, 2010
If it's Sunday, it must be Iceland! We made it fine! Everywhere we went, we had someone helping us. Scotland was just a quick change over and then we headed here. The kids were great and we up for the adventure of delays and seeing where we were headed next. All were very flexible and never once said "Are we there yet?"

More to come shortly. . . .

Where did we leave you . . . . Boston departing at 11 pm. The kids played games and started to bond. The flight to Scotland was comfortable. They even served us an unexpected dinner on the flight! Once on the ground in Scotland, the tour guide helped us through the airport. We had boarding passes for the next flight to Iceland, but because we were delayed, we thought we needed to be rebooked (and then take the tour). As it turned out, they held that flight and we were able to board (after a 35 minute delay). The kids were great! Not once did they complain or ask are we there yet! We held group meetings in the airports and all of them said let's keep going!

We landed in between the fjords of northern Iceland. The scenery was worth all the wait! Trish had a bus waiting for us, or rather a nice coach, for the long ride. We passed farms, coast lines, mountains, and more! The landscape was impressive. I think it worked out better coming in from the north.

We are now all hunkered down in our hotel. What will tomorrow bring?
PS - No signs of ash, not even along the snow on the way south. Looks like life is normal here!
PSS - Some students did follow through and try to call you, but there was no signal for them in Glascow Airport.


Saturday, April 24, 2010 - Arrived easily at the airport, checked in and found our flight delayed until 11pm. All are taking it in stride. ("We'll get there when we get there.") Kids are playing cards at the table, starting to change into sweats for the flight.

[Note: we will probably have to pictures up on a flickr account due to loading issues on the wiki It is located here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/49603947@N07/]

Here we go!

Iceland2010-4.jpg----
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Our Trip . . .


We will try to post pictures and information here during the trip.