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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Day 2's proper blog finally!!!

Our second day started with an enthusiastic 7:00am wake up, with everyone raring to go. Each geographer now refreshed from a warm sulphuric smelling shower. Breakfast lasted around half an hour as most of us did more talking than eating, immediately after breakfast we went to our rooms to clear up after ourselves and pack for the journey ahead. We left the Reykjavik City Hostel as soon as we were registered and our bus driver had arrived. The bus was an absolute monster, it was clearly built for off-roading and tough terrain; we were hugely impressed.

We set off with our new bus, bus driver and tour guide, we were well on our way to our first destination; the hot springs in the village of Hveragerol which was built around the springs. We were greeted warmly by the owner of the business and were shown around each individual spring; we were told temperatures of the springs were around 99 degrees Celsius that day.

Our guide took two nets of eggs with her and placed them in the main spring slowly cooking them for us to eat in a few minutes, she then took us through the history of each spring telling us how many had grown dormant through earthquake activity which was sad to hear. She showed us a point in the hot spring where the women of the village used to do their laundry at which point Mr Walker made the witty joke “Ah this must be the Hot Point” which went down very well with those who understood it.

We then proceeded indoors to eat our eggs, while some of us observed the geothermal powered greenhouse which grew Bananas, tomatoes, strawberries which was fascinating to see in such a cold climate. With our departure we thanked them with sincerity as we all found the geographical knowledge greatly enjoyable.

We boarded the bus to travel to the other side of the village to an earthquake simulation room. All participated with mixed reactions to the experience, some handled it better than others. The simulator showed us what it was like to be in an earthquake reading 6.6 on the Richter scale. This did not take long as we were soon back onto the bus to head to the Seljandsfoss waterfall which took around fifteen minutes to reach. Upon arrival we were warned that it was inevitable that we would get a “little wet” this was greatly understated as we all walked around the pool and were thoroughly drenched as the temperamental wind forced a stream of water onto us.

Thankfully the photographs were well worth getting incredibly wet. Immediately after this amazing experience we were moved onto yet another waterfall, Skogafos, a bigger and more spectacular one at that. Here we were able to walk to the top of the cliff within 383 steps from the very bottom, once we were up at the top, looking down on this beautiful water fall, it became apparent why wind erosion in the area was such a huge factor in the shaping of the landscape. The wind, being so bitterly cold, persuaded us to cut the time we spent on the top short, slowly progressing down the 383 steps again.

Once down we spent some time taking in the sight and scale of the surroundings, noting significant geographical features.
We departed from the area and headed toward the 4th largest glacier in Iceland, passing eyjallafiertlajokull on the way. This again provided some spectacular photographs, but we were still unable to capture the sheer beauty and magnificence which will remain with us for many years to come. It is something too difficult to describe in words so the best way of understanding the view is to look at the photographs.

We then moved onto the Basalt columns which was a short journey from where we were already situated, allowing us to use the last few moments of light to our advantage, resulting In some more spectacular photographs. Such as the sparkling fresh sea lapping at the smooth pebble beach enriched in a glow of the last hour of the sun, making our last sight of the second day all the more beautiful.

Lots of love from your friendly blogging team. Xxx

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