Day 4

I set my alarm last night for 6am to go for a run with some of my roommates, but I had zero motivation to run. When I know how little I have slept the night before, it really affects my mood in the morning. Last night, I slept a mere 4 hours. I went back to sleep after the alarm went off. We are always moving around doing different activities anyway, so why should I bother working out so early in the morning? I heard my roommates getting up and shuffling around the room, getting ready for the run. I felt guilty because we had all slept roughly the same amount, so if they can still run this early then so can I! I finally got up and scrambled through my suitcase for workout clothes. Once we were all ready, we did some quick stretches and went running on the scenic road outside the guesthouse. The weather was nicely cool and the sheep were politely greeting us with their baaa’s and meh’s. The greenery and the mountains added a nice touch as well. All in all, I was glad I went for this run because it definitely gave me that extra boost of energy to get through the rest of the day.

After a nice shower and a carb-filled breakfast, we headed to the geothermal plant exhibition. I really enjoyed this exhibition because it was very interactive and informational, with lots of buttons to press. I learned about how most of Iceland’s electricity is generated using hydropower and observed how much energy it takes for the power stations to start working. Check out the video below of me trying to produce enough energy (but failing).

After we toured the exhibition, we went down a long flight of stairs and through an excavated tunnel around 30m below ground to discover open working water for a hydro- electric power station (shown below). We also checked out the control room and generator for the power station.

The next activity was snorkeling at the Þingvellir National Park, which was one of my favorite things I did on this trip. We all wore a thermal underneath and then a full jumpsuit on top to protect our body from the near- freezing 32 degree fahreinheit water. I felt pretty ridiculous wearing so much clothing, but it was definitely necessary for the water we were about to immerse ourselves in. Below is a picture of my group that went first in the water.

What made the snorkeling experience even cooler was the fact that we were literally swimming between the North American and Eurasian plates. Below is a picture of me with the rocks on the north American side to the left and the rocks on the Eurasian side to the right. The water was extremely clear, and the entire experience was so peaceful. In the beginning, my face felt really cold from the water, but after a while it became numb and the pain went away. The aquatic plants and rocks just looked so beautiful underwater, and the water itself tasted amazing. I was a bit wary of tasting the water, but the snorkeling instructor insisted it was the purest water we would ever taste and he was so right!

After the amazing snorkeling experience, we headed to a beautiful waterfall that was in the park and took several pictures. After the other group had finished snorkeling, we headed back to the guesthouse to relax and continue working on our capstone projects. We were leaving the guesthouse tomorrow to go camping for the next two nights, so we had to pack a backpack for that as well.


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