Today started off quite early with an 8am breakfast and then a tour of the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Station.The power plant produces about 303 megawatts of electricity and up to 400 megawatts of thermal energy, making it the largest geothermal power station in the world, in terms of installed capacity.
One of the professors gave us an informational tour on the power plant and its mechanisms. I wish I recorded it because it was a lot of technical information and I was also incredibly sleepy, but nonetheless it was interesting to see the plant “behind the scenes”.
After the tour, we headed to the Reyjkavik University for an energy economics lecture. I could pay more attention to the lecture since I had taken an economics class in high school so the material was familiar to me. After the lecture, we worked on our capstone projects for a while and toured Reykjavik University. We then went to the Ellidaárvirkjun hydropower plant, which is a really old power plant that is still in operation. It had a really vintage feel, and so many buttons that looked tempting to press.
After the tour, we went swimming at one of the pool complexes. In Iceland, there are several of these pool complexes because Icelanders looove pools. However, before we headed to the pool, it was a rule that we had to be completely naked and shower in front of other ladies in the bathroom, as shown in the sign below. It was something I felt quite uncomfortable and shy about in the beginning. I had never seen a bathroom full of naked women before. However, rules are rules and since it was proper etiquette in Iceland to be clean before entering the pool, my friends and I quickly showered naked and put our swimsuits on.
Swimming was a blast. We first went into the hot tub, and then some of my brave friends went in the ice tub for a few seconds. We went down a couple slides then headed to the steam room. We stayed in there for a good 10-15 minutes until we couldn’t take the heat anymore, so we headed to the regular pool and relaxed there. Eventually we showered and headed to Kex, our final destination of the day. Kex is a social and trendy hostel so when we got there, a lot of young people were hanging out in the bars. The legal age to drink in Iceland is 20, so those of us who were 20 or over headed to the bar later as well. We had our own private room in the hostel where we had a nice dinner and played several team games which included arm wrestling and limbo. All in all, it was a fun time unwinding and bonding with my friends. Below is a picture of my capstone project group at Kex with our shots of Brennivín, which is Iceland’s signature drink similar to vodka. I thought I would hate it, but I actually could tolerate it!
We arrived back at the guesthouse really late, but a couple of my roommates and I were determined to go for a run the next morning so we went straight to bed.