Stories from the Field
A Magical Ride on Icelandic Horses
July 26, 2017
The clock struck seven and breakfast smelled like heaven
In a rush we hopped on the bus
Smiling wide as we drove through the countryside
We strapped on our gear and started to cheer
As we were given a horse whose hair was a little bit coarse
We started a bit slow but then we began to go
Trotting with giggles and tromping in ripples
No one wanted the morning to end.
Iceland in Poems
July 17, 2017
There once was a big ole group,
from the U.S., Paris, and Beirut,
who set out to see what Iceland has in store,
around the country we’ll travel, not tour,
we’re already more family than the Von Trapp troupe
Around Iceland in Gifs
July 10, 2017
The Landscapes of Iceland
July 7, 2017
From waterfalls to caves to geothermal craters, we have had adventures across Iceland. Check out some of our photos!
The Golden Circle
July 4, 2017
On the first day, we hopped right off the airplane and headed to breakfast at a local hotel in Keflavík. Then, we headed to the blue lagoons. We eagerly covered our faces with the refreshing silica face mask and drenched our hair with conditioner to prevent chalky hair. We bonded over jokes and showed off our talents and then took some amazing pictures.
The second day was full of exploration. We ventured the streets of Reykjavik, visited the volcano house, and explored one of Iceland’s greatest buildings, the Harpa. Our day was full of laughter and photos! Whether it was at the beautiful church we visited or the amazing landscapes we saw, we all had our cameras at hand. We had dinner later that day and we were privileged enough to eat a wide variety of food. Today was the first day we started working on our on-assignment projects and we are so excited for the adventure that awaits us in Iceland.
The next day, the group woke up and got ready for the day. We ate the last breakfast at the hostel and left Reykjavik with a new bus and a trailer attached to the back that houses our traveling kitchen. We then rode for an hour to the geothermal plant Hellisheiði, where we learned about and documented the process of geothermal energy. The photography and film students took pictures and set up interviews while climate and geology students took notes for their project.
Then we drove for an hour to Þingvellir, where the North American and Eurasian plates are separating Iceland. The group hiked to our trailer, which was patiently waiting for us with lunch. While taking in the beautiful view of the park, we enjoyed our sandwiches and hot drinks.
Next, we drove to the Geysir center. Our group crowded around the big geyser and patiently waited to capture the eruption.
A short drive later, we made it to Gullfoss, one of the most famous Icelandic waterfalls. We put on our rain gear to get a closer look of the falls. Once we were fairly soaked, we all loaded back on the bus one more time and headed to our guest house.
The guest house was surrounded by a beautiful view of the mountains. Two lambs and a dog welcomed us after we enjoyed our chef’s spaghetti in the dining room. Once dinner was finished, we got together with our on-assignment groups to talk about our projects.
Photography and film students sprinted outside to capture the sun’s rays peeking through the clouds while the geology group prepared a presentation for the next day.
The ABCs of Iceland
July 3, 2017
A is for all the kayaking we did
B is for breathtaking waterfalls we saw
C is for Cassidy kayaking through two icebergs
D is for delicious Icelandic hot dogs
E is for every time we bumped our kayaks into each other
F is for friendly seals saying “hello”
G is for great friends to share these experiences with
H is for coming to Hofn!
I is for icebergs floating on the Lagoon and on the black sand beach
J is for Julia and Lexi getting stuck in between those two icebergs (see letter C for a refresher)
K is for kayaking in a glacial lagoon! (I mean, how many people actually get to say that?!)
L is for looking at the sunset
M is for macro lenses
N is for new experiences
O is for our outgoing and outstanding group leaders
P is for playing tons of card games
Q is for quacking ducks in the Lagoon
R is for really wanting to do the Polar Plunge
S is for swimming in the local pool
T is for a two a.m. bedtime
U is for an unusually sunny day
V is for visiting a Viking Village
W is for being welcomed to Iceland by the young children climbing through the windows in the primary school we stayed at
X is for the extra late dinner (midnight!)
Y is for all the yummy food that Adam makes us
Z is for zipping across the southern coast of Iceland in six days!
24 Fun Facts from Iceland
June 28, 2017
- They weren’t joking about the sun never setting
- The Blue Lagoon is blue because of how the silica reflects light
- The water from the Blue Lagoon will dry out your hair, so watch out and use a ton of conditioner!
- Iceland can be cold
- Actually though, the midnight sun is real, folks
- There’s a difference between a tourist and a traveler
- 99% of Iceland is volcanic rock
- Hot tap water is everywhere in Iceland, but it smells like sulfur
- Reykjavik is situated on a peninsula
- Always bring a rain jacket
- The Harpa Concert Hall has some one of a kind architecture.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and warm socks.
- Ask a local how to pronounce Icelandic words. They’re impossible.
- There are about 20–25 volcanic eruptions per every 100 years.
- Tourism in Iceland has boomed in the last 10 years.
- Almost everything in Iceland is fueled by renewable energy sources
- Sulfur is abundantly released in Iceland
- The puffins started migrating to the northern part of Iceland because of climate change.
- The main renewable energy sources are geothermal heat and hydroelectric power
- There are people from around the world on this trip
- You have to shower before you enter the hot springs
- Iceland loves their meat and fish
- The biggest mammal in Iceland is the arctic fox
- The next 13 days will be great
Alyssa’s Adventures, Q&A from Three Expeditions!
April 27, 2016
What made you choose these four Student Expeditions trips?
I first chose Ecuador because it seemed like something that was most familiar. I’m Mexican-American, so the fact that I could understand and speak the native language of the country made me feel more comfortable and close to home. Also, the opportunity to visit the Galapagos and get an up-close experience with the amazing nature there through learning about animal conservation really excited me.
Jennifer’s College Essay, Iceland Expedition
April 11, 2016
I believe the greatest challenge my generation will face is climate change. I traveled to Iceland this past summer with National Geographic and witnessed climate change in action. On a small boat in an iceberg-filled lagoon, I saw a beautiful glacier crumbling to pieces. Right before my eyes, chunks of ice were falling off of the glacier and into the lagoon. The beautifully clear blue glacial rivers flowed beneath my shoes. Yet, these rivers were evidence of the quickly melting glacier.
Exploring Iceland’s Lofthellir Ice Cave
July 21, 2014
Today our group visited Lofthellir, a 3,500-year-old ice cave near Lake Myvatn that was formed by lava. When we arrived, we put on our boots, helmets and headlamps, clambered down a metal staircase, and then squeezed through a small gap in the rock to enter the cave. Once we got into the cave, we saw that it was well worth the trouble. We were in awe of beautiful, and ancient, ice formations all around us, from floor to ceiling. We saw huge icicles hanging precariously from the ceiling, and we saw ice on the ground built up from hundreds of years of dripping water. We slid, crawled, crouched, and walked, appreciating every inch of the cave. After about half an hour of walking, we sat down for some reflection. One by one, our headlights winked out. In mere seconds, it was pitch black — dark enough that you could forget your eyes were open!