an adventurous expedition

Saturday we had another trip that we were doing through Semester at Sea, this one was to see some of the sights along the coast and inland- more of a nature expedition. It was a much smaller group of people on the trip, and also seemed to be made up of more personable (and less-cliquey) students. After stopping for lunch and “provisions” (as indicated in the description… which for us meant purchasing shampoo) in a town on the way, we went to Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which was mostly just rainy and windy. Not even our “emergency ponchos” (that we had just purchased) could afford us any protection from the elements. The waterfall was beautiful, but we ran back to the bus pretty quickly considering we were already on our way to being sopping wet.

After that, we drove through a lot of rocky rivers (a bumpy and entertaining ride that I somehow slept through) to get to a glacier. It was interesting to see how the ice was flowing down the mountain like a river in slow motion, leaving sandy dunes where ice-topped mountains used to be. After some more river crossings, we made our next stop at an area known as Thor’s woods. It’s a popular place for camping and backpacking, but is unreachable for much of the year, when excessive rainfall makes the rivers impassable. A lot of the people in our group went hiking all the way to the top of one of the mountains with our guide, but given how cold and wet we already were, we opted for the shorter path at the base of the mountain. Our guide gave us vague directions to this path, causing us to get lost and somehow end up on what must have been the wrong path- which we figured out after climbing partway up another mountain on rickety stairs in the ground.

Finally, our last stop was at Stakkholtsgja Canyon, which our guide described as their “grand canyon”. We hiked into the center of the canyon and it was fun to feel so miniscule standing there between enormous moss-covered walls of rock that had been forged over such extended periods of time. We reached a point where to go further, everyone would have to cross a big stream of extremely cold water (glacial runoff!) People started taking their shoes off and crossing the knee-deep water… Amy started to go across and I followed her but had to bail and run back partway because I definitely couldn’t feel my feet! I wish I could have seen the other side- I guess there was a cave and an enclosed area in the canyon with little waterfalls of the glacial runoff, along with a place where the water from the glacier was pure enough to drink! Altogether we saw a lot in that day, though ultimately it would have been a lot more enjoyable if it hadn’t been so rainy (and cold).

When we got back, again it seemed like everyone on the ship was going out on the town for the night. We had actually originally planned to go out for a bit to see what the nightlife was like in Iceland, but it was so cold and wet that we just couldn’t be bothered to venture outside again. From the sounds of it, I think we would have run into a crowd of Semester at Sea students embarrassing Americans anywhere we went, so I’m not sure that we missed out on too much.

seljalandsfoss waterfall

so much for the emergency poncho...

melting glacier, whoa!
self-portrait, the usual

pretty woodsy stairs

realized we took the wrong path...

more of US!

in the stakkholtsgja canyon... i'm so mini


Post a Comment

<< Home