Photos by: Jeff Petrilli, Amanda Bastyr and Erin Fargo
Here are some highlights of our Icelandic portion of the trip. We were able to get so much out of our time in Iceland, especially since it was never dark!
On Tuesday our crew left Stockholm and headed to Iceland. We arrived in the small town of Egilstadir in east Iceland. With a population just over 2000, it is considered one of the larger towns in this part of Iceland. We stayed at Hotel Egilstadir, a quaint cottage with stunning views.
On Wednesday, our group spent the day at Alcoa’s Fjardaal smelter. Our Alcoa guides gave us a tour of the plant and a presentation about sustainability initiatives at the aluminum smelter. Launched in 2004, the Alcoa sustainability initiative began as the plant was being built. This project has been a pilot as it is one of the first of its kind to ingrain sustainability from the very onset of the project. Alcoa had the forethought to make sure the community, environment, and well-being of all its stakeholders were taken into account when building this plant. In addition to meeting emissions reductions targets, this plant has helped created jobs and has built up the community around it. Most impressive perhaps is that over 80% of the local community trusts and has positive attitudes about the Alcoa plant.
On Thursday we left Egilstadir and headed to Reykavik, the capitol of Iceland. Our bus ride took up the whole day with stops to see reindeer, seals, volcanoes, glaciers, lagoons, fjords, mountains, waterfalls, and what I’d like to think was a troll. The scenery was stunning and changed through-out the journey. At one point we were surrounded by snowy mountains and glaciers, an hour later a lava field and volcanoes would emerge, following this were rolling fields of green. The contrasting landscape made the trip incredible and we stopped to take a quick boat tour in a glacial lagoon.
Friday morning we went to the Geothermal Energy Exhibition at the Hellisheioi Power Plant. This exhibition used state of the art/interactive technology to educate guests about geothermal energy use in Iceland. Most of Iceland is fueled by geothermal energy that emerges from hot springs in the earth.
We then headed to the golden circle area outside Reykavik to see waterfalls, hot springs, continental divides, and more beautiful scenery/parks.
Our trip wrapped up with a stop at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa, where we swam in 100 degree mineral waters and were massaged by waterfalls. The Blue Lagoon was icing on the cake to a wonderful trip in the Nordic countries.