Iceland AT 2014

Hello from Iceland! 

I survived midterms (barely..) and I have a blog post full of study tips coming your way! But first, ACADEMIC TRAVEL! 

Like I said, I'm in Iceland and it has been incredible! It's one of those countries that I never imagined I would have the opportunity to visit, but I am so glad to be here! We've been learning so much about Iceland this semester in class and I am pinching myself that I am finally here! 
We arrived Saturday evening and had an amazing first night! First stop: the Blue Lagoon! Floating around in this geothermal hotspot was the perfect way to relax after the stress of midterms and a four hour flight. I could have happily spent a few more hours there!

On day two we basically had to drive up the entire Western coast in order to reach the West Fjords of Iceland! It was a loooonnnnggg drive, but so beautiful. We made a few stops to go on quick hikes to see natural geothermal hotspots, craters, and of course, the sea! So I can't really complain! 
^ Professor Hale (in the red) talking to a group of students about the geothermal hot spring in the picture

^ By coincidence my outfit blended in with the arctic moss landscape!

Day three! We made it to the fjords late the night before and just in time before a blizzard hit! We all bundled up in our warmest clothes and made it to all of our appointments for the day including the local university where we spoke with a director about the Masters program offered there on marine and coastal conservation. We also talked about life in the West Fjords, Icelandic politics, and culture. Thanks to all of our previous class discussions/readings I felt like we all had really interesting questions for our speaker and had a great conversation! 
^^ fun fact #1: In Iceland there are 13 "naughty Santas" instead of a 1 jolly santa, I found this sign in the University lounge! 

After our afternoon meeting we went to the Heritage Museum and learned more about the history of the area and the rise of the fishing industry. Several people in our class are doing research projects on Iceland's fishing industry, so I think they especially appreciated this museum. I just liked the wooden ship models!  

Afterwards we made it back out into the storm and visited the library before a free evening for research, dinner, and keeping warm amidst the storm! :) 
^^ post-blizzard pics! It's been a big storm, some of my classmates on our trip are from Texas, the United Arab Emirates, and Brazil, so they are a little new to all of this snow! But everyone has had a great attitude. In fact, even as we were nearly blown over from the winds, we still managed to take part in a snowball fight. But sunshine and cold is on the forecast for tomorrow! 

Sorry this is a bit brief, but my friends are waiting on me to go to a cozy cafe down the street and grab some fish soup for dinner! It's supposedly the freshest and best in Iceland! So I'm excited! 

More Iceland updates soon! 

Ps want to see more of Franklin, follow along with us on Instagram @franklinswitzerland or try the hastag #ATFUS.


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