First Day - Arrival
Our trip started at the train station in Cologne. Everybody was extremely happy to have the chance to be on this amazing adventurous trip. We started at 9:45 am and arrived at 12 am at the airport in Frankfurt. After that we grabbed some food for breakfast/lunch. Then we went straight to the security check and finally to our terminal. Fortunately, our flight was without any complications, and we arrived safely at 2:20 pm in Iceland. A personal bus driver waited for us in front of the airport to drive us to our hotel Cabin. We checked in at our hotel, brought the baggage into our tiny hotel rooms and went for a long walk by the ocean. The ocean was just a three minutes’ walk away from our accommodation. Finally, we went to our hotel, had dinner, and spent some time with each other. In the evening – and very spontaneously – our teachers decided to go on a trip to see the northern lights, but unfortunately, we didn’t see them. We went home and went straight to bed at 2 am, after this exciting first day.
Second Day – School and City Rallye
Today was our first day in Iceland. We got up around 8 o’clock and went down for breakfast. The plan for today in the morning was to go to the first school (https://laugalaekjarskoli.is/), which we wanted to visit during our trip, which is just a few minutes' walk away from our hotel. This school is for students from 7th to 10th grade. Altogether there are about 350 students in this school. When we reached the school, we were a little bit shocked because no one was wearing shoes. All students walked around on socks. Plus, almost every student was wearing joggers. This would be unimaginable in our school. At first, we visited a cooking lesson in 7th grade. They were backing cookies. A girl told us that they are divided into two groups (cooking and sewing). Usually there are about 22 students in one class. For lunch, they eat together in the cafeteria, so we ate with them. After lunch a few boys invited us to play basketball with them, so Tim and Gil joined them. After we had to stop the city rallye because Mrs Schweizer got bad news. She had to leave us immediately. We went back to our hotel and had dinner at 6:30 pm. After dinner we decided to go to an ice cream parlour. Most of us bought an ice cream (in Iceland 😉 ) and we brought one for Mrs Schweizer as a farewell gift. After we said goodbye to her, she was picked up at 8:30 pm to drive to the airport. The rest of the evening we spent playing board games. We played UNO together and Werwolf. At midnight we went to sleep.
Third Day - Icelandic school and Volleyball game
Our third day in Iceland. In the morning we had breakfast in the hotel and after that we went to the school (https://langholtsskoli.is/). This school is the school of our exchange students. We had a sports lesson together and the game of the lesson was baseball. In mixed teams, we played against each other in four groups. At the end, we all had a lot of fun, and everybody laughed and wanted to win this game. The next lesson was a sewing lesson of 7th graders. One of their intentions is: ”Don’t waste anything, make use of everything“. It means that they use old things like an old sport t-shirt and make something new out of it. The last lesson of the day was English. We had to build a tower of spaghetti, a marshmallow, some tape and a rope. After 45min, only a few towers held up, most of them broke down. In the afternoon, we finished the city rallye. We went to the Hallgrímskirkja (racket church) and took photos in front of it with the rainbow street. Until 6 pm we had free time and visited the city. After dinner in the hotel, we went to a volleyball game (the semi final of the icelandic championship). It was interesting to see this game and after four matches, one team won.
Fourth Day – Reykjadalur
Today we visited Rekjadulur. A private coach drove us there. The drive was very foggy, but when we arrived the sky was clear. When we started a walk through the valley, we could see a lot of mud bubblings and steaming holes. That was very exciting. WE could also see lots of snow. After walking - a good , long distance - we could see a beautiful waterfall. We decides to make a break and took a short video of a spontaneously dance choreography. After some while, we reached the hot spring river. The water was very pleasantly warm but unfortunately it has started to rain. So, we had to protect our stuff from the rain and stayed for a while in the warm water. After an hour, we walked the way back to our bus. Our private coach took us to the Geothermal power plant station. A guide explained to us how the hot water from the ground is taken out and used for drinking. After this trip, we were so tired and rested in the hotel. We had dinner, played games and listened to music.
Fifth Day – Perlan Museum, Fly Over und Netflix Film
On day 5 we went to the Perlan Museum (https://www.perlan.is/en-gb). There we could learn about everything that you can see in Iceland. Inside the museum also was a planetarium too. There we learned about the Arouras and the different myths the Icelanders tell each other. There was also an ice cave where we could go through – it was soo cold! After that some of us went to book a northern lights tour. Later we also visited a place called fly over (https://www.flyovericeland.com/). Fly over was a 4D show where you could see all the sights of Iceland. It felt very realistic and was a cool experience. On that day there was also a movie shooting. They filmed next to the Harper with Gal Gadal and Matthias Schweighöfer. Everyone wanted to see the movie set up, but before that we all went into a supermarket called Kronan, where we could buy souvenirs. On that day we had a lot of free time and later we could decide if we want to go swimming or stay at the hotel.
Sixth Day – Golden Circle Tour
Day 6 was the first of 3 guided tours with guide Astrid. Tightly timed with the bus: the Golden Circle Tour.
We left at 9 am. After a one-hour drive, we reached the volcanic crater Kerið. Here we had a short photo stop around the crater and continued to the
Secret Lagoon (https://secretlagoon.is/), a kind of lido. There we went swimming at an outside temperature of 5 degrees and a water temperature of 38° degrees Celsius. When we came out of the water we really had to hurry to get dressed, otherwise we would have frozen to death. After the natural bath with the smell of sulphur we went on to a tomato farm (https://www.fridheimar.is/).
At the tomato farm we had lunch: tomato soup and fresh bread - all you can eat.
The next highlights were the waterfall Gullfoss (where it was windy and cold) and the geyser Strokkur, which erupts about 30 metres every 10 minutes. It is located right next to a dormant geyser that last erupted 3 years ago with a 60-metre-high fountain.
Then we went off to Thingvellir, which is a national park where the Almanngja gorge is located. In this gorge you can walk on the border between the Eurasian and North American continental plates.
Then finally at 6:45 pm we were back at the hotel. After 10 hours of touring, we had a quick meal and fell into bed totally exhausted from all the impressions.
Seventh Day – Lava field and Northern lights
The seventh day started normal, my roommates and I stood up at around about 7 am. We went downstairs to have breakfast and said good morning to everyone. On this day I was quite happy because it we had got some snow during the night, but not as much as in wintertime in Iceland.
At 9 am the bus driver picked us up, but he was not so happy but Astrid, our travel guide, was always happy and friendly.
We drove for about an hour to a lava field. Our tour guide told us that the last time when the Vulcan erupted the lava went up to the main road, so the people had to build dams because the main road is an important connection to almost everything. The lava had also gone to some houses, but no one had got hurt because the earthquake warned them beforehand. Before all this we made a comfort break, the toilets there were okay. We also saw the blue lagoon, it is made of water from a powerhouse and the pool is made out of lava rock.
When we arrived at the lava field, I was very nervous and excited, I had never seen something like that before. Astrid told us that we had to be careful because the stones there were really spiky but a lot took stones with them, some guys even took too many. In this area living is not possible, you only can catch fishes, there is no other animal as Astrid said. It was interesting but also shocking.After two hours at 12.30 o’clock we drove with the angry bus driver to the green water in Hafnarfjordur. It wasn’t the green that we see all time in our seas or lakes, it was clean and nice to look at it. The green water made bubbles and stank so much!
After this nice and adventurous day we went to a real restaurant. It was one of my personal highlights because most of the time the meals at the hotel were with fish or you couldn’t see what it was but the baguettes were really good.
At 21.30 pm we drove with the new talkative driver to a spot where we tried to watch the Northern Lights…And we saw them!! We all were so happy and the night before we all said it as a wish and we got it. All of us were screaming and jumping. It was a big feeling that I don’t know to describe it but you felt ,,tiny“(quote from Chrissi).
We drove back at midnight and the talkative bus driver didn’t stop talking. Sadly we also said bye to Mrs.Overhage that night, she traveled back to Germany.
That was day seven!!!!
Eighth Day – School, mall and Northern lights
Today was not a stressful day. We had breakfast at 8 o’clock and after that we went to the school where our pen friends go to. When we arrived at the school we visited their English lesson and played City, Country, River with them. In this week they had their theme week. In the break they listened to loud music and played limbo and jump rope.
After we had said goodbye to our new friends, we walked to the primary school. We divided our groups into five smaller groups and went into the classes of the kids to present them the Carnival of Cologne. After we had showed them a short video and answered their questions, we gave them some examples of how to create their own carnival masks and then they handcrafted them on their own with cardboard, plates and stencils we had brought. At the end of the lesson we gave them some sweets and said goodbye.
After school we went back to our hotel for lunch. Later we walked to the best cinnamon rolls baker. At 4 pm we reached the mall and went on a little shopping tour in small groups. There were many shops which are also in Germany.
In the evening at six pm we went with shopping bags in our hands to a very good restaurant called Mathöll, which is very popular in Reykjavik. After two hours and a delicious dinner we went back to our hotel. After we had arrived in our hotel we chilled together and talked about the experiences and feelings we gathered during the day and wrote it down.At the end of the day, at eleven pm we had the chance to see the amazing Northern Lights one more time on the rooftop terrace of our hotel.
Ninth Day – South coast
The 9th day was again very eventful, and we saw a lot. Breakfast was the usual, it also started quite quickly with the bus to make a waterfall tour. First, we went to a very large waterfall, which was very nice to look at with rainbow and icy ground. The edge was a bit dangerous, because there were always a few ice balls flying down, but luckily nothing happened. There was still a climb to the top, but we couldn't enjoy it for so long because we had to go again. On the way to the other waterfalls and of course to the one here we have seen very beautiful landscapes that you should have seen. Before we came to the Last Waterfalls, we first stopped at a small village by the sea and bought something or went to the beach to look a bit and take photos. Then we went on again and we landed again at a beach this time with a very interesting, shaped rock. The next stop was again a bit on a beautiful coast the more observant plus beach and takes some photos. After that came the Last Waterfalls, the first one we saw was not so spectacular, he had a rainbow again but nothing special. But the exciting thing was the other waterfall called something with kobold or something and was in a cave or crevice, where you first had to balance in order to be able to look at the waterfall and get wet. That was actually it from the day and we had dinner as usual. Overall, it was a beautiful day that was worth it with numerous photos and memories
Tenth Day – our last day
Today was our last day in Reykjavík. We were all woken up early in the morning at 03:30am with a loud call from the front desk. We got ready, carried down our suitcases and were ready to enjoy our last breakfast at the hotel in peace (even though the food wasn't the best).
Then our bus arrived. On the bus ride to the airport Keflavík we were very fortunate to see the Northern Lights for the last time. At the airport we all checked in and were ready to fly. In the airport terminal we had to stop briefly, because of a standing left suitcase, which Mrs. Aurora also took care of. After having arrived at the boarding area we we didn’t have to wait for long until finally the flight started. We flew about 3 hrs, 30 min. The flight went by quickly. After having arrived at Frankfurt airport we all picked up our suitcases at the luggage conveyor belt and made our way to the ICE, which then took us to our last stop together Cologne Messe/Deutz.
Outside the station our parents were already waiting for us. We all said goodbye to each other after 10 days of living together and made our way home.
The trip was a great opportunity for all of us, for which we are all very grateful.
We saw a lot and learned a lot.
Every day was a great highlight for us.
Every day we all spent laughing.
We also learned a lot from each other.
The Iceland trip was a very nice experience that we will never forget.