Thursday, June 26, 2014

Goodbye, Farewell

I'm sad to say that this is my last post of this trip. I really did learn so much on this trip and it was the most amazing experience. I am so thankful that I was able to be on this trip with everyone that was with us because there was not a single person that I did not like. I really enjoyed being with this group because it felt like we were all just one big family. I'm sad to see that some will be going to college or other places so I will not be able to see them around school, but I am also happy that the rest of the people will be there so I can still see them. Thank you Mom and Dad for letting me go on this trip. It has been the best experience of my life and it opened me up to a lot of things and made me a whole better photographer. Thank you Ms. Bottoms and Ms. Hartman for being such awesome teachers for this trip. The trip really would not be the same without y'all. I am so sad that you are leaving Ms. Bottoms so I will not get to have you for photography my next 3 years. But I am happy that I got to go on this trip with you so I still got to learn some things from you. And if I am ever in Australia, the first thing on my list will be to visit you where ever you are.

Signing out, Chase Patton

Horses Kinda Day

Today we got to do the activity I had been looking forward to the whole trip. We went horseback riding! I was so excited when we found out we were finally going to do it because I miss riding them even though I would only do it at the Morelands for a short period of time.

When we got to the horse farm they had already lined up the horses we would be using. All of the horses were different like some were for beginners and some were for the more experienced people and then a few were the experts. I chose the in between type horse and it's name was Tvístirni which means "Double Star" in english. My horse was so awesome I was even able to get a selfie with him before I left.

When we started riding I was a little rusty at first but then when we started trotting I felt it all come back. It was so much fun to be able to go along a horse trail that can show you such beautiful views and have fun while on the horse and have the people around you that enjoy it the same amount. I especially loved when we started to gallop with the horses because I have only done that once and I totally forgot how awesome that feeling was. I really want to raise my own horse now but obviously that probably won't happen no matter how much I beg. But if I was able to that would be the best experience and I feel like it would teach me a lot.

When we got back to the farm we tied up our horses and right away they had some hot chocolate and crackers waiting for us. So of course, we all nom away while talking and laughing and really having a fun day.

Right next to where we were sitting and drinking our hot chocolate they had a little pen with two baby sheep in it. I got to pick one up and it was smaller than rookie. It was the most precious thing and it even started licking my face.

Then it was time to head back to our hostel after a long morning of horses. But wait, Runar had decided we should stop at another horse farm for pictures. I was okay with that of course because horses were one of my focus topics. So we all got out and when the horses saw us they all started running for us which was awesome because the closer with horses the better. So during that short period of time I got some of my best pictures.

Then after we finally got back we enjoyed a nice meal by Tota and then we hit the streets of Akureyri for some exploring, shopping, and finishing all of our projects. This was a fun time because I love when they let us explore on our own and do what we want and not go by an itinerary for a few hours.

Then we got back, had another awesome meal by Tota and then prepared for the next day which we would travel all the way back to Rekyjavic. This was not a fun night for me because this was the night my computer hard drive crashed and I wasn't able to use my computer for the rest of the trip. But thankfully I had backed up all my pictures on to Erika's hard drive right before it crashed so nothing was completely lost. After being stressed about it, I just decided I need some rest and I would figure it out in the morning because it was already 1:00 in the morning.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Scavenger Hunts and Naps

Today we arrived in hofh after a 7 hour bus ride. Our bus rides aren't that bad mainly because we all just fall asleep or eat the whole way. And for those who run out of food while on the bus, we make hourly gas station stops so its an infinite amount. Hofh is a very quite town from what i've seen. But I like it alot. We had lunch at a cool little shack just next to the harbor where I got to try an icelandic hot dog for the first time!
A few of us ate in the median of two streets because the view was beautiful and it was such perfect weather as always. When we finished our lunches our leaders sent us off in groups of 4 to do a picture scavenger hunt around hofh. Our group was smart and asked the place we ate lunch at for a map and directions to where the first place was. When we got to the first place which was a post office, we realized that everything we needed was on that one street we were on so we just finishes it all within 30 minutes. We still had time to kill in Hofh while we were in our groups but my group decided we were all tired and we found a nice hill next to our hostel and we each took a 2 hour nap right on that hill. We even had a few joiners from other groups that finished early. 

We finished off the night with an amzing lobster meal made by Tota.  

We added the ice cream of course.

A few of us were up late that night editing all of our pictures and I noticed there was an actual sunset. So I ran and got my camera along with my tripod and sprinted out the door before anyone knew what I was doing. I sprinted to the top of the hill where we took our naps and set everything up but by the time I had everything perfect, I realized I left my SD card in my computer. So I sprinted back down the hill, well actually I slid down it because I slipped at the top and just tumbled down. I got my SD card and went back to my set up and got some amazing shots because we were right next to a golf course so I just walked along it and down towards some water and the reflection was priceless. 

Then I finally got back in and I was too tired to do anything else so I just fell asleep right away. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ice Ice and More Ice

Today we got to do something that was so amazingly incredible that I will never be able to forget it. We climbed and walked across the biggest Glacier in Europe.

We started the day off earlier than usual so we could get on the bus to the glacier in time. When we got to the little shack with the equipment and such we all were sized for our crampons. Crampons are a base layer for your boots that have spikes all along the bottom that help you walk on the ice without slipping every step. Then we got on the bus and had a quick five minute ride to the glacier entry point. Then when we got on the ice we had a quick lesson about how to walk like a duck to climb up and walk like an old man to walk down. We all got used to walking in them pretty fast, until one of mine slipped off and I fell straight on my butt. Good thing there was an instructor right behind me to help me up and put it back on. That was pretty much the only thing bad that happened to me while on the glacier (surprisingly).

The hike on the glacier was tough at the start but once you got used to the crampons on your feet it became real easy. And the view may have helped me get over the fact that we were exercising.

We stopped for a quick lunch on the glacier so we could get some energy in our system. Then after that Erika had a brilliant idea to have a 15 minute meditation time to our selves where we sit by our selves away from each other some where on the glacier and just reflect. I loved that time because it was so relaxing and it made me realize how fortunate I was to be on this trip. I also loved the energy that I felt from the mountains around us, it just put me in a positive mood.

Then when we finished the day off with some nice editing time where Gion Luca got to look through our pictures and give us some advice. 

Magnus the Viking

The time came to where we had to give up the comfort of the hostels with nice rooms, bathrooms in our room, and heaters that keep us warm at night. We headed off to the camp sight with a long bus ride that included many stops.

The first stop was a huge waterfall called Fimmvörduháls.

Then we made a stop by the most amazing landscape views to take pictures of and walked along the black sand beach to get the best of pictures. We even got pictures of puffins that we found which are cute birds that no one is guaranteed to see while they are in Iceland.


After we ate our amazing lunch (as always) made by our cook Tota, we had a long 2 hour drive to the camp sight which made a good time for a nice nap. We got to the camp sight and first thing we did was set up our tents. I didn’t really know how to do this so I just winged it and copied the people next to us, but it all worked out.

While I was walking to the showers I heard this man playing the most beautiful music on the accordion while he sang along to it. And then while I was on the way back from the showers he was playing the guitar and singing and it sounded so perfect. So when I got back to the camp I told Peter (one of our leaders) about him, and he said I know! We already invited him and his family over for dinner! So that made me even more excited because now we were gonna have the best pasta dinner made by Tota and also a mini concert viking style.

So when the family came over I instantly started talking to them and I couldn't stop staring at their kids who were the most beautiful children. So I began to really like this family and I got so many pictures of them that I will share with them through their emails later. I really liked being able to talk to Magnus (the viking dad) Annika (the german mom) and their two kids Richard and Mia. But then the concert started and I loved it even more. You would not expect such beautiful music out of this 6 7” man that looks like a literal viking. I loved it so much me and Brianna even started dancing instead of photographic for a few songs. Learning about their family made me so interested to learn even more about people here from Iceland because they are all so nice and they are all so independent and no one minds who you want to be.

So even after all that, I couldn't just go to bed. I looked up when they left and I saw the most beautiful sky and I found out that our photographer was taking us out to do a time lapse. A time lapse is a series of photos taken over a long period of time put together in a 10 second video that shows the movement and change happening in the sky. I had never done this before so it was so exciting to learn how to.

Now it was officially time for me to go to bed after this long yet successful day.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's Cold Right Now.

Yay for today the moving day. Today we woke up bright and early so we could start our real quest across Iceland. Packing of course was a struggle but I got everything. . . I think. Thanks to our bus driver, we were able to stop at the best picture locations along the way.

The first stop was a lake that I can't remember the name to sadly, but it was still beautiful.

The second stop was a nice picnic style meal with the best scenery possible.

Then we headed to these cool geysers which I have never seen one before so that was a cool experience.

P.S. I might have an obsession with babies now...

Then we ended our day off with seeing the most amazing waterfall where we all got such amazing pictures.

We arrived at our beautiful hostel that we would spend just one night in and had an amazing dish.

Of course all that wasn't enough for me, so I satisfied myself by walking to a horse farm near by with our photographer Gion Luca.

Goodnight from here in Iceland!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Sweet Relief

The best of views from the Cathedral. 

Stripes + Coach = Icelandic Fashion
Today was short yet sweet. We started off our day by eating a nice breakfast at our hostel and then had a quick pow-wow session before we took off. Once we all were ready we left to head towards the Cathedral. The Cathedral was an amazing sight to see with such a rich history. I especially loved the view we could get from the top of it (like in the picture from above). Then we split up into groups of 4 with a leader in each group. Once we split up, our group headed down one street to get some tasty crêpes before lunch. After that we went to a photographers gallery with the name of Ragnar Axelsson, he was so nice and his photography is to die for. Then we had some nice seafood for lunch where I happened to try whale for the first time! Once lunch was finished we went back to the hostel to relax and learn how we should edit and label our pictures. Off to dinner we were for a nice and simple meal. Bye for now, but check in tomorrow for more!