March 31st

Today we started the day at the school, and the students spent the first hours finishing the posters and presentations. Some of them were a bit tired after playing football until midnight, but they all got the work done.

Before lunch we visited the Vatnajökull visitor centre in Höfn. That was a very interesting experience. First we got an overview of the history, geography and the work they do. After that they told us about the challenges connected to the melting glaciers. If the melting continues in the same speed as now, the glaciers will be gone in 100 years. If all the glaciers on Iceland melt the sea level will rise a couple of centimetres, but if all the land based ice in the world melt, the sea will rise about 60 to 70 meters.

After lunch the students presented their work, and all the teachers and representatives from the geoparks were impressed. They have made informative posters and all the students have contributed to the work. After the presentations we all evaluated the project, and we all agreed that we have learned a lot, about the different languages, cultural understanding, social experience and the global goal 8.

March 30th

After the first night in Höfn we finally gathered together in FAS. We made a guided tour around the school and Hjördis told us about studying at FAS.  The view from the school windows was amazing! The school offers possibility for distance learning e.g. for university students if they don’t want to move to Reykjavik and don’t have suitable facilities at home. That sounded very practical!

The students were divided into six groups and they started to process the data and experiences they had collected during the last two days. They are supposed to make a couple of posters and a power point presentation that will later be published on this website.

We were taken good care of at FAS, because in between the group work we were offered oatmeal porridge as a snack.  A very surprising, but healthy local habit. After working for a while and having a delicious lunch the Finnish and Norwegian students presented their municipalities and schools to the other students at FAS.

The group work continued until 15 p.m. when we were taken by private cars to visit Stokksness, the wiking village by the ocean. It used to be an old farm that was partly rebuild in order to be a movie set for a viking film. Due to financial problems the film was never finished.

We also visited the place where a base for the army was situated in earlier times. Nowadays there is only a radar station and the old buildings of the army are owned by private people and used for tourism purposes.  Many people come there to see birds and seals that nest there. On the way back to school we dropped by the vantage point called Almannaskarð where we could admire the magnificent landscape to the mountains and glaciers.

In the evening we had dinner all together at the school canteen. Traditional Icelandic food ie. mutton with potato salad and vegetables tasted wonderful after the long day. The students enjoyed themselves by playin the piano, singing, dancing and hanging around all together. The Icelandic had made a funny self-ironic presentation of themselves that made us all laugh.


March 29th

Today we woke up at Katla Hotel to a landscape covered in snow. The students continued the work with collecting information on the local sustainable tourism. We were divided into three groups, each going to different locations.

First group went to Lindarfiskur, a local charr farm, located in the middle of the huge lava field. This family run business use glacial water filtered through the lava in their fish tanks. The second group went to Skaftárstofa, a visitor center of Vatnajøkull national park. We were introduced to the possibilities for tourists and how they work with promoting sustainable travel behaviour. The last group went to Iceland Bike Farm, but we had to meet the representative at the school, because the road to the farm was closed due to erosion. It is a family run business where they use old sheep trails as biking routes. At all locations the students asked critical questions and had interesting discussions regarding sustainability with the company representative.

After gathering the group we drove on to the glacier lagoon with a spectacular view to the Vatnajøkull glacier and floating icebergs. The last stop of the day was in Hali, where we met representatives from  Glacier Adventures. They told us about how they use tourism to increase awareness of climate change and how this affects the glaciers of Iceland.

In the afternoon we finally arrived in Höfn where the students met with the host families and spent the rest of the evening with them.

March 28th

After the breakfast we left the hostel B47 in Reykjavik and headed for the town Hvolsvöllur, which is a western entrance to Katla Geopark. We visited Lava Centre where we were told about the history of Iceland and the volcanism of the area. We also watched an impressive video of the volcanoes and visited the interactive museum. The interactive museum introduced some of the main volcanoes in South Iceland, how Iceland was formed, the mantle plume and the different types of volcanic rocks found in Iceland.

The next stop was the waterfall Skogafoss (the Forest Waterfall) which is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. This classic 62 m high and 15 m wide waterfall is the last and the most spectacular in a series of falls that are found in the Skógá River. Most of us climbed up the stairs to the top of the waterfall.

After that we drove to Reynisfjara black sandy beach. The weather was something unforgettable with a really strong wind and heavy rain as well as high waves. We admired the beautiful view of the nearby Reynisdrangar sea stacks, the large basalt columns on the adjacent mountain of Reynisfjall and the cave known as Halsanefshellir.

From Reynisfjara we went on our excursion to the village Vík. The students worked in groups and interviewed local tourism companies. The students asked the companies how they utilize environmental goals and strategies in their daily operations and long-term strategies. Each group will have to compile their observations later during the project week and create a presentation of them and the company. The companies were Puffin Hotel, Vik Hostel, Hotel Kria, Icelandic Lava Show, Zipline and The Soup Company.

Furthermore the students walked around Vik as tourists. They had to visit different locations and observe the same aspects as earlier but from the tourist’s point of view. Meanwhile the teachers visited Katla Centre and the Maritime Museum. After that we all went shopping at the shopping centre Icewear Magasin.

We took the bus to Katla Hotel, checked-in and had a short discussion about meeting concerning today’s activities. After that we had a delicious dinner all together and some of us enjoyed themselves in the hot bath tube.

March 27th

The Norwegian group came late in the evening on Saturday so we were pleased that Sunday started with late breakfast at the Hostel. Today everybody got to meet each other at last!

At 11.00 we went on a sightseeing around Reykjavik and visited several known buildings, Hallgrimskirkja and the concert hall Harpa were some of them. Then we went to a shopping center to have lunch and some shopping. The bus drove us back at 16.00. The Finnish group got their luggage back! Yey!

At 19.00 we all had pizza together at the Hostel. Many of the students went swimming afterwards in the outdoor swimming pool. This felt like a real Icelandic experience. We are happy that we got this day together in Reykjavik, to get to know each other and have fun together in this colourful city.

March 26th

The Finns took a bus from Vaala to Oulu at 2.45 on Saturday morning. It was surprising that there were so many young European people at the airport that early in the morning. Many young sportsmen and sportswomen that had taken part in the The European Youth Olympic Festival in Vuokatti in Finland were heading for home via Oulu. It was a nice coincidence that we met there an Icelandic group and told them about our Nordplus Junior exchange week in Iceland. They were very amazed and gave us pins with the Icelandic flag and Olympic Rings as a souvenir.

The flights from Oulu via Stockholm to Reykjavik went well and at the airport we were eager to meet our Icelandic friends who had come by bus from Höfn to Reykjavik to pick us up. But unfortunately our luggage didn’t turn up. Icelandic Air gave us survival kits with some necessary hygiene equipment and we didn’t let this incidence spoil our god mood.

We travelled together by bus from the airport to the hostel in Reykjavik. After check-in we had dinner at the restaurant world where everybody could enjoy their favourite food.

The Norwegians arrived late in the evening so let’s see them tomorrow.


Week 39 in Norway

During week 39, the Norwegian students went on their one field trip. To learn more about sustainable goal number six: clean water and sanitation, they visited “norskhavbrukssenter” where they discussed challenges and possibilities regarding goal six and fish farming. They looked at how fish farming works, and how the companies are working to keep the water clean.

The also spent part of the week working in groups with the Finnish and Icelandic partners. That work was done via Teams. We now hope that all participats in the project can meet in Iceland next spring.



October 1st

We woke up very early because we had to leave Vaala at 6 am. We said goodbye to our host families and friends.

We drove to Oulu and flew to Helsinki. We almost missed the flight in Helsinki because we had to little time in between the flights. It was stressful but as we say in Iceland, þetta reddast.

We landed in Oslo and had an hour to eat and look around in the airport. Then we had a two hour flight to Iceland. After we landed we took COVID tests in the airport.

On our way to Selfoss we saw lava from the volcano. We had KFC in Selfoss. It was finger licking good. We got back on the bus and headed home to Höfn and were there at 22:00 Icelandic time. It was a very fun trip and we can’t wait to have our friends in Iceland.

The Icelandic group

September 30th

We leapt in to the day, with pain in our brain.
School began, with backpacks in hand.
We made a presentation about the land,
better know as Finland.
With groundwater in mind and hell in sight.

Then we went to meet The Man, The Myth, The Legend Pekka Rossi.
He was very smart, I was told Was it for his doctor degree, or was it because he was bold? (Of course that was joke!)
Then on teams we met our Norwegian buddy’s.
We worked on “Lake Levä-Soppinen” the name of the lake is very weird.

Then we ate some fish
On our dish.
We listen to presentations from the rest.
They were all good, some would say best.

We left from the school,
To do something cool,
Some jam splaughter,
And the room erupted into laughter.

After school
We got pizza which was cool.
Then some of us went shopping.
The prices were shocking.

We headed back to school.
The boys looked like fools.
We played a game.
It wasn’t lame.
The clouds covered the sun.
But today was still fun.

Written by Anna Lára, Sævar Rafn and Zarko

29th of September

We woke up, it was only 3 degrees when we woke up, at around 7 in the morning. Some of us walked, others drove to school we met up with everyone and met the history and philosophy professor for the first time.

We went all around Vaala on a bus. looked at many interesting places. Such as paths in the forests and museums. Next to the path there was a lake, back in the 19.s the lakes were used to move trees for long distances. The forest was really big and beautiful.

Then we headed for a museum, there we checked out some old art, old guns, classrooms and much more stuff. We climbed up the windmill that was falling apart. (Stoner almost died, Zarko yelled DO A FLIP!)

Then went back to school, on our way, we learned about some old hunting ditches. That were used to hunt deer in the old times. Talking about food, when we arrived to school, we ate some oatmeal, or like we call it in Iceland hafragrautur,,.

After meeting all the kids and teachers that were in the school, we went on a teams meeting with the kids from Norway. Together we were supposed to answer some questions, but there was a little mix up. Instead of answering the question, some groops started working on the presentation that we are supposed to do tomorrow! In the end everything worked out very well though and everyone went happy home. All of us went happy home and we had a great day 🙂

Written by Steinar, Stígur and Tómas