Water and Fire

News and Trivia

Thursday, June 15, 2006

March through June - The rest of the school year

Let's see what's on the menu for the rest of the school year:

back to the school routine
catching up with the chores
fighting for the final grades
graduation ceremony in May
matura and entrance exams for seven of the ten team members

Meanwhile, of course, we want people to know about Iceland and the Water and Fire adventure. The team writes articles for Zalai Hírlap, the county paper, sends thank you letters to the sponsors, has presentations for the teaching staff and students of Kölcsey, as well as other schools. An exhibition shows posters with photos in different themes. On May 18 and 19, two interviews go on air in Pet?fi Rádió, one of the three main Hungarian radio stations.

What else? The teachers will have to write their project closing reports to the Icelandic National Socrates Office, and the Hungarian Tempus Public Foundation, the two fund providers without whom this eTwinning partnership - however rich - would probably have remained on the level of electronic communication.


ps: pictures later...

March 4th, Saturday - a long day's journey home

Getting up at 5, and soon the bus drops us at Keflavik Airport. The last words of good-bye to Hjördís and Tjörvi, and off we fly; from the plane we see the spectacular south of Iceland we first drove along two weeks ago, and the huge ice tongues of the Vatnajökull are all now familiar; those four, too that we saw and admired from the windows of FAS, Höfn.

We have several hours in sunny-snowy Copenhagen, so we decide to take a tour to the city. It's late in the evening when we land in Schwechat, Vienna. A few hours later, families and friends meet us in front of Zalaegerszeg Pláza. Happy, sleepy, relieved, full of memories and with full memory cards, everyone feels a great tour has come to an end, yet, this must not be the end of the story.

...to be continued...


ps: pictures later...

March 3, Friday - in the capital of Iceland

We visited Reykjavik Energy, which is not only the headquarters of the geothermal energy in the SE of Iceland, but also a building of architectural interest. After a guided tour in the ultramodern building, we take a tour in the National Museum. Then we go to the eTwinning office, and the Pearl, one of the most popular buildings of Reykjavík.

We all look forward to a visit to President Olafur Grimsson, but because he has fallen ill, we can only walk around in his palace, the Bessastadr. It's like a museum, full of presidential presents from all over the world. We leave behind some Hungarian medicine for the President: Egri bikavér, the famous red wine, which will surely do good to him.

We spend the last evening with Tjörvi's family, who treat us with some very good food.


ps: pictures later IF I can upload them...

March 2, Thursday - Good-bye, Höfn! Hello waterfalls, geyser fields, plate margins and Aldingi!

It's time to say good bye... Warm hugs and tears in the school hall, chilly-sparkling-windy morning outside. The farewell was a bit easier in Budapestend of Höfn sign.
Not really the happiest moment of the 14-month history of the Water and Fire adventure. Everyone feels they must come back one day.
last October, because we knew we would meet soon. But now?... You can hear words of plans and promises of future visits, but it?ll take a while to find out when and where. The Icelandic people follow our bus in their car until the

Dust storms, frozen waterfalls along Route no. 1, then a face-freezing exercise at Gullfoss, the
Golden Waterfall, where we are bombarded by millions of ice crystals which form as the water tumbles and breaks on the rocks.

Geysir is our next stop, which is the most famous - now extinct - geyser in the world. Around it dozens of active geysers, fumaroles and other post-volcanic formations remind us of the closeness of the inferno?

Another place to remember: Aldingi, the Icelandic Ópusztaszer, and the spot where we can almost see the North American and the Eurasian Plates separate from each other, speeding up the few millimeters per year speed of their spreading.

We are invited for a tasty dinner in the home of Hjördis? brother, and then we go to the hostel where we will spend the last two nights.


ps: same story again... no pictures... maybe later... and sorry about the wrong spelling of Aldingi.. it's still better to have a simple "d" there than a "?" mark...
March 1, Wednesday - the land of salted fish and jökullhlaup

The Team met in front of the fish processing factory at 9am. This was an experience not only for the eye but also for the nose... We were shown around and had the chance to see where and how the catch - several tons a day - is processed. We learned that some of the main export destinations of the salted fish are great fishing nations themselves - e
.g. Portugal -, but the quality of the fish is better here in Iceland. There are no salt mines in Iceland, therefore tons of salt must be imported for the salting of the fish. The Hungarians thought it's great to live by the ocean, and focus on the harvest but not really on the sowing, weeding, pruning, insect killing or the irrigation of the land. On the other hand, though, we think tractors are easier to drive on the plough land than fishing boats on the rough seas...

Later in the morning I visited a geology lesson at FAS. Hjördis had a PowerPoint presentation about volcanic rocks, and the students could see and examine real rock
samples while they were listening or taking notes in their work sheets.

Our last program in Höfn was to visit the Glacial Exhibition, where there was a huge chunk of ice brought form one of the many glaciers in the region. We also saw a film about the famous subglacial volcanic eruption below the Vatnajökull.

The rest of the day was mostly shopping for food for the last two days, packing our luggage and, having the last evening conversation with our host families...


(Something was wrong with blogger so I couldn't upload all of the pictures here only this one... I'll try it later...)

Friday, March 31, 2006

Tuesday, 28th FEBRUARY

Since the meeting time was 9 o'clock, the members of the Hungarian team could sleep a bit longer. (Usually on schooldays we had to arrive at school at 8.) By 10.00 we had to go to the town hall to visit Albert, the mayor of Höfn. At first he greeted us, then he handed over some nice presents to each of us: a yellow fishing hat, a pen, a T-shirt, a CD( with the music of some local artists (eg.:Emil's father), and a badge. On our T-shirts there was a part of the lyrics of a song which Icelandic teachers and the MAYOR himself performed for us!!! Then we sang some Hungarian songs, eg.: Tavaszi szél.
After this short visit we went to a farm to try Icelandic horse riding. We learnt some interesting things about the skills of this type of Northern horses (eg. that they are able to walk/run in 6 different ways), then we could experience some of them personally because we all had the opportunity to ride a horse. I think there hasn't anyone who didn't enjoy this programme despite of the strong wind and cold. Perhaps the only problem was that after this we went back to school immediately and our room smelled like a stable and so did we.
We ate our usual delicious lunch and then most of us went home to put on some warm clothes because in at 2 p.m. we went sailing. The weather was still freezing cold and very windy so it was quite an exciting trip. At the end we were a bit wet but it was worth it! In the evening some of us went to the local café but unfortunately we missed this meeting because after this tiring day Denis fell asleep and the others couldn't inform us to get there. But this was not the end of our day because at around 10p.m. Emil called us to go out with Virág and him to watch the beautiful northern lights. We couldn't see much since it had almost disappeared by the time we left but at least we went on a night sightseeing tour so I could know Höfn better.

Kata & Denis

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

February 27

That day Nóra was very busy preparing for the presentation, and Birna was busy in school In the evening we had finished aaaall our work and went home to eat dinner. At 19:30 we arrived to Nýheimar. We had been told about a large surprise, and we were curious about it. Katalin told us that the Hungarian team was going to meet the president! The presentation started and the Hungarian team was pretty excited. The excitement was useless, because everything went well, and after all, there weren't so many guests. We watched Emil's video and laughed a lot. The guests liked the presentation and the video very much, and also the candy! On our way home we decided to find a place to get a better view of the northern lights. There they were, dancing in the dark.
A day in the Icelandic forest : February 26

After Saturday night fever Sunday seemed to be very hard to begin?
We met at 1pm in FAS, so in the morning everyone could sleep a bit longer than before. Then we climbed to a cliff on the sea shore to see some seals, which was the first time for almost all of us because in Hungary you can find seals only in the zoos.
The trip continued on the beach -with the unique black sand- and because of the sunny weather many of us run into the water with bare feet. However it soon turned out, that they only could stay in for few minutes without freezing. :)
As next, we took a little walk in a valley with plenty of different types of rocks around. And, of course we found some challenge in jumping over the rivers- not always successfully though. The surrounding mountains were also beautiful as the sun was shining on them. Then, we witnessed the enormous heights of the Icelandic forest surrounding a very nice lake. :) The cars we went by proved again how much they can stand the rocky roads among the mountains- of course, much more than our stomach?
The trip was not so long but it was very good to have some delicious waffles and hot chocolate in a typical Icelandic summerhouse. Thanks to Siggi´s mother and grandparents and to Hjördis´ husband for them!
After spending a ?delicious time? in the summerhouse, we had to leave for home because it was getting dark quite early among the mountains.
In the evening, as usually almost every one of us went cruising in the town to see some northern lights- with more or less success :)And by the end of this enjoyable day we had again more experiences of the country :)

Virág and Emil
Saturday, 25th February

A day by the harbour and FAS annual festival.

On Saturday after having lunch with our families we went down to the harbour (Höfnin) and explored a huge fishing boat. Sædís´s father, Valdi, who works on the boat, showed us around. We saw several high-tech equipments that are necessary for navigation and for locating the fish. Valdi also showed us how the fish was processed after being pulled into the ship. After discovering the ship we went to see an eel farm that is probably the first eel farm in the country. We also heard about an experiment they were making there. When we had finished checking out the eel farm we took a walk around the harbour-area. Seeing the ship, Akurey, that has been stranded in the bottom of the harbour, which is now used for some kind of decoration for the harbour and it is also used as a pub during the Lobster festival in July. Then, the Hungarian team was lucky to see a small boat landing the catch of the day. There they could see cod, catfish, haddock and redfish. After this time at the harbour in fantastic weather everyone went home and prepared for the evening. Everyone showed up at The FAS annual festival between 7 and 8. The dinner then started at 8 o?clock and during the dinner there were entertaining scenes on the stage with singing, comedy and a chronicle of the year that had passed since the last annual festival. Half past ten, everyone in the waterfire team + a few guests went to Elvar`s house and had a great party with a lot of dancing and "magicjuice"-drinking. Around 1 o´clock everyone flocked to the dance which had already started in Sindrabær (the local socialclub). There, the dancing continued and everyone had a great time until late in the night.

Elvar and Zsófi
February 24th

We had to be in school at 9 am. In the morning everybody was busy with different things: the Icelandic students were working on their tasks with their groups and practising for the party which took place on Saturday; the Hungarians were prepairing for their presentation because they had to be ready by Monday.
At noon Auri (who is from Sri Lanka and teaches English and Spanish in Fas) invited the teachers for a typical Indian dish.
In the afternoon we went to a glacier called Hoffelsjökull which was nearby and can also be seen from the school. We travelled by cars and we had enough jeeps to be able to go through a little stream and many huge rocks. Finally we got there, and as soon as we got out of the cars, we started to climb down the slopes of the mountains to be nearer the glacier, which was not a usual one. It had a very strong blue colour. Besides this the weather was also nice because the U-shaped valley didn´t let the wind blow through.
After this amazing experience we went to a little stream, from which we could drink as well. But the way to the stream was quite difficult for those who climbed over the mountain. The others used the cars to get there.
Then our next stop was a little farm which was also not far. There the people work with only horses. This farm (as many other in Iceland) is very developed because farmers use modern machines. There we had to face the wind as there was no mountain slope. On the farm there was also a little church (100 years old). Next to the church we saw a cemetry.
At the end of the day the waterfire team met at Emil´s house and we had a so called "karaokee evening", when we sang different songs from the 80´s and from our days´s music. Though we got home late, it was quite funny and we had a very good time together.

Saedis & Dóri
February 23

This day was about eating and sports. In the morning we started the day with a football tournament that was held on the football field near the school. From the 5 participating teams only one could rise as a victorious one. Teachers and the Hungarian team also participated and the Hungarians completed with some legionaries became 3rd.After a longer break the members of the waterfire team met in the evening. The program was the enjoyment of the different traditional foods of Iceland. Such one was for example the raw shark which was buried for 6 months before we could try it. I think I can count its taste to the worst experiences in my short life. But there were some really good things to eat too. Such one was for example the flatbrauð með hangikjöti which is smoked lamb meat on some kind of pancake. This little food festival was held in one of Höfns oldest buildings which was a boathouse. The whole place now functions as a historical museum of Höfn. After this day I think no one has the right to complain about the hospitality of Icelanders.

Siggi and Dani
Our 5th day in Iceland

February 22nd

As it was the open week in our host school, FAS, we had to be there by 09:00, when a traditional Icelandic card game called Hornafjarðarmanni started. It was invented by Albert and since couple of tournaments are held every year. The ground rules are divided into 3, all depending on what card is drawn at the beginning of the game. If you draw 2-6, you play " Nób ", and you have to get he fewest packs. From 7 to 10 is tromp, the color of the card that was drawn " kills " every other cards. If Jack, Quinn, King or Spade are drawn the so called Grand is played, in which the highest card wins. The Water & Fire team also played, at the end Elvar won and he was crowned as Hornafjarðarmanna- champion, and was awarded with pizza and coke. The second was Sædis.
Than at 17:15 we went to an Icelanding farm, where we saw Icelandic sheeps and cows, and we could pet them, some of them started to chew our coats, trousers and hand, however there were some very shy animals and they didn't let us to touch them. In another building we saw milking machines and the owners showed us how to milk a cow.

Viki and Hrói

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

February 21. , Tuesday

We met at 8.30 in front of the school, and at 9.00 the whole school started its trip to Egilsstaðir, to another town in the Eastern part of the country. In every year, the three schools meet in one of their towns, where they compete against each other, taking part in several sports competitions. This year there were 4 teams, one was formed by the teachers (Katalin also took part in it), they had to fulfill different tasks, e.g.: Bandy, fitness, and ?dwarf throwing?.
The hosts took this little competition a little too seriously. Finally the hosts won, our team became third, and the team of teachers came to the fourth place. We also had lunch there, which consisted of several biscuits. At 5 o?clock we started our trip back to Höfn, and finally we arrived at 8.30. After this the partners went home.

Iza and Valdís
February 20th, First day in Höfn

This was the first night of the Hungarian team in Höfn. Everybody was amazed by the hospitality of the families. In the morning the headmaster of FAS gave a speech and talked about the events and tasks of the open week. Then every student of FAS and also he Hungarian team had to take part in an orienteering game in Höfn. We had to walk to stations where we got tasks to fulfil. E.g.: singing and dancing J. After this event we had lunch then started to work in groups. Everybody had to be member of one group. We are members of the media group and have to design the newspaper of FAS. We left school at 4 o?clock, then had dinner at home celebrating the birthday of Kalli?s mother. Then we celebrated Elvar?s birthday in a bar at 9 o?clock. It was a good party.

Kalli & András
February 19th
The iciest day in Iceland so far

We woke up early, at 7 o?clock when Hjördís knocked ?quietly? on our doors at the hostel. It was very hard to wake up but we all knew that a great and exciting day was waiting for us. We had breakfast together: Icelandic butter, toast, cheerios with milk?etc.

Then we got on the bus at about 8 o?clock, and it was still dark! From Reykjavík we drove to Hveragerði (where the Icelanders grow their ketchup, as Emil explained us before), where smoke comes out of the Earth and there are many greenhouses heated by geothermal water. After visiting the greenhouses we went to the Eden, which was exactly the opposite of what the Hungarians imagined Iceland to be?

Our next stop was Skógafoss, which is a huge waterfall surrounded by beautiful and high mountains. The sun was shining and made a rainbow in front of the waterfall. We got under it and of course made a wish. The waterfall is 60 meters high and according to the legend there is a gold-case behind it.

Then we drove to Iceland?s most southern point, Dyrhólaey, where we had to be very careful because ?if we fell down nobody could find us!? For the first time in our (the Hungarians) lives we saw the western side of the Atlantic Ocean! From there we could see Reynisdrangar very well, which are rocks standing like dwarfs from the ocean and as you can see Sara got that Kodak-moment when Mimi was holding the rocks in her hand.

From the bus then, on our way we saw the desert of black sand, and Iceland?s biggest volcano, Hekla, which has just erupted, in 2000, reforming the countryside.
Then the most amazing stop in our trip: The National Park ? Skaftafell. We walked to the glacier-tongue, and as we got closer and closer to it, it was becoming colder and colder?
This is part of Europe?s biggest glacier, Vatnajökull. This was formed in the Ice Age and has a greenish-bluish colour. We were very lucky with the weather, we could see everything, even the highest peak of Iceland, Hvannadalshnjúkur (2110 meters high).

Now we were getting closer to home, but there was one stop left, Jökulsárlón. This is a glacier lagoon, which is always changing, this day the ice-blocks were quite low, sometimes they are much higher. Next to the lagoon it was cold again. There we took the Christmas-card picture 2006 of us, but you´re not going to see that here.:) We were there for half an hour but we had to leave because it was getting dark.

On our way to Höfn from Jökulsárlón we couldn?t see anything but fog, but no problem because by this time we were very tired. Soon we were in front of FAS (the school), and our families were waiting for us. They were all very nice. So we found our mom and we drove home which was a very long way, about 1 minute, along the ocean! We both got a rose, because it was women?s day. We packed out, then had a very delicious dinner together, chicken and salad and the typical Icelandic browned potatoes, which is potato with sugar. We both took a shower after the long day and because we had no power left, we went very early to bed.

Sara Tölgy & Mimi Björk

Monday, February 27, 2006

February 18, Saturday WATERFIRE and the LANDing!

It started early in the morning. We gathered in front of the Zalaegerszeg Plaza (like in October), and left for Vienna at 1 am. We were at Schwechat Airport (Vienna, Austria) by 4, and after 4 hours? waiting, we were on our way to Copenhagen, Denmark. We had some more hours to wait for the connection flight, and eventually we took off 4 hours later including a one-hour delay.
Altogether we flew 323O km before we landed at Keflavik Airport.
Most of the Team had their first flight in their lives, and we all enjoyed it in the sunny weather. It was great to see the sea of clouds and then the Atlantic Ocean and the Icelandic coastline and snow-covered mountains.
We were all excited about meeting our Icelandic friends who were waiting for us. It was good to see each other after four months, when we said good bye to each other in Budapest.
The first program of the two weeks was a REAL treat: relaxing in the hot seawater of the Blue Lagoon, a really unique spa with white medicinal mud, after 36 hours without sleeping.
When we got to the hostel in Reykjavik, 4O km away, everyone was hungry as a wolf. Hjördis took care of us and made pasta and salad for the Waterfire Team.
We tried to get to bed early because we knew that the following day would be a long one: 47O km, a few stops and some 11 hours till we get to Höfn.

Kati & Laci

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Photos from Linz...

As you probably know Laci was on an international conference in Linz representing our project on the 13-14-15th of february. It was like some kind of exhibition. Every country had their own pavilion representing and advertising the eTwinning connections they made.
Like at the market: 'Come here we're connected to Iceland! We are the best! Check out our homepage! Let me give you a brochure...'
I was just joking... :) But its true that it was a big show...

And the father of eTwinning talked about our project>
(He was only talking about only 2 projects. One of them was ours!)

But let the pictures talk! There would be lots of them because some other hungarian e-Twinning participants want to download some, so I published them on an another site, because it was easier.

so you can check them out at: http://kep.tar.hu/tacu/
It's hungarian but I'm sure that you can find your way around the page...
Just look for the 'Pictures in Linz' script...

Only 12 days left... :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Chrismas greeting!

Hi Iceland

Now we are gathered here because we want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas too. We couldn?t make such a nice picture as you but we hope that this will also do it. We know that your winter holidays have already started but we hope that you see this despite of this fact. Ours will start tomorrow and unfortunately it won?t last as long as yours but what could we do? That?s life! So once again a very Merry Christmas and a succesful New Year!

PS: We can?t wait to get to Iceland.