This day unlike the days before was something unique since we got to visit the embassy and mingle with the ambassador Pär Ahlberg and some of the workers at the embassy. The Nature class got to visit the botanic garden in Reykjavik while we seafarers got to visit the Technical College of Navigation which is a school for seafarers here in Reykjavik.
The nature class left the boat at 08:10 while we seafarers started walking around 08:50. Our goal was one of the technical colleges in Reykjavik where they educate everything from able seafarers to Captains and much more. The school was constructed in 1944 and later in 2005 it was put under an umbrella with other schools in Reykjavik, this became a sort of federation of schools with influence from different Icelandic businesses. Today the college has a huge number of different subjects from art, construction and design to maritime navigation and programming. When we got to the college, we were greeted by Sigridur Olafsdottir and Asgerdur Sveinsdottir at the college entrance, they were our guides around the college and educated us about the work they do and the subjects that they teach.
We got directed into a conference room where we got to sit down and watch a video about the College and talk with Sigridur and Asgerdur. We drew some parallels with our school system in Sweden and the system in Iceland, they are quite similar with a few differences. The most notable difference I noticed was that Iceland seems to focus more on specialized education compared to Sweden. They have two branches that you can study, one is called vocational studies which focuses on practical subjects like construction, art, and seafaring while the second branch was called general studies which had a focus on normal subjects like English and math with the goal of putting you in university.
After the introduction to the school and the Icelandic school system we got a tour through the school and its different classes. It awed me when we got to see the different simulation spaces they had, they had a machine room simulation where different warnings would come up on screens and everything from screens to the walls and control panels looked like a control room on a ship. We also got to see and try the ship simulator, which was situated in a different building, the simulator really got us excited especially when we got to try it for our self’s. There were three different simulators connected to the same game which meant that we could se and interact with each other in the simulator. The rooms were amazing too with control panels and controls that was connected to the simulators, it looked real and wouldn´t leave that room if we didn´t have to.
After the school visit, we put up the pace and left for the embassy where we would meet the ambassador Pär Ahlberg and have lunch. You saw that it was the Swedish embassy on the spot as it had the crest of three crowns on the façade, the inside was beautiful with portraits of Swedish leaders and generals and old Swedish furniture. We were greeted by meatballs, chicken, and desserts as well as fizzy water and juice. After we had mingled with the embassy folk a tad bit and ate some food we continued with some speeches. Two of the nature students Emma and Caroline held a speech about the difficulties during Solander’s time compared to the difficulties of our time and how we are the ones who will have to overcome them. The ambassador Pär and our mentor David also talked about the connection we want to create between the Icelandic people and the Swedish people by using history, especially Solander in this case as Solanders doesn’t have any known bad history with the Icelandic people and it creates a historic connection between Iceland and Sweden that builds unity and solidarity between both nations.
After the embassy visit, we went to the national library in Iceland were different business partners, the library, the Icelandic government, and the Swedish embassy had put together an exhibition about Solander’s trip and documentation on Iceland. The exhibition was small but had a very good quality to it with interesting facts in every corner and a few pieces on display like books, birds, and some old drawings of traditional women’s party clothes and much more. The rest of the day was more standard with candyshopping and prepping for the trip to Ireland which we should start tomorrow at 09:00.