Iceland!

Hi everyone,

We’re here in Iceland, and it’s Â₩€$0M€! The ocean is super blue, and there’s really cool caves, mountains, glaciers, and geomorphic designs made by water and lava. There is lots of sheep, but tons of them get out of they’re pastures and roam freely.

In this picture, you can see my grandpa on the rocks

We flew from Seattle to Reykjavik, and met my grandparents. From Reykjavik we all drove to this tiny town by the sea called Hellnar. We are all sharing a cozy little cabin that has a great view of the ocean.

While we were driving from Hellnar to Reykjavik, there were some strange and irritating things. There was an underwater tunnel that was 6 kilometers long and took 4 minuets and 53 seconds to drive through! And there is also a round-a-bout every 450 meters when you’re near cities. It’s quite annoying. On the way, we tried to listen to Icelandic radio. I found a hilarious station that has kids songs. Here’s a sample:

Song from radio.

After Hellnar, we drove back to Reykjavik, where we stayed in a large comfortable house that had a very secret room. The entrance to the room was a wardrobe. And inside the wardrobe was the room. There was writing on the ceiling. And guess what it said!

Velkomin á Narnia

~Aidan

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Paris!

Nous sommes maintenant à Paris! We recently flew from Reykjavik to Paris. I haven’t been feeling very good for lots of the time here. On our first day, we started our math. We got our new math books, and my dad got a program called ALEKS and they teach online math. Every morning so far we got pain au chocolat from a nearby pastry shop, and they are delicious! One day, when I was feeling better, we went out to see a small number of the many amazing things in Paris. We went in the Louvre (which was very crowded) and we saw the Mona Lisa and lots of other famous pieces of art. We also went to the Notre Dame, but we didn’t go inside. One of my favorite things was the Eiffel Tower, and part of my homework was to learn some facts about it.

Eiffel Tower Facts:

  • The Eiffel Tower is 1,063 feet tall. For some comparison, the Space Needle is 605 feet tall
  • It is named after the maker, Gustave Eiffel. Gustave also designed the inner structure of the Statue of Liberty
  • It was finished in 1889 for the 1889 World’s Fair
  • The Eiffel Tower weighs 10,000 tons
  • The Eiffel Tower made the USA jealous when they were making it, so America had the honor of making the elevators
  • It is painted with 60 tons of paint every seven years, and they can only use paintbrushes
  • It has 3 floors. 1st floor: Restaurant: Altitude 95; 2nd floor: Restaurant: Jules Verne; Third floor: observation deck
  • It has both lifts and stairs. There is many different ways to get to each floor. To get to the first floor, you can take the lift, or climb 300 steps. To get to the second floor, you can take the lift all of the way, or climb 300 steps to the first floor, then take the lift, or take the lift to the first floor then climb 300 stairs to the second floor, or climb 600 steps. To get to the third floor, you could take the lift all of the way, or climb 600 steps to the second floor, then take the lift, or climb 300 steps to the first floor then take the lift the rest of the way.

Eiffel Tower Pictures (I didn’t take them):

http://wondrouspics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/eiffel-tower.jpg

 

http://www.earthinpictures.com/world/france/paris/eiffel_tower.jpg

Also while we were in Paris, we took a train to Versailles. I did a separate post on that.

Versailles!

From Paris, we recently took a train to the Palace of Versailles, a massive, beautiful castle, which was the home of king Louis XVI. Everything about the place is HUGE. The amazing gardens have tons of marble statues, beautiful fountains, and pond/lakes. There is even a labyrinth made of bushes! There is also lots of absolutely stunning fountains, and we watched a few of them for a while.

There’s more pictures of Versailles here.

 

 

 

 

 

Prague

We just left Prague a few days ago, I would’ve posted earlier, but where we are now, the power goes off sometimes. The first day there, we wandered about the city, and saw some castles, churches, and we also went to a Jewish cemetery that was extremely crammed; the headstones were almost all touching each other. When the bodies were buried, they had to be upright to save room. We had dinner at a very nice restaurant with a bunch of beta fish on the tables. All of the restaurants we went to in Prague were very good and each had something unique about them. One was a barge, and another had huge chunks of meat hanging around. Once, we went to a castle with guards that stood at each gate. They were the guys that don’t move. The ones at the main gate were better than guards at other gates, because Willem waved to one and he smiled. There were some interesting things around there. There was a medieval jail, with a torture chamber with some really scary items. They had a pit that they would drop prisoners in, and there was no way out, so they would rot. We saw skeletons at the bottom. There was also two churches that were really pretty. One had amazing stained glass, and tombs of saints. One tomb had one ton of pure silver decoration! The other church had a ceiling with fancy deigns in the beams.

Vladislav Hall

Designs on the ceiling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It had a separate room, that was way up high, where they would defenestrate bad people. The dictionary definition of defenestrate is: the action of throwing someone out of a window. There is a famous story of two nobles, William Slavata and Jaroslav Martinic, who were tried and found guilty of violating the Letter of Majesty. Their punishment: defenestration. So they were tossed out of a window, that I got to  lean my head out of, and they lived! They had landed in a pile of horse manure.

Turnov

Here we are in Turnov, Czech Republic. The first day we were here, we went to a very special church, that wasn’t famous until in the 13th century, the abbot of Sedlec monastery came back from a trip to Palestine, and sprinkled some dirt in the cemetery outside of the church. Then everyone wanted to be buried there. Later ion the 17th century, the cemetery grew so over populated, that the skeletons were just stored in the church. A crazy monk came along, and decided to make things out of all of the bones in the church. Then an architect came and finished the job, so now the church is filled with amazing sculptures and designs.

For the rest of the day, we just relaxed, read, wondered the property we are staying on, or played with the cats that live here. Ones name is Doctor, and the other is Chief of the Village, and yes, the owners have little kids. Today, we drove out to a place that used to be all covered in water, so the massive boulders there are really neat. They are in a beautiful quiet forest, so it was a nice trip without tons of people. I found a nice big rock to climb and my dad got some good pictures. Afterwards, we went to a church on top of a cliff over looking a small town. We saw a ropes course on the way and had a blast climbing around high above the ground. We had dinner, then came home and played with the cats. Then I twisted my ankle pretty badly so that ended the day.