The second day started by going down to the village to get to the cable car. Our ride was awesome, the view from up there was breath-taking, making you feel like on top of the world. We finished our ride at the top of Hohe Mut. It was our first chance to witness the greatness of Tyrol and see the panorama of the mountains that were surrounding us. Everybody went crazy on taking hundreds of pictures to try to convince ourselves that the scenery was real and we had been there!
After coming back from cloud nine we started our program with a dancing energizing game. The following task was for each country to try to estimate the average annual precipitation for each capital. It was not as easy as it sounds and we realized that we didn´t know as much as we thought about how much it rains in our country (some of us almost flooded their country). Then we started going down to the direction of the magnificent glacier, and during our next stop we discussed the annual average temperature of each country. Again, we were too generous with the degrees, we overestimated almost all of the cities. The country with the highest mean temperature of 25 degrees was Gambia (which was not a surprise) followed by Cyprus, where the lowest temperature was in Lithuania with 4 degrees. Statistics of Obergurgl showed that the mean temperature was 3 degrees. It really blew us away because of the area´s high altitude that normally suggests lower temperatures during the year.
As we were getting closer and closer to the glacier we had a chat about the effect of ice and snow on the surface of the mountains. We were able to observe the leftovers of the boarders of the glaciers, forming a picture in our minds about each glacier during different phases over its life. We also distinguished the different factors that influence the previous shape of the mountains, for example ice eroding the mountains and making them smooth and flat, whereas snow leaves irregular surface. Our path to the tongue of the glacier was challenging and required a lot of attention which was not easy because the view kept distracting us.
We took lunch on a great spot on the rocks, enjoying the sunshine that the day offered us. It tasted better than any five star restaurant! With a full stomach now we set out with our Learning Buddies (which we now call Apple Couple) to document the melting of the ice. Some of us went creative and wrote something on the ground with rocks, some of us kept it simple and took a video of the Golden Mountain valley.
No one could wait for the moment we started going up to meet the first evidence of glaciers. We were actually walking on the ice!
Leaving the glacier valley we had one more stop to talk about the influence of the melting of the glacier. The most direct influence is the rise of the sea level. It was really interesting to find out that only half of the rise is connected with the melted ice, the other half is due to water expanding because of the high temperature. Even more interesting was the fact that the circulation of the water was linked to the gravity attraction influencing its direction. All good things must end, and so we took off for the return journey knowing that it was the last time to be there and keeping in our minds everything that we witnessed during those 2 beautiful days
The night was full of surprises with Spain, Austria and Romania opening the intercultural nights by presenting games, dances, food and drinks as well as sharing some of their customs. The night is still young and who knows what happens next…
Maria Xantri (Cyprus)
Katarzyna Markowska (Poland)