By: Edward Newman, Head of Geography |
On Tuesday 30th October, twenty-four intrepid students and three staff had a cold 4am start to begin a five day Icelandic adventure like no other. After a quick drive to Heathrow and a three hour flight we arrived in what looked like a martian landscape, surrounded by lava fields, rising steam plumes and barren coastlines.
The first day saw us gazing in awe at the shear cliffs, mud pools and lack of trees before ending the day in the geothermal hot springs of the Blue Lagoon. A face pack of the volcanic mud took 5 years off everyone and the soothing warm waters washed away the travelling stress. On the second day we travelled West from Reykjavik, visiting waterfalls and hot springs before an incredible Northern Lights display that night. A once in a lifetime experience for most that was not to be missed, even if it meant wrapping up in all the clothes brought with us.
On Thursday we visited another two stunning waterfalls, one that we could even walk behind where it had undercut into the rocks. A long walk along an empty beach ended with the sight of an abandoned plane, a remnant of the cold war. The last sight of the day was well worth the treacherous drive up the side of an island to see a huge sea arch and for miles beyond in every direction. After dinner, students also had the opportunity to go to a local swimming pool to let off some steam. The pools are all geothermally heated but that doesn’t help when you get out! Those that ventured out on the third night were once again welcomed with the beautiful green glow of charged solar particles.
On the final day we followed the golden circle route, visiting Gullfoss waterfall, Thingvellir national park and Geysir, a huge spouting Geyser of steam super heated by the underlying rocks. Another local swim in the evening included a large water slide and hot-tubs with water at over 44 degrees. A long journey home awaited us but nobody cared, a journey twice as long would still have been worth seeing the amazing sights of the last four days.
The Geography department visits Iceland every 2 years so all students in Years 10 and 11 will be able to have the same incredible opportunity in 2020. Please follow the Geography department on Twitter @framgeog to keep up to date with all of our visits, field trips and experiences.