On October 23rd, 50 students and 5 members of staff departed Heathrow heading for 6 days in Iceland. We landed at Keflavik in the evening, and headed for dinner before taking a trip to the famous 38°c geothermal spa, ‘The Blue Lagoon’, the first of many enjoyable activities in the coming days.
The second day began bright and early in Reykjavik where we met our tour guide for the week, Vilborg; she was amazing at keeping us company, pointing out the glaciated landscapes and volcanoes and telling us about the history of Iceland, it’s folktales and stories about the hidden mountain elves. Driven by our friendly coach driver, Christian, we travelled to the geothermal mud flats before heading to the first of many waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss; here we took a very misty walk behind it before travelling down the road to Skogafoss where we walked to the top of this beautiful feature, with spectacular views of the mountains behind. We then drove further south of the island towards the town of Vik stopping at both the Sólheimajökulsvegur glacier - where the rapid retreat due to climate change is evident, and Reynisverfi black sand beach (the location for many films) on route to Hotel Dyrhólaey.
On the third day we began with a delicious breakfast and headed for a visit to the Eldhraun lava centre where we learnt about the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occurring on the island. We then took a long drive towards the Jokulsarlon Glacial Iceberg Lagoon; on route we passed many glaciers, lava fields and towering cliffs, which were just (in the words of Mr Breeze) “wow, wow, wow!”. At the lagoon, we enjoyed a boat trip within which we saw the beautiful blue, white and black icebergs, holding ice more than 600 years old and spotting seals bobbing up and down in the water (one lucky group saw an iceberg breaking apart!); although it was very cold I think it’s safe to say this was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
We woke up to clear blue skies on Wednesday, headed to ‘The Secret Lagoon’; Iceland’s oldest natural geothermal swimming pool. We then travelled on to the outstanding Gullfoss where 30m high water falls into a deep, mile-long gorge. Following many photographs, we headed towards the Geysirs at Haukadalur; following the suspense of waiting, I think we all succeeded in getting at least one video of their explosions. We then moved onto Thingvellir National Park where we drove across the Eurasia - North Atlantic plate boundary spanning 7km. We walked through the beautiful park, listened to more stories from Vilborg about the Iceland’s history, feminism and the parliamentary significance of the site in which Iceland declared independence in 1944. We were able to witness a beautiful sunset on the drive back before heading for dinner at Hard Rock Cafe and we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights dancing in the sky on the walk back along Reykjavik harbour front.
On Thursday we began our last full day at the ‘Whale Fjord’ where many geographical landforms were pointed out by Mrs Miller and Mr Breeze including U-shaped valleys, arrets and moraines. We arrived at our final waterfall, Hraunfossar, where a volcanic eruption had produced a lava field in which the waterfalls spilled from underneath the solidified igneous rock into the Hvita River. Our final outdoor activity involved putting on hard hats and heading underground into the Vidgelmir lava tube which had been carved into the landscape during a previous eruption. We walked through the cave observing many geological features, stalactites and stalagmites before driving back to Reykjavik surrounded by another spectacular sunset and breathtaking views of the glaciers.
Our final day took us into the centre of Reykjavik where we were given freedom to explore the city. Many souvenirs were bought by all before we headed back to Keflavík airport for our flight back to Heathrow later in the evening. The trip was unforgettable and included many incredible landscapes and activities. Mr Breeze, Mrs Miller, Mrs Spinks, Miss Johnson and Miss Patman provided much knowledge and laughter and I think it is safe to say we all had a lot of fun, many memories were made and a lot of amazing photos were taken.
Rebekah Bourne, U6th
Executive Headteacher Mrs Linda Wybar
Associate Headteacher Mrs Katie Marchant
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