Geography Field Trip to Iceland
Below is a write up from some of the students who attended the Geography Field Trip to Iceland, which took place between 9-14 February. Thank you to Mrs Dixon, Miss Pope and Miss Hind for organising and accompanying the students on this trip!
An excited group of 25 students from Years 9-12 left for Heathrow after school. We had time to browse the shops in Terminal 2 before our flight with Icelandair. On arrival, we transferred to the Keflavik Bed and Breakfast ready to sleep, in order to be prepared for the adventures ahead.
We started our trip by heading to the Blue Lagoon, located just 20 minutes from the hotel. On arrival, we could see the steam rising from the warm geothermal lakes and saw a glimpse of the blue water we would soon bathe in. The water was incredibly warm (38 degrees) and relaxing. Everyone headed straight to the silica mud supply to make face masks and took masses of photos. The whole Blue Lagoon experience as a whole is something never to be forgotten and definitely recommended.
In the afternoon, we visited the Hverageroi Geothermal Centre; a collection of natural hot bubbling pools. When we arrived, we were taken on a tour around the hot springs and their formation was explained to us. The lady was very friendly, and cooked us some Icelandic bread and eggs in the steam from the hot springs. The bread tasted different from anything before; it was a mix between cake and bread, but was very nice! We stayed at a family run converted farmhouse in the countryside that night; many of us relaxing in their hot tubs before dinner.
This was an action packed day. We started by visiting two impressive waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss, and Skógafoss. At the second one, we climbed up to a viewpoint at the very top of the waterfall, so that you could see everything 60 m below you; the view was amazing! Later on, we went glacier walking on Solheimajokull. On arrival, we were equipped with crampons, ice axes, harnesses and helmets. The trek was tiring but fun and the scenery was breath-taking. In the afternoon, we visited the “Black Beaches “at Reynishverfi to see incredible examples of stumps, stacks, caves and arches. The final stop of the day was Eyjafjallajokull Visitor Centre where we saw a film made by the family who live and farm right under the famous volcano that erupted in 2010. It was interesting to see how they were affected by it all.
After a quick stop to walk around the crater lake of Kerid volcano, we arrived at Gulfoss. This was the largest waterfall we visited during our trip to Iceland, being very wide and long. We could not get as close as the other two, but there was a footpath leading along and around the whole of the falls so you could still see the beautiful river and all the drops and you could get so many amazing photos.
Nearby was Geysir – “Strokkur” one of the few spouting geysers in the world erupting every 5-7 minutes. We enjoyed the geysers very much; they were amazing and we got some brilliant photos and slow motion videos. In the afternoon, we went to Thingvellir National Park. Iceland is located on a constructive plate boundary. This means that the Eurasian plate and the North American plate are drifting apart from each other at 2cm a year, creating new land in between. The walk took about 30-40 minutes and on the way we saw volcanic rocks and magnificent views. Our journey had now taken us back to Reykjavik, where we had pizza and pasta in a town centre restaurant.
After breakfast, we headed for a tour and film presentation at Geothermal Power Station; we found out that 90% of the population use geothermal energy. The next highlight we experienced was caving in lava tubes. Lava tubes are formed when magma travels through the rock quickly and leaves a passageway underground in the volcano. The caving was hard at times as there were areas where rocks had fallen from the roof of the tunnel but there were larger openings between the small spaces. When the tunnel reached a dead end we all turned out the lights on our helmets and were told scary ghost stories. Some of us thought that we could see our hands in the dark, but we were told it was impossible and it was actually just our brain playing tricks on us.
Reykjavik was the next stop and the first thing we noticed were the colourful and orderly rows of houses surrounded by sea and snow-capped mountains – it is strange to think that this is the Icelandic people's equivalent of London! We were allowed some free time in Reykjavik city centre and we discovered how welcoming and friendly it was. The Hamburger factory was appreciated by all of us at dinner time. A night none of us will be quick to forget was visiting the outdoor swimming pool. It was really fun, especially the water slide as we were allowed to go down in pairs and it was hilarious. We also went in the hot tubs which were really good as it was so cold outside!
Unfortunately, we had to fly home today, but not before enjoying some last minute shopping and visiting the bridge over the continents, and a final look at the boiling mud pools.