During half term, 42 Year 11 students were privileged to be able to visit Iceland. Here is an account of their visit.
The trip began with a long morning of travelling, but once we were through Keflavik airport we jumped on the coach and headed for fish and chips to boost our energy levels. Our first afternoon involved having a group snowball fight whilst stood between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plate, exploring some hot springs and watching the Icelandic drive and deal with snow covered roads, which even the snow plough had a bit of trouble with.
After a well-needed sleep at Hotel Gullfoss we headed to Gullfoss to watch the sun rise over the waterfalls which were beautiful but rather chilly. Our adventures continued and we headed on to a nearby geyser and hot springs. The geyser erupted naturally every 10-15 minutes. A few of us stood in the wrong place whilst getting some pictures and got soaked by the water. Luckily it was hot water warmed by the Earth.
The afternoon consisted of caving, which began by walking through a tunnel of snow into the caves which were previous lava tunnels of a volcano, but which are now covered in stalactites and stalagmites. When we reached the bottom of the lava tunnel all our head torches were turned off alongside all the lights and we endured a moment or two of the pitch black. According to our guide if we stayed there long enough in the dark we would lose our eye sight! After caving, it was time for a quick stop for snacks and the chance to experience a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in a simulator before heading to Hotel Ork for the night. In the evening, we had the chance to relax in the Jacuzzis or chill out in the games room where Miss West beat Mr Anwar in a game of pool.
The next morning we visited a series of waterfalls which were stunning! The first waterfall involved walking through an ice cold river and cave to get to it; we were all soaked from the force of the waterfall splashing off large boulders in the plunge pool. We continued exploring and photographing waterfalls and had a couple of group photos for the Twitter feed too. We also visited the Eyjafjallajokul eruption centre and learnt about the impacts from the 2010 volcanic eruption
on nearby agricultural areas, and met one of the farmers who were affected by the eruption and she shared her story with us. We then continued with our journey across the south of the island and visited an ice lagoon, where we saw lots of icebergs that had detached from a nearby glacier and were floating down to the coastline. Some of us tried fresh glacial ice cubes and we all tried to grab a photo of the seals swimming and hiding behind icebergs in the lagoon.
Our penultimate day started with a few change of plans; 90mph winds were hurtling across the roads we needed to travel on so we had to remain at the hotel until things calmed down. The teachers had put together a quiz, so we began the morning with this and relaxed until the weather was good enough for us to travel again. We had a rather long journey ahead of us back to Reykjavik, with another waterfall (the one in the Skyr yogurt advert) along the way. We spent our final evening in Iceland enjoying some delicious burgers at a restaurant in Reykjavik.
Our final day was spent exploring the capital city in the morning, eating lunch in an ice cold park and warming up in the Blue Lagoon in the afternoon. The teachers even treated us all to a drink of ‘Krap’ (Icelandic word for slushie) in the Blue Lagoon to top off this amazing trip.