Iceland Trip 2015 – A Report by Harriet Senior and Miranda Davies (Year 13)
During the October half term, a selection of sixth formers and teachers ventured to the frozen wastelands of Iceland. Whilst we had seen photos, the true beauty and majesty surpassed any of our expectations. Still dizzy from the turbulent flight, we collected our baggage and were warmly greeted by our tour guide, Thora.
The first stop was a museum where we absorbed the Icelandic culture and took photographs of the breath-taking scenery surrounding us. After that we checked in to our first hotel, which was in the heart of the city, and enjoyed a trip around one of Iceland’s most famous hamburger factories.
The next day involved a walk around the city centre and a visit to the Golden Circle. This included the historical and geological wonder that is Thingvellir National Park, where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimetres per year.
The following day was soon upon us and the first location on the itinerary was the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This was a popular choice as we had the ability to go around the waterfall itself and take photos of our silhouettes, despite the deafening noise of cascading water not too far away. One of the highlights of the trip was the geysers, which are hot springs that explode regularly and are often located near active volcanic areas. Thora explained that the hydrothermal explosion is caused by the boiling of pressurized water.
Fortunately, we had the incredible opportunity to visit icebergs and glacier lakes during our stay in Iceland. The icy blue scenery made a picture-perfect view and despite knowing that significant erosion is taking place constantly, the area was unbelievably tranquil and surreal. The following day involved walking up a glacier, wearing crampons, suitably kitted out in numerous layers of clothing! As keen geographers, this was a perfect chance to observe spectacular rock formations shaped by the glacier. This enjoyable opportunity enabled us to explore the wonderland of ice sculptures, water cauldrons, ridges and deep crevasses on the glacier, which for most of us, was a first-time experience.
To round off our trip, we went to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located amongst the remarkable Icelandic landscape. Having heard a lot about the Blue Lagoon, which is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland, we were keen to experience the magic ourselves. The spa certainly did not disappoint and was a fantastic ending to our trip. The only stop left was the airport, but before that we were treated to the best fish and chips in Iceland, while we reminisced about the highlights of the trip and the fond memories created, which I am sure will last for many years to come. Iceland is a country rich in physical geographical wonders, such as roaring volcanoes, icy mountains and deep fjords, but what is most evident is the timeless natural beauty of the country and the irresistible serenity that is found there.