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11 November 2017

Geographers Travel to the Land of Ice and Fire

During the October half term, 19 pupils, ranging from Fourth Form to Upper Sixth, travelled to Iceland for a week of geography-based fun. Accompanied by Mrs French, Mr Edwards and Miss Forward, the packed itinerary did not disappoint, with activities including a wealth of physical geography for pupils to experience first-hand.

Sights included glaciers, waterfalls, and black sand beaches, and whilst temperatures were a lot colder than at home, pupils were fortunate to have blue skies and plenty of sunshine for the duration of the trip.

Day 1 included a visit to Krysuvik, a geothermal field where pupils saw steaming volcanic vents, boiling hot springs, and bubbling mud pools. They also visited the country’s capital, Reykjavik; a popular tourist destination, where they were given a walking tour of the city.

On Day 2, the pupils visited the famous ‘Golden Circle.’ This began with a trip to Thingvellir National Park, where they were given the chance to stand between the Eurasian and North American plates within the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. They then went on to visit one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls, Gullfoss, and a number of hot spring geysers. The highlight of the day came when one of the geysers erupted, spraying water 35 metres into the air.

On Day 3 the pupils travel to the remote seafront village of Vik. The scenery was spectacular, with black sand beaches, craggy cliffs, and basalt rock arches. They were lucky enough to visit the Solheimajokull glacier, where they spent time examining its snout and appreciating the vast expanse of frozen ice. It was fascinating to see first-hand evidence of its rapid retreat.

Pupils tackled a challenging but worthwhile climb on Day 4, trekking up a volcano that offered impressive views of the numerous braided channels. They also hiked out to the coast and visited an old abandoned plane wreck, made famous by its appearance in a Justin Bieber video.

The final day began with a visit to Lava: Iceland’s Volcano and Earthquake Centre, which had recently opened this year. Pupils took part in many interactive experiences, including the country’s largest earthquake simulator, as well as entering a room with almost zero visibility, resembling life during the 2010 volcanic ash cloud. The trip ended on a real high with a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon; a geothermally heated mineral-rich swimming pool.

However, the highlight of the trip took place on the second evening, when staff and pupils were treated to a spectacular light show in the form of the aurora borealis, otherwise known as the northern lights. Swirls of green, blue and red danced in the sky for over an hour. It was a truly marvellous sight.

A huge thank you to Mr Edwards and Miss Forward for helping to make this trip a success. The pupils certainly experienced many unforgettable and unique experiences.

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