Iceland 2014

Over October half term 39 students from across Years 10 – 13 and 5 members of staff embarked on an excursion exploring the south coast of Iceland. The activities were packed into the itinerary from the early hours to late at night. Even though the days were long and the tiredness of the first half term set in, the sights we saw truly were awe inspiring and created memories that will last a lifetime. We saw some of the most beautiful waterfalls and braved the treacherous walk behind Seljalandsfoss. We watched geysirs erupt and explored geothermally heated waters. We donned our crampons and ice axes and walked over the Solheimajokull glacier which is one of the most rapidly retreating glaciers in the world, so it may not be around at all in 50 years! As a volcanically active country it was also possible to see the effects from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption of 2010 and extinct volcanoes from many years ago, all whilst crossing fingers one of the many active volcanoes wouldn’t erupt! Above all else we were fortunate to see the Northern Lights, known locally as the Aurora Borealis, which are a natural light show in the night sky caused by charged particles reacting with the magnetic field of the Earth. The experience was incredible as we saw and drank the cleanest water in the world, washed in geothermal heated showers (that smelled like egg due to the sulphur in the water) and really began to get that sense of what Iceland is all about in such a short time whilst crossing back and forth between the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia. There really is so much Geography in this ever growing country that we could have spent weeks truly understanding the landscapes and culture of the 300,000 people that live in Iceland permanently. We hope to take the next group of Geographers back in 2016 so keep an eye out for further developments!