Iceland, the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ was experienced at its best by Geography pupils from the Fifth and Lower Sixth Forms during the Easter holiday.
Stepping off the plane and heading straight for the Blue Lagoon to bathe in the geothermally heated waters above Iceland’s plume of molten rock was a perfect welcome after a busy term at School, only to be topped by the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which came out to play on the first night, a truly awe-inspiring moment which will never be forgotten.
Residing at The Hotel Viking was unforgettable, with entertainment at dinner being provided by Viking hosts telling sagas and singing songs which were charming and humorous in equal measure. Several pupils were given the honour of becoming Vikings through what can only be described as a ‘unique’ ceremony.
In the days that followed, we were treated to a vast array of natural wonders: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss (the golden Waterfall), Solheimajökull (sun house) glacier, Eyjafjallajökull (the island mountain’s glacier), Krysuvik (mud pots and hot springs) where the troublesome ghost Gunna lives and Reynisdrangar where sea stacks are said to be formed by two trolls who were trying to drag a three-masted ship to land before daylight broke and they turned to stone.
Reykjavik never disappoints, and a morning spent touring the vibrant capital city with its distinctive style of architecture, weird and wonderful street art and welcoming local residents was thoroughly enjoyed.
Other highlights included sprint races in the continental divide between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, crawling through lava tubes on the Reykjanes peninsular, meeting an eclectic mix of Reykjavik’s finest musicians at the Icelandic equivalent of ‘Battle of the Bands’, experiencing every form of weather within a ten minute journey across the Hellisheidi mountain pass and seeing Strokkur (Geysir) erupt to over 30m in height.