GCSE and A Level Geographers visit Iceland over half term

GCSE and A Level Geographers visit Iceland over half term

During the half term around 20 keen GCSE and A Level Geographers packed their bags and jetted to Iceland to spend 5 days enjoying the stunning Icelandic scenery and visiting many geographical features such as glaciers, waterfalls and volcanoes to name a few.

On the first day we took the coach straight from Keflavik International Airport to Gunnuhver and Reykjanes Geothermal Power Station where we took a walk amongst mud pools and steam vents taking many photos next to the impressive bubbling Gunnuhver (Iceland’s largest mud pool)! We also visited Iceland’s oldest lighthouse admiring the magical stretch of coastline and crashing waves. Our last stop for the day was the bridge between continents spanning the Mid-Atlantic ridge. After a tiring day of travelling we all enjoyed a meal out at the Icelandic Hamburger Factory.

Rising early on the second day, we were swiftly off to the LAVA Centre where we learnt about the volcanic forces at work in Iceland. We later went off to look at the Eyjafjallajokull flood plain, Skogafoss (one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls) and Solheimajokull (a retreating glacier). The highlight of the day for many was our visit to Reynishverfi, a black volcanic beach with basalt cliffs and caves, where many of us enjoyed climbing the huge basalt columns and of course taking many photos! We then spent the night in our outside mini huts admiring the beautiful skyline.

The third day was a day packed with activity! We started with a quick trip to see Seljalandsfoss hoping to walk behind the magnificent waterfall, however due to temperatures reaching -4 and dangerous underfoot icy conditions we had to observe from a distance. Next in line was a Monster Truck tour where we explored the volcanic area of Eyjafjallajokull and Thorsmork driving through many rivers. We took a few stops to admire the stunning scenery and after lunch took a walk following a river to view a waterfall located deep within 2 cliffs, despite those of us who braved crossing a river getting slightly wet, this experience was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We spent the night in a Country Guesthouse, but of course we couldn’t go to bed without a geography and Halloween themed quiz! That night some of us were even lucky enough to spot the Northern Lights!

Time was flying by and before we knew it was our fourth and final day. We began the day with a visit to the Secret Lagoon, for many this was the highlight of the trip as we enjoyed some relaxing time bathing in natural hot springs. We then took a quick visit to the site of Geysir and eagerly waited to capture its neighbouring spouting hot spring Strokkur on camera. From here we were soon back on the road eager to visit Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most photographed waterfalls, with conditions being extremely slippery under food many of us were fascinated with the crampons we had to wear to walk around and view Gullfoss. Our final geographical destination was Thingvellir National Park which straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We took a walk among the rifts and saw ropey pahoehoe lava from a shield volcano eruption. By this point we were all exhausted from all the travelling and sad as it was our last day. To round the trip off we spent the evening at the eagerly awaited Hard Rock Café before checking into our hotel for the final night... but not for long as it was an early 4am start for us as we all sadly started our journey back home to England.

On behalf of all the students who went on the Iceland trip I would like to thank Miss Tomkinson and Mrs Mehta for organising such an amazing, once in a lifetime trip, which I can confidently say was thoroughly enjoyed by all! (As well as Hrone our much loved Icelandic tour guide)!

Written by Isabella, Year 11