Over the June half term the Geography department took a group of 22 students to Iceland for the first time! It was an absolutely fantastic experience and a brilliant time was had by all. Even the weather held!
We had a packed itinerary and were lucky enough to witness some of Iceland’s breath taking natural landscapes. The first day started off at the infamous Blue Lagoon where we were able to bath in the geothermal heated pool which boasts temperatures of up to 40oC. This was followed by a trip to the Perlan; a futuristic landmark built on four water cooling cylinders with a 360o viewing platform giving us spectacular views across Reykjavik (Iceland’s capital city).
After an early start on day two we took a trip to the visitor centre for the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 volcanic eruption. Here we watched a documentary of a firsthand eye witness account of the eruption and its effects. We then went on to visit some of Iceland’s largest waterfalls (Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss) and spent the afternoon hiking up the glacier tongue of the Myrdalsjokull Glacier. Using crampons underfoot was an interesting experience to say the least.
We started the third day with a horseback ride on the infamous Icelandic Horse, where we learnt to ‘tolt.’ This is the Icelandics’ fourth gait and is part of what makes the Icelandic so special. The tolt is a natural 4 beat gait that is extremely smooth to ride, but very powerful. All students got involved and this was one of the best experiences of the trip. After visiting some more of Iceland’s many wonders, including Gullfoss (the golden waterfalls) and the geysers (notably Strokkur which erupts every 5 minutes), we rounded off our trip crawling through the caves of the extinct lava tubes.
Although exhausting, a fantastic four days was had by all, and we can’t wait to see what trip the Geography department embarks upon next year!
Natasha Prankerd / Matthew Curtis-Dyke