An Icelandic adventure

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An Icelandic adventure

Sixth Form Geography field trip

In the second week of half-term 26 Lower and Upper Sixth Geographers took a five-day visit to Iceland to extend their knowledge and understanding in a complex and exciting environment of ice and fire.

The first day involved an early morning start with the coach leaving school at 3.20am. Upon touchdown at Keflavik airport we met our Field Studies Guide and headed to the Blue Lagoon for a well-earnt and relaxing dip in the geothermal heated pools before heading on to our Icelandic guesthouse near Hvollsvollur.

Wednesday proved to be a rarity in Iceland at this time of year - beautiful blue skies and sunshine, making our first stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall all the more beautiful as we watched the sun rise from behind the cascade of glacial meltwater. A busy day followed with stops at Solheimajokull glacier, Reynisfjara beach to see the Gardar basalt columns and a final stop at the Eyjafjallajökull visitor centre to learn in more detail the 2010 eruption that caused so much disruption across Europe.

Thursday was more typical of Iceland at this time of year with cooler temperatures and driving rain. Nevertheless the itinerary took us to the newly-opened Lava Centre, which proved to be vastly interesting with interactive displays and cutting edge technology where we were able to explore the numerous eruptions that have hit Iceland throughout the 20th Century. With a gap in the bad weather, we headed to Reykjavik where we enjoyed some free time and souvenir shopping.

Friday was another busy day spent investigating the complexities of Iceland's physical Geography, which never seem to fit the standard textbook model but rather having its own 'twiste' in the explanation of landforms and processes. After a morning dip in the hot springs of the Secret Lagoon at Flúðir, Gulfoss waterfall, Geysir and Þhingvellir were the main destinations of the day. On return to the guesthouse, an evening of board and card games entertained us whilst we awaited the elusive Northern Lights.

Having seen a green blur in the night sky, we awoke Saturday morning ready for a steep climb up Stóra Dímon where it was possible to apply every aspect of geology, glaciology, sociology and volcanology that we had learnt through the week to an amazing view across the outwash plains of southern Iceland. As Geographers, it is our job to bring together this range of perspectives and understand the human and physical environments around us. A smooth flight back overlooking the firework displays of London brought us home on Saturday night.

A big thank you from all of the staff involved for such a fantastic group of pupils to go with. They were interested and enthusiastic throughout the trip and certainly seemed to have enjoyed themselves and learnt lots of new things.

For more photos and details of the trip please find Mr Hyde's 10 Reasons to go to Iceland based on this trip, found on the intranet with a video summary of the trip to come soon.