Last Tuesday 22 girls and four members of staff set off on an exciting trip to Iceland, as Mrs Grove reports below. Read on for the full story and then see the gallery of photos here.
After our three-hour flight we found ourselves luxuriating in the blue lagoon – there could have been no better start to our Icelandic adventure! Having regained our youth by applying silica mud to our faces we set off to our hotel….
Hurricane Nicole means revised itinerary
As the tail end of hurricane Nicole was providing very high winds across Iceland, after a night’s rest we set off on a revised schedule. We were amazed by a visit to Pingvellar (National Park and World Heritage Site), where we stood on the American Plate and looked across the Rift Valley to the Eurasian Plate. Here we also saw the oldest democratic parliament in the world, first assembled there in 930 AD.
Geysers and Waterfalls
Our next visit was to see the incredible geyser at Strokkur (Icelandic for “churn”), a fountain geyser located in a geothermal area beside the Hvítá River . It is one of Iceland’s most famous geysers, erupting once every 6-10 minutes. Its usual height is 15–20 m, although it can sometimes erupt up to 40 m high! We could have stayed there for ages. However we were soon off to visit two of the many amazing waterfalls we were to see: Gullfoss, and then along the south shore to Skogafoss (where we all got very wet not only from the rain that had been falling but from the waterfall itself!).
Black Sand Beach
The next day saw us at the famous Black Sand Beach (Reynisfjara). The waves here were stunning and we also saw basalt columns and many coastal features which the girls all recognised from their geography lessons.
After this was another highlight: putting on crampons, hard hats and ice axes for a fantastic and thrilling glacier walk! The ice was incredibly blue, with layers of black ash. We saw moulins (shafts in the ice which can be very, very deep!) and learned how quickly the ice was melting due to global warming – quite frightening. One wondrous sight followed aother all day as later we walked behind Seljandfoss waterfall.
On our last full day we enjoyed a guided tour of Reykjavik, taking in cultural and architectural sights from the stark but beautiful Halgrimskirk to the 25.7metre high Pearl, a modern dome perched on six geothermal water storage towers.
This was an amazing trip enjoyed by everyone. All of the girls were a joy to be with. The Sixth Formers were a great help, but a special mention has to go to the staff who were the A –Team. Without them the trip would not have been possible.