Ffynone House Geography students report on their fascinating trip to Iceland.
After an early morning flight, we arrived at Keflavik and set off by coach to the Blue Lagoon, located in the black lava fields of Grindavik. It was a cold, crisp day but the bright blue waters of the geothermal spa, with a temperature of 36°c, made bathing a delight and felt more tropical than arctic!
A short journey took us to Reykjavik where, after a quick snack, we went on a walking tour. The city’s famous landmarks, the Sun Voyager sculpture, the Harpa concert hall and the Hallgrímskirkja Church were within easy walking distance. Everyone we met was friendly, helpful and welcoming.
Waterfalls and volcanoes
The next day, we went on a South Shore Tour and visited the village of Hvolsvöllur before moving on to the amazing Seljalandsfoss waterfall. A stroll behind the Skógafoss turned the falls into a curtain of falling water. The waterfalls we visited seemed to become bigger, more beautiful and more amazing as the day progressed. At Reynisfjara, we had a picnic on the beach, in bright sunshine. The caves, headlands and stacks were straight out of a Geography textbook but the black sand took a bit of getting used to. Despite the fine, calm weather, the waves were surprisingly fast and furious. The highlights of the day, were undoubtedly the views of Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull, the famous volcanoes. Both were shrouded in snow, with huge glaciers winding their way down the valleys.
That night, we journeyed into the Arctic Circle, in search of the Northern Lights but sadly, to no avail.
The next day we went on the Golden Circle Tour, taking in the Hellisheiði Power Station, to learn how Iceland uses its geothermal energy. Then, we moved on to the Geysir geothermal area, where the Strokkur geyser shoots a column of water up to 30 metres (98 ft) into the air every ten minutes or so. At Gullfoss (Golden Falls) we saw one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe, where the water tumbles and plunges into a canyon some 32 metres (105ft) deep. The trip concluded with a visit to Þingvellir National Park, where the World’s oldest democratic parliament was founded in 930. The park is also where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are slowly being pulled apart; we actually walked along the plate boundary. Thankfully, the tectonic plates were peaceful that day!
On the last night, we went ten-pin bowling at the very popular and busy ISI centre in Reykjavik. We made friends with some fun Icelandic teenagers there and had a really fabulous time.
Sunday morning came around all too soon and it was time to leave. We all felt sad the trip had come to an end but we agreed that we would return in the future, to once again visit the “Land of Ice and Fire.”
Bless fallega Ísland, eigum vér að snúa einn daginn.
Goodbye beautiful Iceland, we shall return one day.