Year 12 Trip to Iceland 2022 Posted: 10/06/22

On Friday 27 May twenty intrepid explorers, accompanied by Ms Garrad, Ms Miveld and Mr Amer, set off from Heathrow Terminal 3 to the land of fire and ice.  Following the pandemic and lockdowns, there was a much sort after sense of normality as we embarked on our first journey to Iceland in three years.  The excitement was palpable for students (both geographers and non-geographers) and staff for the jam packed excursion that lay ahead.

To give you a flavour of what we experienced, I have asked a handful of those who went to share their first-hand experience which you can read below:

IL5On Friday morning we flew out to Iceland for our Geography trip , the first location we visited: The bridge between the continents.  This was an absolutely fascinating experience, being able to cross between the Eurasian and North American plate.  Once we explored this area, we visited Grindavik gaining our first experience of the power of thermal energy and were were extremely impressed with the sight and intrigued as to why it smelt this way!  The most exciting visit of all however, was the trip to the Blue Lagoon that we went on on the last day, having the chance to swim in the geothermal waters was very fascinating and an absolutely unforgettable experience for all of us! Maya V, 12 Ludgate

IL6On the Saturday of our trip we were lucky enough to explore Iceland's South coast spectacles. Our first stop was the Lava Centre where we discovered the true reasons for Iceland's iconic destinations and why an island thought to be impossible has been created and grown by tectonic activity. We then visited two waterfalls Seljalandfoss and Skogafoss and were given the chance to scramble around them and see the incredible views they offered, even walking behind one of them! We then visited the amazing Hvolsvöllur glacier. This was a bitter-sweet experience as we saw IL3the true extent of the impact of glacial retreat owing to global warming. We went on to visit Vik, the most southernly settlement in Iceland with its stunning black sandy beaches and the coastlines extensive cliff formations, even spotting a few puffins! Overall this busy day was truly an unforgettable experience for all of us where combined with the incredible weather we were able to truly experience Iceland’s striking south coast scenery. Molly H, 12 Bow

IL2Sunday was the Golden Circle Tour, a combination of spectacular waterfalls, geothermal geysers, ice cream and a look into Icelandic history. Our first destination was one of the most popular attractions, Gullfoss Waterfall. Formed at the end of the last ice age the cascading water, falling 36ft, offered an insight into how Iceland was able to harbour natural resources to harbour power and electricity as well as display Iceland's astounding natural beauty. Next we visited the geyser geothermal park and had the chance to experience exploding geysers and trek up the mountains to of course eatIL7 lunch. We then made our way to Efstidalur ice cream farm and enjoyed some refreshing ice cream, as we were luckily enjoying such warm weather on our trip. Lastly, we visited Pingvellir National Park and was able to explore and learn about Icelandic tradition as it was the location where the Icelandic parliament was formed during the 10th to 18th centuries. Overall, the day was an amazing experience and I am sure it will be the basis of a lot of fond memories for everyone. Jake R, 12 Bow

IL8On our penultimate day in Iceland, we first visited the town of Hveragerði. We visited an exhibition about the 2008 earthquake which had an epicentre 2km southeast of Hveragerði. As part of the exhibition, there was a room which simulated the feeling of the earthquake in 2008, a 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale. We then journeyed further west to the capital city of Reykjavík where before having some time alone to explore the city, our tour guide showed us a few notable locations in the city. One of these locations was the Hallgrímskirkja Parish Church,IL9 standing at a staggering 74.5 metres tall. The inside of the church was magnificent, hosting an organ with 5275 pipes. However, our tour guide told us that many of the locals do not like the design of the church and say it is an eyesore. After exploring the capital on our own, we travelled to the Krýsuvík Mud Puddles. These puddles are a geothermal area in the mid-Atlantic ridge, with a strong smell of sulphur as the springs bubble away. Finally, we went to look at solidified lava flow from an eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in 2021. The volcano erupted for six months from March 2021, and we saw the solidified black lava flow which had run down the hillside, which was still warm. Getting so close to where the lava flow had stopped was an amazing experience, rounding off a wonderful day in Iceland. Henry T, 12 Bow

The students were a true credit to the school in their conduct and enthusiasm for the programme. It was a trip with so many long term memories. Many thanks to Ms Miveld and Miss Garrad in supporting the trip.

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