Iceland Trip 2014

The Geography department organised its second trip to Iceland this year and it was every bit as spectacular as the first.  Twenty seven students from Years 9, 10 and 11 arrived to snow covered lava fields on the Reykjanes Peninsula where we saw boiling mud pools and Leif, the lucky bridge straddling the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. It really was an ‘awe and wonder’ trip with many spectacular sights; volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, lava fields and hot springs.

We were guided onto the Solheimajokull glacier, with crampons fitted to our shoes, helmets and ice axes. It was quite dramatic with heavy snow. We really had to keep an eye on the person in front and watch our step! The snow storms intensified the following day as winds drove the snow horizontally across the landscape. The challenge was to stay upright and actually look at the crater-lake from the top of Kerid Volcano and the beautiful Gulfoss Waterfall with snow hitting our faces with some force! We braved the outside temperature of 1° to enter the blue lagoon to relax and swim outdoors (water temperature 37-40°!).  The backdrop of snow covered mountains and snowflakes falling on us while swimming was a magical experience. Iceland really is a country of contrasts; ice and fire.

Our global awareness assembly following the trip had the theme – ‘All is not as it seems’. We challenged the notion that melting glaciers in Iceland, due to climate change, can only be a bad thing and geothermal energy can only be a good alternative to burning fossil fuels (there are some negative local impacts). Also could you believe that the building of a road or rail line could be stopped in the UK because we might upset elves? This did in fact happen in Iceland. Our trip to Iceland challenged our notions of how we view the landscape and how we perceive the challenges of an ever changing world.

Ms Cabral- Head of Geography

 


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