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November 10th 2017

Making the most of Iceland

During the Autumn half-term break, several students headed to Iceland for a trip designed to support the Geography and Environmental Systems and Societies curricula.  The girls had a fantastic time and even got a few more days than they bargained for, after bad weather delayed the flight home! Year 12's Olivia recounts the trip.

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On Thursday, 2nd November, 23 students alongside Mrs Thompson and Mrs Carney arrived at Heathrow, ready to fly to Iceland. As expected, check-in didn’t go by without its complications, but nevertheless we were still all in good spirits and excited about the trip.

001When we arrived in Iceland, we met our tour guide for the trip, who took us to our bus for the first activity. We drove to Reykjavík, where we had a mini tour of the city and looked around the shops.  Later that evening we arrived at Hotel Viking, our home for the next few nights. The hotel was, as insinuated by the name, a Viking-themed hotel. Our rooms were like log cabins, with everything made out of wood. Every night of our stay, at dinner, we would have entertainment in the form of a singing Viking with a guitar. He would sing the few English songs he knew and he even performed a Viking ceremony, making Vici and Langa Vikings.

002The next day we were up early for our first day of the tour. We had a long drive to the first waterfall of the trip, called Skogafoss. After a long trek of about 500 steps, we reached the viewing deck, above the waterfall. Although the stairs were tiring, it was worth it to see the waterfall 003from a different perspective. Next up was a black sand beach, which had many of the costal landforms that we had been learning about, including stumps, stacks, arches and caves. The penultimate stop of the day was to Arcanum Glacier. Although we did not get to climb the glacier, it was still an amazing sight to see. Finally, we visited the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which we were able to walk behind. This was an amazing experience, despite the fact that we got soaked!

004On the Saturday, we did the Golden Circle tour. This consisted of a geothermal power station, Kerid Crater, a Geyser, Gullfoss- the biggest waterfall (and the coldest moment) of our trip and then finally to the Thingvellir National Park -  which lies in a rift valley, where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet.

On Sunday, we visited the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal outside pool. The lagoon is located in a lava field, which makes the water naturally hot. The water also naturally contains minerals, such as silica and sulphur, which is why the water is so blue. After a fun morning, it was time to leave and head to the airport. When we arrived, after looking at the flight boards, we discovered that our flight had been cancelled! Although Mrs Thompson and Mrs Carney were stressed, we were more than happy with the idea of staying for longer.

005Eventually we were checked into a local hotel, where we ordered pizza, played card games and watched a movie (until the power went out, only ten minutes in)! The next day, the power was back and we thought we had an easy day ahead, until we found out we were being moved to yet another hotel. So, we once again packed our bags and checked into our third hotel of the trip. We made the most of the extra day and visited a local Viking museum, followed by a trip to the ice cream parlour later that evening.

Despite the cancellation of our flight, the two extra nights, having to stay in three hotels and the power cut we all had an amazing time and these issues made the trip even more exciting.

- Olivia, Year 12

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