Exploring Iceland

Geography trip to Iceland

On Monday 13th of February 2017, twenty-two Rooks Heath students, accompanied by four teachers, eagerly embarked on the journey of a lifetime to ‘the land of fire and ice’. With its magnificent landscape of thundering waterfalls, striking glacial rivers, picturesque mountains and simmering geysers, the Northern volcanic island of Iceland was an epic adventure which many of us are proud to have explored.

After a smooth flight, our large group disembarked at the international airport of Keflavik before boarding our coach, which was destined to transport us to various destinations over the next three days. Our trip began with a guided tour around the city, taking us to one of the most famous, scenic churches in Iceland, as well as viewing Iceland’s capital city from the top of a modern viewing tower. Upon the completion of our informative tour around the city, we arrived at our hotel. After being allocated our rooms, we ate a refreshing dinner before returning to our rooms to sleep and wake up early for the next day.

 Following an early breakfast the next morning, we were all ready and on the coach travelling to our first destination of the day which was Thingvellir National park, which boasted a stunning landscape of natural beauty that lay in between the greatest rift between two tectonic plates – Almannagjá. This portrayed fragments of rock rising above the ground, as well as fascinating rock formations. After trekking along a meandering path, which lay between the fissures, we admired an awe-striking waterfall which sloped down into a small pool before boarding the coach again which drove us up an idyllic path through the mountains. We arrived at a gentle sloping area in which jets of steam were issued from the ground engulfing us in a thin swirling mist. Upon venturing further up the slope we arrived at Strokkur Geyser, a magnificent attraction which regularly ejects water, steam and gas at a tremendous force 10 – 40 metres high. After witnessing the geyser erupting twice, we then travelled to Gullfoss waterfall which is one of the most famous in Iceland and depicts water cascading down 32 metres in two stages into a rugged canyon in which walls reach up to 70 metres in height. It is a spectacular display of nature at its finest and upon marveling at the beauty of the waterfall, we proceeded to the Secret Lagoon which featured geothermal waters up to 38 – 40 degrees.  The majority of our group reveled in the relaxing steamy waters for over an hour before we once again took to the road and advanced to our final destination of the day, the stunning Kerid crater. This attraction features bright sapphire coloured waters laying in a wide circular caldera bowl which consists of red volcanic rock adorned with rich green clumps of moss, making its appearance stunning. Finally, we enjoyed an entertaining evening in a bowling complex before returning to the hotel for the remainder of the evening.

On our last full day in Iceland we awoke early and within an hour we were all in the coach and we progressed to our first destination of the day which was Seljalndsfoss waterfall. It is breathtakingly beautiful and reaches 65 metres high. Whilst visiting the waterfall, we were able to walk behind it and experience a great view of this stunning attraction. Next, we travelled to another famous waterfall, called Skogafoss, which is 60 metres high and has steps leading to the top which allows you an amazing view looking down, observing the water gushing over the side and surging and tumbling over the sides before crashing into the pool and flowing out into a lake. After admiring the waterfall, we journeyed to our next destination which involved exploring a small village known as Vik. We then headed to a volcanic beach on the south shore and we explored the beach for a while. We were fascinated by the striking and bizarre rock formations which were originally lava.  We returned to the coach and travelled to our final destination at Sólheimjökull Glacier which boasts over 11 km of ice stretching across a striking landscape before tumbling into a picturesque lake. Finally, we returned to the hotel before venturing out again at 12:30 in order to see the northern lights. It was a brief, windy walk to the sea front and we all eagerly awaited whilst a green arch gradually became visible against the night’s sky. We watched in awe as it slowly became more visible with green lights streaking across the horizon intermingling with the lightest of purple shades. It was a sight to remember. We then returned to pack before waking again in the morning ready to leave.

We spent our last few hours in Iceland touring a shopping centre before boarding the coach and travelling to the airport.  After a few hours of waiting we embarked on the plane which was destined to take us back to London. As we slowly ascended, the streets of Iceland became one drunken spider web and we settled in our seats reminiscing on the journey of a lifetime. Many thanks to the staff who participated and made this spectacular journey happen! It truly was a trip to remember.

By Sumayyah, 10Y