When someone says ‘Iceland’, you probably imagine igloos and ice hotels of the sort; however in February, it’s a whole different experience. Green grass eclipses the land and waterfalls cascade down mountain sides, a true wonder of nature, although, it is still rather chilly.
On Thursday the 9th of February, 43 geographers sauntered sleepily into a whole new world. After a quick introduction to the figurehead of our trip, Graham the tour guide, we were whisked off to our first taste of Iceland. The Blue Lagoon was a sensational activity, from mud to algae, all face masks seemed available. However, the quick walk come march from the cold changing rooms to the soothing heat of the natural springs was a slight inconvenience for those less hard wired for the cold. With this only being the start of the trip, the group were eager to see what delights this country would throw up next.
Roll on Friday the 10th, a day filled inspecting the Golden Circle (where the Eurasian and North American plate meet). For all keen geographers, it is a bucket list location.
Overflowing with geographical features, you couldn’t move for joints and bedding planes. However, to spice up the holiday, Graham fed us with a piece of history (a section of the tour that would later be coined ‘Graham’s ditties’). He explained how, in the Golden Circle, the first ever Parliament was created to prevent the stealing and pillaging of villages. As the words rolled off his tongue, Year 10s and sixth formers alike, marvelled at such facts. It’s true what they say you know you really do learn something new everyday. Following this was a taster of the awe inspiring waterfalls on offer in this country with water gushing over mountain sides to create a ‘you had to be there’ moment. Add in a night walk around Reykjavik led by our very own Mr. Kay and its fair to say the day was simply superb.
However, February the 11th, somehow, topped the previous. A more sombre mood filled the air when our party reached the site of the 2010 volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull (A* to anyone who gets that right on a spelling test). Couple this with the only waterfall in the world that you can fully walk under and you’ve a recipe for a perfect day in Iceland. Oh sorry, did I forget to mention that we saw a glacier and even got a chance to walk on it? As you’ve probably realised, this trip was full to the rafters of once in a lifetime experiences.
Sadly, we now to come to the last day of our trip, something many students were dreading. In front of them faced as behemoth of a task. A monstrous marathon. In reality, it was a 2 to 3 hour hike up a mild incline wearing the most ravishing of attire, yes; you’ve guessed it, waterproof trousers! Now, if the staff had a pound for every time someone uttered the infamous words ‘Will I need my waterproofs?’ it’s fair to say, they could happily retire. Nevertheless, the brave adventurers trekked on in the bracing wind and vicious rain, the reward, a natural hot water spring. A thoroughly enjoyable part of the trip, some members of our company even went for a light paddle! Rounded off by another night tour of Reykjavik, the explorers spent their last remaining króna on fermented shark and Icelandic chocolate. It may not sound the most appetising combination, but that’s what tickled the taste buds.
Looking at this short account, it’s plain to see just why Iceland was so brilliant. It culminated a variety of nature and culture; showing us some remarkable objects. Laughs were shared and memories created. Iceland – definitely a trip to remember.
Photos from the trip can be seen here.