Hiking on a glacier, exploring an underground lava tube, seeing the Northern Lights, swimming in geothermal pools, standing on the 2021 lava flows and feeling the heat escaping from the basaltic rocks were all highlights shared by the pupils of their trip to Iceland.
After an early departure, the geology pupils arrived at Keflavik Airport where they were greeted by their guide for the trip Jónas. The focus of the first day was exploring the Reykjanes Peninsula. The first stop was the ‘Bridge between the Continents’ which provides clear evidence of the presence of a diverging plate margin. Before a visit to Gunnuher Hot Springs, a colourful geothermal field of various mud pools, fumaroles and the Brimketill lava pools, a natural pool carved out of an eroded lava shoreline. In the afternoon the group visited one of the longest and best-known lava tubes in Iceland and visited the site of the 2021 lava flows. After a very long and exciting day the group made their way to the accommodation and just before bed, they were excited to see their first glimpse of the Northern Lights.
On the second day, the group visited various waterfalls and stopped off at the black sands beach for lunch. During the afternoon the pupils put on their crampons and collected their ice picks to walk on the Sólheimajökull glacier, for many pupils this was the highlight of the trip.
The next day they visited the lava centre to learn about past volcanic eruptions in Iceland and the different types of volcanoes. Following this they visited a geothermal power plant where they learnt about how Iceland generates their electricity and hot water. After a busy morning, they had a relaxing time at the Fontana Geothermal Spa. The pupils soaked in the natural pools of various temperatures, and some braved a dip in the refreshing 3°C lake.
Day four saw the group enjoying a relaxing dip in the Secret Lagoon. As well as visiting the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir Geothermal area. Finally, they visited Þingvellir National Park the only place in the world where you can stand between two continental plates. On their final evening, the group spent their time relaxing in the outdoor pool, saunas and jacuzzi at the Hotel Ork.
On the final day, the group visited the Perlan Ice Cave and Planetarium. Before their last stop in Reykjavik for some shopping prior to heading to the airport.
There were so many amazing moments on the trip with so many memories made. The pupils were fantastic ambassadors for the school; the guide Jónas said that the group were remarkable and the best he had looked after in Iceland. The teachers would like to thank the pupils for their excellent company, interest and engagement during the trip. And of course, we’d like to thank the staff who made the trip possible.