A country of contrasts
Miss Keep, Geography Department, this year took twenty-one students from Lower V and Upper V to Iceland. Together with Mr Chappory and Mrs Sumpter they left on Feast Day from Heathrow Airport ready to battle the -10 degrees cold at their destination. Here, Miss Keep recounts their adventures:
‘With four layers of thermals at the ready the first stop in Iceland was the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. The spa is located in a lava field in Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland. Claudia Stefanczyk, Lower V, explains ‘My favourite part of the trip was the Blue Lagoon as it was a new experience for me and in general Iceland had lots of beautiful scenery which allowed me to take lots of pictures!’
The trip was action-packed with very little time to spare. The first evening was spent in Reykjavik, and on the second day the tour ventured out for four hours into the countryside to stay in a rural area just outside Vik. Here we met our tour guide Abba, and our driver Roland who were full of knowledge ranging from Icelandic trolls to struggles with the recent economic crisis. Various places were visited along the way including the Hellisheidi Geothermal power station, Eyjafjallajokull, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfall. Charlotte Higham from Lower V comments, ‘I loved visiting the waterfalls of Iceland and walking through the fresh snow and frozen lakes’.
The third day was spent again in the rural countryside visiting Mýrdalssandur glacier and Jokulsárlon glacier and viewing the beautiful Kirkjugolf – an interesting basalt column – we even got a chance to climb a steep hill! Lucy Jacks (Lower V) said ‘Although climbing the hill was tiring the view from the top made it worthwhile. We also drank from the fresh, lake water which was a different experience’.
As a group we held a small Sunday liturgy in the middle of the countryside sitting on a basalt column, there was no one around and it was very serene. At the end of it our tour guide Abba sang a beautiful Icelandic folk song, the beauty of the environment touched us all.
On the fourth day we ventured back to Reykjavik where we visited Vik, Perlan and the beautiful Dyrholaey which is a 120m high natural rock arch, although as geographers we know that it was formed by a submarine eruption, it was very amusing to hear our tour guides narrative of it being formed by trolls!
On the fifth day we went Lava tube caving. A lava tube is a natural conduit formed by flowing lava which moves beneath the hardened surface of a lava flow. Tubes can actively drain lava from a volcano during an eruption, or can be extinct, meaning the lavaflow has ceased and the rock has left a long, cave-like channel. The students (and Mrs Sumpter and Miss Keep) crawled along parts of the cave no bigger than 50cm in height – it was not for the faint hearted!
On the final day, before our flight, we were invited by Abba, our tour guide, to visit the Town Hall where her daughter was singing in a choir. It was a beautiful performance, and which we were very touched to be invited.
Miss Keep would like to take this time to thank all the students who took part in the visit and to thank Mrs Sumpter and Mr Chappory for all their help and support. Who knows where we will be visiting next in our 2018 Geography expedition? Watch this space!
Categories: Senior Whole School