The Land of Fire and Ice - Iceland Trip
13 July 2018
First and foremost it has been a great trip and all the pupils who went behaved perfectly and were a credit to the Joseph Rowntree School. The first day was a long one, having arrived at school for a midnight departure.
Once we arrived in Iceland at 11:30 am a very busy day awaited us. The journey from Reykjavik to Hella, where we were staying, was 3 hours, but this was broken into small chunks to allow us to see a few of Iceland’s unique attractions along the way. We tasted bread baked over-night in a hot spring whilst students dipped their feet in streams heated by the natural geothermal energy. We saw the Bridge Between Two Continents and got up close to a geothermal power station. By the time we arrived at our accommodation, getting students into their own rooms and asleep was definitely the easiest part of the day.
Day 2 was an early start followed by a busy day that included some incredible sights! Glacial and spring fed rivers flowing over waterfalls that in one case was over 70m high! We enjoyed ice cream made by the local dairy farms and saw where the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia were drifting apart at a rate of 3cm a year! We even managed to see, from a distance, the volcano Eyjafjallajokull that erupted in 2010 and caused huge amounts of travel disruption throughout Europe and the North America.
Day 3 was the busiest of the entire trip. Breakfast at 7am and back on the bus for 8am heading towards the Myrdalsjokull Glacier, part of which covers the volcano Katla which is 20 years over-due an eruption. We set off on our walk up the glacier equipped with crampons and ice picks. Split into 4 groups, each with a glacier guide, we made our way up to the top of the glacier which was covered in ash from the eruption that had taken place in 2010, making for stark scenery. Students saw crevaces, ice caves, rivers of melt water within the glacier and were able to drink from glacial melt water streams. After the glacier, students had the chance to walk behind a 60 metre waterfall making for a bus full of damp students.
Our final day in Hella started with a visit to the Lava & Earthquake Museum. Entirely dedicated to the eruptions that have happened in Iceland’s history and the devastation that they have caused. After this we were back on the bus for the last long journey of our trip from Hella to Reykjavik. Once there we were given a guided tour of some of the major landmarks before a couple of hour’s free time where we were able to do some shopping or sight-seeing of our own. Many students decided to make for the square in the Centre of the city to watch a public screen showing the England vs Sweden match! After dinner was at a local burger restaurant it was time to catch the bus for the final journey of our trip to the hotel near the airport.
Overall we had a brilliant trip with a great group of students and we would like to wish you all a fantastic summer holiday! Mr P Fortune, Ms S Richardson, Mr D Brierley, Mrs S Vaughan.