Monday, 23 April 2012

Iceland 2012

During the Easter holidays from the 10th-14th April, the Geography department at Seaford Head Community College visited Iceland. Here are some of the highlights of the trip............................... We met at school on Tuesday and everyone was very excited. We did experience a little turbulence on the flight, many of our students would say it was a bit like a roller coaster! :/ On arrival at Keflavik airport we were met by a local representative. We visited the Blue Lagoon, formed by the runoff from the geothermal power station of Svartsengi. It was really refreshing to bathe in the outdoor lagoon amid clouds of vapour with mass covered lava formations in the distance. Afterwards we settled into the hotel and enjoyed an evening meal. Our meals at the hotel were all very tasty, with cereal, toast, fruit and continental breakfast on offer each morning and a buffet which offered plenty of salad and hot food each evening.
On Wednesday we went on the Golden Circle Tour. We visited Thingvellir National Park, a remarkable geological site and the most historic site on the island. Thingvellir is the site of the world’s oldest democratic parliament founded in 930. We then continued on to Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall and one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe. We got a little wet walking behind it! We also visited sites such as the Great Geysir which spouted up to 30 metres and then visited the geothermal power plant at Hengill. This included a fascinating tour and explained how the Icelanders use the pure energy to produce heating and electricity.
On Thursday we began our day driving from Reykjavik over the Hellisheidi mountain pass, offering a magnificent view of the wide plains formed by glacial rivers. We had frequent views of mountains, including Hekla, the country’s most active volcano. Eyjafjallajokull was also clearly visible and we could still see ash on the ground that caused so much disruption two years ago. We then stopped at more spectacular waterfalls. We stopped to have lunch in the village of Vik and then visited a beach that is flanked by steep bird cliffs rising above the black, wave pounded sands. En-route back to Reykjavik there was an opportunity to visit Myrdalsjokull glacier which all of us found amazing! We made sure we stopped at the little remote cafĂ© by the glacier for hot chocolate!
Friday 13th started with a drive to see a monument to commemorate Alfred Wegner and his theory of Continental drift- Mrs Key getting extremely excited by this! We then stopped by at the residence of the President of Iceland. The highlight of the day for most was walking between two continental plates at the mid-Atlantic ridge; the Eurasian and North American plates. The students enjoyed being very artistic with the rocks that were scattered around and they thoroughly enjoyed the photographic opportunities. Finally, the day ended with a visit to the Hot Springs- an area where we experienced bubbling mud pools and steam arising from hotspots within the earth’s crust.
The days were very long and packed full of fantastic activities and each evening students were occupied with more, ranging from a quiz, games, a movie, more swimming in a geothermal pool and a celebration night to end the trip.
On Saturday we experienced a pleasant flight back to England. Students and staff were very tired but feeling happy and privileged to have visited Iceland, it was a truly memorable experience for all! Mrs Smith

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