Geography and Photography Trip to Iceland

Firstly a big thank you to all the parents who sponsored the students for this amazing trip. All the students on the trip were excellent ambassadors for the school. Mr Macdonald and Mrs Allen were superb chaperones for the trip too.

We arrived at Gatwick airport early on Tuesday morning for our flight with WOW Air. A company that neither I, or any other on the trip, had heard of before. But we checked-in fine and the flight out was perfectly reasonable.

On arriving in Iceland we were met by our tour guide, Sigi, who took us straight to the first visit, the Blue Lagoon. This amazing tourist attraction was created as a result of the geothermal power station close by. We spent a couple of hours enjoying the 38 degree water, the steam room, the massaging waterfall and the free face-masks, which were the favourites for some.

Northern LightsWe then arrived at out guesthouse for the first of our wonderful dinners. Our host was an excellent cook and throughout the following evenings we would enjoy a variety of local foods, such as free-range salmon and Icelandic lamb.

The first day we had the Golden Circle tour. We visited some beautiful places, but the highlight for me was the Geyser (picture below courtesy of Mr Macdonald). We also saw the rift between the two continents, Iceland’s original parliament and Gulfoss waterfall, which was a very spectacular two tier waterfall.

On the way back to the guesthouse Sigi asked the coach if we would like to see the Northern lights. Cheers resonated round the coach, so after dinner we all wrapped up warm, with India wearing the hat of notoriety for holding the group up at the Blue Lagoon. Sigi took us to a remote area and we set up, photographers armed with tripods and cameras.

The lights started slowly, with a gentle line of green in the sky, but the longer we stood there, the more the lights dances across the sky, flickering with green and orange and in places blue. We took the opportunity to get lots of photos, but the one at the top (courtesy of Mr Macdonald) can be seen at the top of the page.

The second day was the South Shore adventure day. We went to see the farm that was nearly destroyed by the 2010 eruption. And then Sigi took us to see some beautiful waterfalls. The first was on our itinerary, but we then went for a little walk to find a nice spot for lunch and found a second one, which we could walk behind. After visiting a glacier we headed to the black-sand beach. This was like nothing I have ever seen, with a mixture of volcanic and coastal landscape together in one place. On the way back we visited another waterfall which we walked behind and while we were there a photo-shoot started up for a modelling agency.

One of the Icelandic sights

The third day we started with a visit to the Icelandic horse park. To the annoyance of Mr Macdonald the photographers got a lot of pictures of the two playful kittens that were walking around the grounds. After that we went to see an area of bubbling mud and hot springs, before going to the bridge over the continents, where we walked between the North American and Eurasian plates. Then we went back to the coast to view an ancient volcanic crater.

The fourth day we were met by Sigi in the morning with our 4x4 coach so we could go to the Thorsmork valley. We went for a few small hikes and saw some amazing untouched scenery. We negotiated a couple of streams and went to the base of a glacier. After a small amount of climbing we made our way through a narrow gorge to find a hidden waterfall.

The final day was a sight-seeing tour of Reykjavik where we visited the beautiful church and the docks before a little bit of shopping. We then said farewell to our wonderful guide, Sigi, before we made out way back to school.

Ed Hawkins

Head of Geography/Head of Sixth Form