Adventures in Iceland for our Geography students

Last Wednesday, 60 Geography students from the LV and LVI packed their bags and began their journey to Iceland, whose flag aptly symbolises the ‘land of fire and ice’. 

Early the next morning we had started our tour of the Golden Circle in Thingvellir where the Eurasian and North American plates meet, and is one of the only two sites on Earth where the effects of two major plates drifting apart can be observed. We travelled to Gullfoss, a spectacular two-levelled waterfall, before witnessing multiple geyser eruptions, making the amateur photographers amongst us understandably overexcited. In the afternoon, we were given the option to snorkel between the plate boundaries or to white water raft down the river.

Friday brought the news of the referendum and after a breakfast of debate we were on the road again. Our first stop was Reynisfjara, a black sanded beach where basalt columns can be clearly seen - our tour guide explained to us their formation using both geographical theories and the legends of Iceland’s mythical trolls. We then drove to Solheimajokull glacier to study plant succession, and were all given the opportunity to wear crampons and walk on the glacier. On the journey back we stopped at Seljandsfoss Waterfall, where it was possible to walk behind the falling water!

Day four consisted of exploring Reykjavik by foot, and LV conducted their investigation about the impact and management of tourism in honey-pot sites. A visit to Reykjavik’s cathedral and to Perlan gave us the best views of the city and we were also informed that later that evening, Iceland would elect a new President - an interesting time to be in the country.

On our way to the airport were all able to visit geothermal springs and swim in the Blue Lagoon where the hot water temperatures, combined with the beautiful scenery, created a wonderful atmosphere. Everyone had great fun with the silica mud and emerged with spotless skin (although very dry hair)! The trip was a huge success - everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly and all were sad to leave (although it was probably best given the recent Euro football result)!