Iceland Trip November 2013

The Geography Department's four day trip to Iceland was a great success. The group consisted of thirty-six GCSE & A' Level Geography students , accompanied by Mrs Mc Menamin, Mrs Mc Cauley, Miss Diffley, Mr Doherty and Mr Ryan.

Based in Reykjavik, the group had the opportunity to follow a packed ‘Fire and Ice' itinerary which was designed to maximise the time available to us. On arrival at Keflavik airport, we were met by our guide Irsa, who was with us for the duration of our visit. She is a native Icelander whose local and geographical knowledge are first class. She accompanied us on two tours in particular, one called the ‘Golden Circle Tour' and the other, the ‘South Shore Tour'.

The tours afforded us the opportunity to bathe in two outdoor geothermal pools including the famous ‘Blue Lagoon'; we visited the stunning Gulfoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls and walked behind the smaller Skógarfoss waterfall; we watched one of the most active geysers in the area, Strokkur, spout up to 30m in the sky and learnt how geothermal energy is harnessed during our tour of one of their Geothermal Power Plants; we walked in the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and with great excitement, we walked across Reykjanes bridge which separates the continents and crosses over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We saw the extent of the ash fall from the 2010 volcanic eruption and were surprised to see how one of the glacier snouts had been blackened due to the ash from the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. We walked along the shore of the black beach at Reynir, sat on the basaltic columns there which resemble some of the rock formations on the Giant's Causeway and marvelled at the nearby Arch and Stack formations which have been eroded from the headland. We had great fun ice-skating, souvenir hunting in Reykjavik's ‘Flea Market' and went to see ‘Thor' in the cinema. Every night we gazed at the sky in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights and finally on the last night, we were delighted to witness this amazing phenomenon as the Northern Lights danced across the sky.

This was certainly a trip of a lifetime and one which will be remembered for years to come.

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