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Iceland 2016

On the 20th of March this year Tapton Geography Department set out on its biennial trip to Iceland..

On the 20th of March this year Tapton Geography Department set out on its biennial trip to Iceland for GCSE and A level students. David Lewis (Y10) reports on this amazing trip.

After arriving in Keflavik airport we were picked up by a local coach company and taken to our first stop, the Blue Lagoon spa, located in a lava field that was made in an eruption 5000 years ago. The geothermal heated pool complex contains minerals that are scientifically proven to benefit skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and made for a relaxing dip to end our first day in Iceland.

On the second day we travelled from Reykjavik to the south coast of Iceland to visit waterfalls Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss on former sea cliffs. Despite now being located several miles inland these cliffs still make for impressive viewing and dominate the rural landscape. Next on our programme was a guided tour of the Solheimajokull glacier. Kitted out with ice axes and crampons we set off onto the 2000 year old ice. However the most poignant part of our visit was to see for ourselves how much the ice has retreated in the last 10 years- it certainly made us realise how rapidly global warming is happening and the effects that it is having on communities around the globe.

   

Day three started in dramatic fashion on the most southerly tip of Iceland on the black volcanic beach, Reynishverfi, which is blasted by waves from right across the Atlantic. Next we took an off-road drive through one of the most remote parts of Iceland in an 8 wheel drive truck. Most of the areas that we visited were hit badly hit by the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in 2010 which caused major disruption to air travel in most of Northern Europe.

   

Our final day in Iceland saved the best till last. Starting off lava tubing in the Leidarendi cave system we examined the rock formations that were made over 5000 years ago when the molten lava cooled to form the cave after a nearby eruption. Next on our list was Geysir, a spouting hot spring that gave its name to all the world’s geysers. Miraculously the geyser spouted quite regularly (every 5 minutes or so), giving us the task of photographing the plumes at first hand. Eventually however most of us managed to time out photographs to capture the exact moment of eruption. Finally our tour came to an end on the boundary between the Eurasian and North American plate (also the site of the world’s first parliament that was established in 906 AD). And in this magnificent amphitheatre we said our goodbyes to this amazing country.

Many thanks to the members of staff that gave up their free time to accompany us on this trip.