Fifteen Year 13 students travelled to Iceland on Thursday 16 April and returned Sunday 19 April. Our geographers gained a hands-on understanding of the processes of tectonics and glaciation.
Geography Visit to Iceland 2015 photo gallery (28 photos)
It was the first ever St. Mary's Geography visit to the amazing country of Iceland.
During Easter 2015, fifteen students and three staff jetted off for a series of adventures in Iceland. Armed with their warmest clothes and comfiest shoes they travelled the 1,010 miles from Manchester to Reykjavik in search of the great wonders of the natural world.
Arriving early in the morning the staff and students were met by average temperatures of around 2 degrees Celsius….what better to warm up than a trip to the natural hot springs in the Blue Lagoon. Sold as one of the 25 wonders of the world, here you can submerge yourself in the geothermal heated pools and rejuvenate your skin with the famous silica mud mask!
Once we all felt rejuvenated we headed off to explore Iceland’s capital city. The world’s most northerly capital combines colourful buildings, quirky, creative people, eye-popping design. Add a backdrop of snow-topped mountains, churning seas and crystal-clear air, and you really do have the perfect city!
A trip to the famous Gullfoss waterfall followed next. The Golden Waterfall is an iconic waterfall of Iceland offering a spectacular view of the forces and beauty of untouched nature. The Gullfoss is located in South Iceland on the Hvítá River which is fed by Iceland's second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. The water plummets down 32 metres in two stages into a rugged canyon whose walls reach up to 70 metres in height. On our tour here we learnt that many unfortunate souls had got too close to the edge and the thunderous water of the Hvítá River had claimed their lives. It really was quite a sight to see!
Next on our adventure was the Eyjafjallajökull volcano that erupted back in 2010 disrupting air travel for weeks. We saw the villages that were impacted by the eruption and the farmers who ultimately benefited from it. From here we travelled to the black beach in Vik where we saw the amazing basalt stack columns, locally known as “the weird rock formation that sticks out of the sea called Reynisdrangar”. Vik is a black beach due to its volcanic origin and is the wettest place in Iceland. We were allured by its hidden caves and folklore stories.
On our final day we had the opportunity to try a Glacier walk. This was a great glacier adventure where you can try for yourself how it feels to walk on ice. We walked on Sólheimajökull glacier on the south coast of Iceland and it was clear to see how the varied landscape had been formed by the glacier for the past thousands of years. We could also see how fast the glacier has been melting for the past 15 years due to the changes in local temperatures.
Sólheimajökull is the southernmost glacier in Iceland, the ice is up to about 200 metres thick and the total size with the ice cap Mýrdalsjökull about 600 km2. Underneath the main ice cap is the caldera of the volcano Katla, one of Iceland biggest volcanoes…we listened out for rumblings under our feet as we made our way back to the base of the glacier.
We all enjoyed every minute of the four days in Iceland. From the amazing sights, to the evenings we spent splashing in the hotel pool and having fun on the numerous water slides…it was an unforgettable visit and we definitely recommend that you take up the opportunity to go.
The students were fantastic on the trip and Miss Burton, Mr Priestley and Miss Mallinson would like to thank them for making the trip such an enjoyable experience.