This morning we were delighted to discover that the West Briton Newspaper (Redruth & Hayle edition) have published our recent CSIA Geography trip to Iceland on the front page! You can read the full article here.
Between the 8-12 February 2017 forty GCSE and A Level geography students and four staff had an amazing geographical adventure in Iceland. Flying from Heathrow we arrived in a massive storm system with quite a choppy landing, some of the students were flying for the first time. We checked into the hotel, ate and were swimming in the local, public, open-air geothermal swimming pool under the stars that evening. Tiredness turned to whoops of delight from the students (and some staff).
Our action packed itinerary on the first full day included visiting the Pingvellir National Park at dawn, the most visible place in the world to view a constructive plate boundary. The Mid-Atlantic ridge is separating and is an example of sea-floor spreading. The North American plate is drifting westwards and the Eurasian plate eastwards. We also saw the Geysir Hotsprings Area which has many boiling, bubbling and gushing fumaroles, Gulfoss a glaciated river with a massive double waterfall 32 metres tall with a 70 metre gorge at its base and finally we visited the geothermal power plant of Hellisheidarvirkjun, the third largest geothermal power station in the world.
After dinner we were driven to a remote fjord to try and see the Northern Lights. Sadly, the cloud cover never broke and we didn’t see them, but our guide that night enlightened us all about the Icelandic Yuletide Lads folklore, which fascinated and amused us in equal measures.
On the second day, the itinerary was just as packed. We left the hotel in the dark, arriving just after dawn at the spectacular waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfos which drop 60m from the relict cliff above. We were able to walk behind Seljalandsfoss and were drenched. We then drove along the South Shore towards the volcano Eyafjallajökull, which we stopped to admire. We continued on across the coastal plain to the remote coastal village of Vik and the spectacular, hexagonal basalt columns on the beach nearby. We finished the second day with our planned walk on the Solheimajokull Glacier Tongue, kitted out with helmets, crampons and ice axes. Most students and staff identified this as the highlight of the trip. That evening we again visited the local, public, open-air, geothermal swimming pool under the stars.
On our last morning we walked into downtown Reykjavik via the scenic seafront, a fjord with snow-capped mountains in the background for a quick sightseeing and shopping tour. We then returned to the airport, via a bathing stop at the world famous Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa Pool. We flew back into Heathrow and returned to Cornwall, tired but happy. Our students were impeccably behaved – they were a credit to the school – and our guide in Iceland, plus our fellow air passengers, complemented their behaviour and thought we were a Public School.