At the start of the Easter break, fifty-two Sixth Form students travelled to Iceland for the annual geography trip. On the first day of the trip, they visited a number of beautiful waterfalls including Seljalandsfoss, which spills 60m over a former sea cliff, now sited far inland due to isostatic rebound. They then visited the Lava Centre to gain insight into the impacts of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption on the local community. One of the most impressive sites on the trip was Sólheimajökull, or ‘sun house glacier’, which has been retreating since the end of the 19th century at a rate of around 100m per year. On the second day, the group visited Gullfoss. These double falls drop around 33m then plunge into a mile-long gorge and is one of Iceland’s most photographed waterfalls. They also visited the site of Geysir, a spouting hot spring that gave its name to all the world’s geysers and although it does not often spout nowadays, its neighbour ‘Strokkur’ erupts every 10-15 minutes reaching a height of around 30m. Later, the group travelled to Thingvellir, where Iceland’s parliament was established in 930AD. The site straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, its rift valley forming where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates pull apart at an average of 3cm a year.
On the third day of the trip, the students took in the attractions of the capital Reykjavik. Among these was the Hallgrimskirkja Church, which is one of the most iconic buildings in Iceland, modelled on natural rock columns found throughout the country. One of the final stops was the Blue Lagoon a spacious bathing pool fed with silica-rich geothermal seawater drawn from a 2,000m deep borehole. The students thoroughly enjoyed the trip and were a credit to the School in terms of their behaviour.