Geography: An Icelandic Saga

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The May half-term saw the Bede's Geography department embark on an adventure to Iceland.

After negotiating the baggage chaos at Gatwick, clearing security and an invigorating sprint through the departure lounge, 29 pupils and 3 members of staff made it to the flight on time.

We were all very excited to finally arrive in Reykjavik, unfortunately due to the problems at Gatwick, our luggage didn’t.

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Undeterred by this setback, we headed to the Blue Lagoon where we were able to hire swimming kit and, as one pupil remarked, “we look just like a swim team!”

An afternoon of floating and relaxing in the lagoon was just what we needed after the early start and lost luggage.

That evening we stocked up on toiletries and the basics and Mr Rohmer ‘set up shop’ distributing toothbrushes and shampoo to all. The following morning we managed to stock up on clothes for everyone. The shop saw a queue of 29 students form, much to the amusement of the staff.

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The itinerary included a guided tour of Reykjavik, where we learned that hot water is pumped under the roads to stop them freezing over in the winter.  Our next stop was experiencing a choir rehearsing in what was simply known as the 'big church.' Apparently the Icelandic name is too difficult for tourists to grasp!  

Out of the city, we walked between the North American and Eurasian plates and waited for the geyser to erupt, which did so every 3-7 minutes. Our final stop was the iconic Gullfoss waterfall.  

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The following three nights we stayed in log cabins, from where we made several day trips. These included a visit to a glacier, still covered with ash from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, a folk museum and a beautiful gorge.

One of the trip highlights was the visit to the Westman Islands, a group of volcanic islands to the south of Iceland. A couple of puffins braved the rain, and we also saw one up close in the natural history museum, which the pupils loved.

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On the island of Heimaey, we braved the rain, and despite it only being 7˚C went swimming outdoors. Thankfully there were plenty of hot tubs for warming up again afterwards!  

The luggage arrived in three instalments, just in time to fly home. As a result of the luggage issues we were treated to a Viking evening, which went down well. We had a Viking ceremony and some traditional storytelling combined with less traditional burger and fries!

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The pupils should be commended on how they dealt with the luggage problems and developed a share and make do attitude. A thoroughly enjoyable week of exciting activities and cultural immersion was had by all.

 

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