NSB Iceland Trip 2016
If you don’t like the weather…wait 5 minutes!
On October 26th Mrs Topping Shaw and I, along with seventeen Year 13 students set off for a five-day trip to Iceland. After a remarkably easy journey we arrived in Reykjavik, met our coach driver Siggy and set off to the lava fields of the Reykjanes peninsula. Our first stop were the boiling mud pits and steam vents of Grindvik followed by the chance to walk across continents at the bridge spanning the Eurasian and American plates.
We overnighted in Reyljavik before setting off next morning down the South Coast. On the way we stopped by the awesome Selfoss waterfall, walked up to a glacier, visited the site of the massive eruption of 2010 which closed Europe’s airways and finally stood in awe of the crashing waves on the black sand beaches at Vik. Along the way we experienced sun, rain, hail, sleet and back to sun again within about an hour! Seems like the old saying “if you don’t like the weather wait 5 minutes” was about right!!
Day three saw us take to a monster 8 wheel drive truck (converted from an old missile carrier) to explore the remote and pretty inaccessible Porsmork valley. Fording numerous glacial melt water rivers we ended up in a winter wonderland of 8 inches of snow; a snowball fight was inevitable. The powder snow was just perfect. The effect the snow had on the landscape was to turn it into a massive Christmas card.
Day 4 took us to plates pulling apart at Pingllevir, geysers at Geysir and probably the most impressive waterfall in Iceland; Gullfoss. We also went swimming at the Secret Lagoon. A pool amongst volcanic rocks, naturally heated to 40 degrees C. A good job to as the air temperature was 1 degree C!! It is very odd swimming outdoors in sleet whilst feeling like you are in a hot bath.
Oskar was our Icelandic guide and he ensured that we missed nothing.
On our final day we had more swimming at the local town pool (also naturally heated) and a walk around the charming centre of Reyljavik.
It was a terrific five days. The students as ever did us proud and relished the chance to visit such an extraordinary place. The weather far from putting us off, in many ways added to the experience, especially the deep snow which we were not expecting. We found waterfalls in hidden caves, visited places so isolated that there was literally no one else within 10 miles and experienced sights not found anywhere else in the world. I know everyone who went would want to return.
Mr G. Smith
Humanities Team Leader