Our visit to Iceland started with a relaxing visit to the unforgettable Blue Lagoon. Bathing in the 38°C geothermal pool, edged by mossy lava with steam dancing across the surface was certainly a highlight of the trip and a good introduction into Icelandic living.
Our trip had a geographical focus investigating how Iceland has been shaped by volcanic eruptions. Visiting the LAVA Centre with its state-of-the-art interactive tools, helped to really understand the landscapes we were seeing. We also learnt about the impacts of the 2010 EyjafjallajÖkull eruption.
We visited waterfalls such as Seljalandsfoss where we could walk behind the waterfall as it plunged over the cliffs above. We also visited Skogafoss, another of Iceland’s impressive waterfalls, thundering over a 60m high cliff creating a curtain of spray.
Another highlight in ‘the Land of Fire and Ice’ was a glacier walk exploring the frozen glacier tongue of Solheimajokull. We saw crevasses and supra-glacial melt water channels and tried our skills walking with crampons and using ice axes. The weather was fabulous and the views from the top were stunning. We also stopped at the black sandy beach at Reynishverfi to see the magnificent hexagonal basalt columns.
Our third day was rather a wet one – with Iceland really demonstrating how wild the weather there can be. The group showed resilience to enjoy the highlights of the famous Golden Circle route. We visited one of Iceland’s most photographed waterfalls, Gullfoss; Geysir – the site of the hot spring that gave its name to all the world’s geysers, and Thingvellir which is the rift valley forming where the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates diverge. We even took a visit to a waterfall featuring in Game of Thrones. To escape the rain, we went lava tube caving in one of the largest lava tubes in Iceland, where we experienced absolute darkness.
Our trip was non-stop and encompassed as many sites as possible and we all returned awe inspired by this incredible country.
By Mrs Clayton