Icelandic winter wonderland
24 October 2011
Eyjafjallajokull is a bit of a mouthful and so was the local delicacy of dried fish crisps and horse meatballs that thirty Year 9 pupils enjoyed on their highly successful visit to the spectacular island of Iceland over the Michaelmas half term break. Some conquered their fear of heights when ascending the volcano that erupted in the Westman Islands in 1973 and others conquered their fear of tidying up their rooms everyday as we moved from hotel to hotel, five in total, to traverse the volcanic lava fields and their lunar-like landscapes.
Ever-so-slightly terrifying was the fact that we stood on top of a volcano where the rock, a mere few centimetres under the surface, was smouldering hot. We learnt about the formation of the Earth’s crust and stood on the plate margin at Thingvelier where the North American and Eurasian continental plates diverge. At Geysir, pupils took great pleasure in standing under boiling hot, sulphurous (smelly) gushing geysers and later that day they luxuriated in the Blue Lagoon whose warm, steamy, turquoise waters are heated by a nearby geothermal power station. We listened to glaciers creak, crack and groan as they slowly slipped downhill, and clambered behind and across spectacular waterfalls.
The week was truly a once in a lifetime experience and pupils and staff alike are grateful to the Old Westminster Citizens Association for making this trip possible.
Mr Oliver - Geography Subject Leader