Fire, Ice and Birthdays: Iceland 2016

Fire, Ice and Birthdays: Iceland 2016

During the first week of the October half term 32 intrepid Year 7 boys and five staff travelled to Iceland.  After meeting our driver for the week, the boys and staff were whisked off to the Reykjanes peninsular to witness first-hand the forces of plate tectonics and the rift between the North American and Eurasian plates.  Followed by stories of giant Auks on Eldey and ghosts amongst the bubbling mud pools of Gunnuhver as the boys walked across ancient lava fields.  Our first night’s rest was very welcome after a hearty meal. 

 

Day two saw the party explore the waterfalls of Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, with a trip to the hidden Gljufrabui waterfall too.  Experiencing the power of each very different waterfall was a humbling, and on occasion, damp experience.  A trip to the rapidly retreating Solheimajokull glacier brought the topic of climate change to the fore.  Our final stop took in the impressive basalt columns of Reynishverfi and a short saga involving Sea Trolls and Fishermen (see Mr Topham for more details).  Our first birthday of the trip was celebrated with great singing and a chocolate cake, many thanks must go to the two senior schools who serenaded Kabir.  

 

With a change in the weather day three saw us taking a long coach journey across to the Langjokull (long) glacier.  The boys were fantastic and took every opportunity to review their many photos.  Once at base camp the boys were given a briefing and introduced to the ‘beast’ or 8wd twenty tonne truck that was responsible for transporting us 1300m up the glacier to the ice cave. The party spent nearly one hour exploring the many rooms, crevasses and moulins.  

 

 

As we left the echoes of our guide’s rendition of a famous Icelandic folk melody changed into a chorus of happy birthday to Felix and Miss Jones.  Happy Birthday with cake and candles at the top of a glacier may well be a first!

 

Our final full day came after a wonderful night’s sleep in the Viking Hotel.  The Golden Circle was calling and with stops at Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir the boys and staff experienced both the raw power and beauty of Iceland.  The wind and rain did not dampen the party’s spirits as we tried some Icelandic ice cream at a traditional dairy.  Lu Vax was a popular choice!  The Viking Hotels superb restaurant was the setting for our final birthday.  Nicky promoted to Viking chief had the honour of siting on the ornately carved stone throne.

 

Our whistle stop tour of Iceland ended with a trip to the Blue Lagoon.   Boys and Staff took to the warm soothing waters, enjoying the silica mud masks and calming ambience.  What a way to finish!