Iceland proves trip of a lifetime
During the summer a group of Warwick Academy teachers and students had the opportunity to go on a geography trip to Iceland.
We are featuring some journal entries and photos to share their experience.
Jaeshri Romeo, Year 11
July 5th, 2017
I am so excited that I am finally starting my amazing trip in Iceland; already I have seen so many interesting land features that are truly stunning.
Today we went to visit the headland of Dyrhólaey, which is between 100 and 120 metres high. The rocks of the headland were formed from an eruption towards the end of the last great glacial period.
I thought this was especially fascinating because we have learnt so much about these exact arches and stacks; therefore, seeing it in person helped me understand even more the process of how it was formed.
Visiting this land feature meant that we had to walk along a beach of finely graded black basalt sand called Reynishverfi, in order to see the headland of Dyrhólaey. The beach at Reynishverfi was beautiful; my favourite part was feeling the smooth black rocks that covered the beach. Not only were we able to see the headland of Dyrhólaey and the beach at Reynishverfi, but during our stop here there were amazing basalt columns directly behind us.
Basalt is the most common rock on Earth; it is the rock that pours out of volcanoes when they erupt to form lava flows. These columns were incredible to take pictures in front of and looked like very tall steps.
July 11th 2017
Every day has been jam-packed with so many fun activities to do and different sights to see.
We travelled to all these locations in our large bus; we had so much fun on the bus every day!
Furthermore, every day everyone ended up sleeping on the bus because we were so tired from all the activities.
One location that the bus took us to was the Blue Lagoon. While travelling to the Blue Lagoon, everyone was full of anticipation because we were all extremely excited to enjoy ourselves at the there.
Once we arrived at the Blue Lagoon it was very high-tech: we each got special electronic and waterproof bracelets that we had to wear in order to enter and exit the lagoon.
This bracelet also helped us to access a locker that we could lock our clothes and valuables in, and to also purchase food and drinks at the bar.
Immediately after everyone had taken a thorough shower (in order to rinse off any germs before we entered the geothermal seawater) we were quick to head to the face mask booth.
There they provided us with silica mud masks that we applied to our faces, which soften and nourish the skin. The water at the Blue Lagoon was pleasantly warm and great to relax in.
We also swam to the floating bar to grab some ice-cold slushies that made the experience to the Blue Lagoon even better!
I had so much fun with my friends on my trip to Iceland and I learnt so many more new things; I really hope that I can visit the country again one day!
Kiran Bhola (Year 11) interviews Abigail Aicardi (former Year 10 student)
How are the tourist companies operating their famous tourist attractions (like the Blue Lagoon), with huge groups of visitors like Warwick Academy?
They have easy and manageable security systems to enter the Blue Lagoon; they also have a range of different-sized lockers so that you can even leave your suitcase there. They also have very accommodating, English-speaking employees.
Did you find Iceland relevant to your GCSE course?
Yes; it was great because I could actually see the landforms and erosion processes, rather than just looking at a diagram in a textbook. Also, I understand more of the human geography in the tourism industry, because I got to actually experience the tourist sites.
In more localized areas, did you feel there was more of a culture shock?
Definitely, especially in pool areas and changing rooms. As they don’t have chlorine in their pools, they don’t want any bacteria entering the water. Basically, this meant that full nudity was expected for showering.
Do you think the experience would have been different if you were a first-time traveller without a tour guide or group?
Extremely different, because our teacher Mr Woods took us offroad into areas that were off the map.
With Iceland’s frequently changing climate, do you feel you were prepared with the information you were given?
Yes; having the bus was beneficial because whatever the weather we could be prepared: we could leave jackets that we wouldn’t need for one destination but may need for another when it rained.
Did you feel with such a big group and three different age groups, it was easy to get along?
There were no problems as we all co-operated very well; students from different age groups and social groups all socialized together.
For upcoming GCSE students, would you encourage them to participate in the trip?
Strongly, because everything is more understandable now that we have seen real life examples that we can use in our examinations as case studies.
For the financial cost, did you think it was a reasonable price at $3,400?
Definitely, because it included flights, accommodations, three meals a day, access to all the sites that cost money and transportation.
Did you enjoy the different climate?
Yes, it was interesting being in that different climate as we saw many things we don’t regularly see, like snow in the middle of July.
My favourite day was the second day at Rangarping ytra where we saw a volcanic crater, an active volcano, lava fields, and got to swim in a natural hot spring. Overall, what was your favourite experience?
The day we went to the island of Heimaey. Ee travelled on a ferry for an hour, then climbed up a volcano, went on a Viking boat tour and saw puffins, then went to a waterpark that had amazing waterslides.
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