Forty Loreto geographers recently returned from an amazing five day trip to Iceland, where they had the opportunity to see some of the most unique geographical features in the world, including new land being created by tectonic plate movements, dramatic waterfalls, beautiful rock formations formed by basaltic lava flows and the northern lights.
Student Katy Ann Allison takes up the story:
“No sooner had we arrived in Iceland, after an early flight from Manchester, than we were off to see the Reykjanes Peninsula, where we walked across the bridge between two continents (North America and Europe). It is the only place in the world where the Mid Atlantic ridge is visible! The scenery was breath taking, especially as we had large amounts of snow which highlighted the geographical features. Next on the itinerary was The Blue Lagoon. This was most definitely my favourite part of the trip, even with the eggy sulphur aroma. In the lagoon there were complimentary silica mud masks, which make your skin softer. You could then wash it off standing under the man made waterfall. To top the day off we had a Dominos takeaway back at the hostel.”
“On Saturday we went on the Golden Circle trip, visiting the Gullfoss Waterfall, the Geyser Hot Springs, the Pingvellir Plate Margin and a Geothermal power plant. This was followed by free time at the hostel before we went to see the Northern Lights that evening. At first, when we drove to a viewing spot, it seemed as though we were out of luck as it was too cloudy, but on our way back to the hostel we stopped again and saw the wonderful bands of colour in the sky; it was definitely worth the wait in the cold.”
“On Sunday the plan was to do the Solheimajokhull Glacier trek and tour but unfortunately the weather conditions were too windy for us to go up onto the glacier, which was a big disappointment. However, it meant that we got a chance to go to Reynisfjara Beach, which is an amazing wide beach with black volcanic sand. There were huge waves and the wind was so strong that it was a challenge to take a step forward, and everyone left the beach finding black sand in their hair (except Mr Ward). We also walked to the top of a waterfall in Suðurland.”
“On Monday we were given a bus pass and travelled to Reykjavik city centre. We watched a short film about past eruptions and then had the rest of the day to explore the city independently. This included lots of souvenir shopping. For lunch we opted out of traditional Icelandic cuisine and went for a pizza instead, as the idea of fried puffin didn’t sound very appealing.”
“I absolutely loved every part of the Iceland trip and I will definitely be going back again in the future.”