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The Iceland Chronicles

29 Oct 2018

Day 1

We had to get up at 4 a.m. so that we would be at school in time to travel to Edinburgh. Our easyJet flight left on time, as we approached Iceland we could see all the snowy mountains out of the window. When we arrived in Iceland we met our guide Pieta who will be showing us all the wonders of Iceland. We then got on our bus and went to the Pearl museum where we had a 360-degree view of Reykjavik it was a lovely clear day and you we could see the mountains and the beautiful city skyline. After this we went to our hotel to unpack and then walked into the city. First we went to the Harp Theatre where the architectural design is based on the Hexagon shape. Next we went to the settlement museum where we learnt about Iceland’s past. Afterwards we went to a cathedral, the building was beautiful and we went inside to watch the choir practice. To end the day we went to a restaurant and had hamburgers followed by ice cream.

By Emily Maude and Arden Jenkins

Day 2

Friday morning began rather smoothly considering the energy filled day we had had previously. On the whole, we all managed to get down to breakfast in a timely fashion, even if a few of us were still adjusting to the concept of an early rise. Once we had all stacked our bags up on the bus and the ‘Tidiest Room’ title had been awarded, we set off for our first destination. We arrived at the National Park in a rejuvenated mood, after a couple pep talks from Peter (our guide). Wrapped up for the early chills, we began by taking some beautiful photos across ‘no mans land’. The area we found ourselves in was described like this because the park was situated between two tectonic plates, the Eurasian and North American. As we descended into the valley we took a few sightseeing stops; these included fish and coin-filled rivers. Towards the end of our walk we visited the original spot were the first curators of Iceland met to discuss the running of the country, we even managed a group photo. After admiring the first waterfall of many we got back on the bus and made our way to the Icelandic Geysers. We collected an eagerly anticipated lunch and were given licence to explore the site. The Geysers had an annoying habit of avoiding being recorded by patient onlookers who finally lost it when the emerging grey steam was blown towards them, soaking them through with an eggy stench. After all of this hardship, they then realised that their phones had died during the unrewarding wait! The next stop was the ‘White Waterfall’. The stunning cascade of water radiated sharply in the shining sun, creating a beautiful photo opportunity. We made our way to the waters edge down a slippery slope, a perilous but hugely entertaining obstacle. Our final destination was The Lava Tunnels, this was arguably the highlight of the day. We an extremely cheery tour guide considering the fact that it was the last slot on a Friday evening. We clipped on our helmets, and fought on some crampons and were good to go. The tour consisting of three or four stooping points where Drew explained the formation of the breathtaking tubes. 350 metres into the cave Drew decided to show us what the environment would be like without human intervention, he turned off the lights inside the tunnel. The effect was blinding (literally), and for 30 seconds one of our senses was completely wiped out. After a few more facts and figures we asked Drew some interesting questions which got everybody’s minds ticking. After re-emerging from the depths, we were all ready to land at the hotel. After a warm swim and a filling meal, most of us headed down to the games room, where Miss Masterman hosted a lively game of cards. At the end of a fantastic day we were all grateful for some sleep.

By Sam Dolby

Day 3

We woke up at around about 7:30  to go to an amazing breakfast. Then after we had our breakfast, we sang for the birthday boy (Dan Hughes). Mr Dalton gave Dan a present from his family and a card from us all and we headed out for the day. The sunrise was amazing. As we got our bus Rebecca Clark found out (via Twitter) that Zac Effron was in Iceland and then she squealed then all the other girls started squealing. We then arrived at our first waterfall that was amazing. At the waterfall I was asked by a Korean family to take their photograph, they then taught me what the Korean hand signal for ‘ I love you’. Then at the next waterfall, we stumbled across each other again and we the used hand signals they had taught me to greet each over. We then took some amazing photos of the waterfall, climbed 420 steps to see the top then we ate a well-earned lunch. Later in the day we headed to the Skaftafell glacier and met our instructor called Paul. With ice axes in hand and crampons on our feet we began our ascent up the glacier it was an amazing experience, the glacier was huge. We then finished the day by arriving and eating at our new hotel.

By Will Gibbons

Day 4

Today was the first day where the weather wasn’t perfect, but that didn’t stop us from hiking to a distant waterfall in vatnajökulsþjódgardur national park. Next, we went to a glacier lagoon which had seals! They were bobbing around in the icy water doing very well to avoid our cameras. Later, we wandered down to a black sand beach for a bit, but the view was lost in the rain. We finished the day at the hotel with a quiz and a lovely meal.

Catherine Stephenson

On day 5 we woke up at 7 am and drove to the Black Beach (the sand is black) where we saw more basalt columns. A scene from Game of Thrones was filmed here (the bit where Jon Snow goes into the cave on Dragonstone to find the Dragonglass). In the sea there were big waves called sneaker waves which are very dangerous so we stayed at a safe distance. We had a competition to see who could skim stones the furthest into the sea. We visited another coastal area to see the black cliffs and some Geographical features called caves, arches and stacks. We visited the Lava Museum where we watched a film then had a go on the interactive exhibits. There was a room that shook to let you feel what an earthquake was like.  Next we stopped at a waterfall that we were allowed to walk behind, it was amazing and we spent time taking some photos. Next we stopped at a geo-thermal area with sulphur pools and steam escaping from the ground. The geound was fantastic colours and there were mud pools with bubbles coming out of them. The whole area smelled like rotten eggs; Dan was almost sick which was very entertaining. Our final stop was at a local fishing village where we went to a fish and chip restaurant which was all-you-can-eat and tasted really nice. We headed off to the airport hotel for our final night in Iceland.

By Dan Hughes and Ben Thompson.