Pupil Blog

Water water everywhere

Yes, there has been water, water everywhere today, but unlike in the UK, none of it has fallen from the sky; if you don't believe me look at the colour of the sky in the photos.

Today began with a journey to Skogafoss (the curtain waterfall made famous by the Scottish Widows advert and a recent Take That video).  Most pupils took the opportunity to get up close and personal with the water and take a shower fully clothed!  The sheer force of the water amazed all those who had not previously been as the spray reached places that everyone thought they had covered up.  A discussion on fossil cliffs, isostatic rebound, climate change and gorges followed as the pupils dried off in the late morning sunshine.

The short journey to the Solheimajokull glacier followed our early morning drenching and we were met by our 'attractive' (well at least that what the ladies all thought) male ice walk experts.  After a demonstration of how to fit crampons and what not to do with an ice axe, we ascended onto the glacier with instructions to 'walk like John Wayne!' (the pupils will explain).  An hour long walk, experiencing all of those things we have learnt about in the classroom, was enjoyed by all and was voted as one of the most enjoyable activities of the week so far. 

This particular glacier originates from an ice cap that a very large and powerful volcano lies beneath and it would seem that the volcano is 'on the move'.  A strong smell of sulphur and 23 earthquakes in the last 2 days suggests that the volcano, Katla, is waking up; let's hope we make it home before it wipes the sleep from its eyes.

A thirty minute trip down the coast provided the pupils with the opportunity to view caves, arches, stacks and all manner of coastal processes in action.  The real highlight of this visit however, is the chance to sit on and inspect basalt columns like the ones at Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

 The return journey stopped off at Seljalandfoss and the pupils donned their waterproofs in order to walk behind this spectacular waterfall.

For some, the excitment was too much as our last stop was a local supermarket to buy supplies for the next few days - you really would think that some of them had never seen a shop before!  I only hope that they are as enthusiastic the next time you ask them to escort you to Tesco's.

This may be the last opportunity to blog as we leave Hotel Ork tomorrow for our new hotel.  One of the pupils' tasks tonight has been to pack their cases, but then despite having excellent wardrobe space, some of them have never really unpacked; clothes only made it from the case to the floor and back again!

As I write, the last night of the quiz is unfolding, so please ask the pupils what they have learnt from the week - and if they say nothing - please don't believe them.

With a visit to the magnificent landscape of Landmannalaugar, a swim in a geothermally heated river and a meal out in Reykjavik to come, tomorrow is another busy day.  Thank you for reading about and sharing in some of our exploits and I hope it has given you an insight into the fantastic landscapes that the pupils have visited this week.