October 2016

We have a special guest author for this month's page as the highlight of October was a school geography field trip to Iceland.
Here's Cassandra's story...

General Scenery
This is the kind of view we saw travelling around between destinations. There are vast amounts of plain grasslands with few trees and mountainous regions dotted around.

 
Here at one of the sightseeing spots we were looking at the sunset over a lake.

 
These mountains look orange because of the sunrise which didn't come until around 8.30am each day.
 
This mountainous region is near the coast.

Hot Pools

This is the geothermally heated pool called the Blue Lagoon where we swam in really hot water. It was very misty because of the heat.

 

 

Waterfall Walk 1

 
This was the first waterfall we visited. We were allowed to go behind it. This is the larger waterfall of two in the area and because the sun came out whilst we were there, the water mist from the waterfall created many beautiful rainbows.

 
We had lots of fun taking loads of group selfies.
Overall, this was my favourite waterfall trip because all the others we could only view from a distance - and the weather was worse - so this was the best.

 
Here's Matthew and Euan sat underneath the smaller of the two waterfalls. Very wet...

 
... and here at the same place with a larger group.


 
Activity 2

 
On this walk it snowed three times in less than forty minutes and between each flurry we had a burst of lovely sunshine.

 
This is an example of one of the snow covered paths we walked along on this walk. This is a path between two tectonic plates which over the years are moving apart enough to extend the size of Iceland which is a relatively new country (in geological terms) because of this effect.

 
More selfies...

 

 

 
Viking Hotel

 
This was the first hotel we stayed in and was called the Viking Hotel and by the name you might be able to tell that it wasn't very modern and had a lot of wooden sculptures all around, inside and out...


 

 
Geyser

 
Here's a group of us at the main geyser field.

 
The main one took a few minutes to start bubbling but eventually exploded up and made a loud noise and got people wet because of the moisture spray and steam.

 
Big Waterfall

 
This is the biggest waterfall that we saw. It is called Gullfoss (which in Icelandic means Sun Waterfall). It was so loud we could hardly hear each other talking and anywhere you looked you could see a rainbow.

 

 
The Crack

 
The crack was amazing because it seemed like you could see right down to the Earth's core. There were a series of bridges that you could walk across, some with glass floors, so that it seemed like you were floating.

 

 

 
This was amazing too. Every rock around was hexagonal in shape and the pounding sea had transformed the side of the mountain into a great set of steps and columns.

 
Another group photo. There were 22 children altogether on the trip across four year groups - Matthew was the only Year 7.

 
Glacier Climb
This looks a bit like a mountain but is in fact a glacier - a mountain of ice. We got a chance to go right up onto the glacier.

 
Here we are with our ice picks ready to help cut steps into the glacier and help us stay steady on our feet.

 
We also had to wear crampons over our shoes to help provide extra grip and hard hats just in case we fell over.

 
The views were spectacular because of the different ways the sun projected onto the ice. The reflections went everywhere.

 
Picking at the ice was fun - they let us hack away at the ice for no reason whatsoever - just for fun. We held competitions to see who could make the largest hole or who could dig the fastest.

 

 
When the ice melts, the water needs to find a way down through the glacier and it finds the softest parts of the ice so leaves interesting patterns.

 
Overall, glacier hiking was really fun because of the chance to use a pick-axe and wearing the spiky footwear.

 
Horse Riding

Actually, they're not horses. These are Icelandic Ponies. This activity was also fun because the ponies have a speed unique to them. We had to name our own pony. Matthew called his 'Cookie' and mine was 'Immy' short for Imogen. We had a few minutes getting used to the animals in the paddock- including how to get them going...
 
... and then we had to ride around a huge field following people and trying to overtake them.

 
The views around were amazing. Not just the snow capped mountains but the cloud formations and movement from light to dark. The was Matthew's favourite activity of the whole trip.

And what did Mum and Dad do whilst the kids were off enjoying themselves in Iceland? Well, we spoiled ourselves with a couple of nights away in a hotel in the south Hampshire countryside and enjoyed the tranquility.