Iceland 2020: Ciara Creates Chaos (Initially,,,)

Back in February, the Geography department took a group of students on a trip to the remarkable island of Iceland.  Year 10 student, Matthew Ingham, produced this log of his experiences:

Sunday 9thFebruary – Storm Ciara Strikes…

Ready to expand our horizons, we all met at Manchester Airport at 9,00 a.m., excited about the new adventures we expected to be faced with over the coming days. Having checked in and survived security, we wandered through the endless retail stores and crowds of people inside Terminal One. Despite the lashing rain and strong winds, flight fI441 to Iceland was set to depart on time. At least it was… until the wrath of Storm Ciara truly took a hold. Our flight had landed in Glasgow and was cancelled! Thankfully, we were able to reschedule our flight for the same time the day after; so, we all headed home, hoping for better weather.

Monday 10thFebruary – Second Time Lucky…

Above the clouds

Once again, we all arrived at 9.00 a.m., still enthusiastic about the prospects of all the adventures awaiting us in Iceland. We boarded the flight in good time – which was fortunate – as, after yesterday, we had already seen everything there was to see in Terminal One! The flight itself lasted for around two and a half hours, during which we became accustomed to some particularly picturesque views. One photo captures the clouds from above the North Sea


After arriving at Keflavík International Airport at around 3.00 p.m., we braved the icy cold weather before boarding a coach and heading off to the Secret Lagoon. The Secret Lagoon, a hot spring, was created in 1891 and is a geothermal pool with a spouting geyser nearby.

Secret Lagoon

The lagoon’s remarkable geothermal heating system allows it to reach temperatures of up to 45°C – despite the negative air temperature. It was dark by the time we reached Flúðir – which is where the lagoon is located – thus making the experience even more magical.

Following this, we headed out for pizza at Restaurant Árhús before heading back to Hotel Hella for the night.

Tuesday 11thFebruary 2020 – Ice, Ice and More Ice

We woke up bright and early and visited the LAVA Centre in Hvolsvöllur. Here, we learned about tectonic activity and how this affects Iceland. There was also an observatory deck here, from which we watched the sun rise.

Sunrise over Hvolsvöllur

We also visited two waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Gullfoss Waterfall – both were spectacular! A rainbow arcing above the Falls completed the splendour.

Rainbow over Gullfoss Waterfall

The Northern Lights

Over the course of that day, we also saw some geysers – these are hot springs in which water boils, shooting a tall column of water and steam into the air. Later that night, we ate at the Hard Rock Café in Reykjavík. The food here was incredible and we all really enjoyed it. On the way back, we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights! They were difficult to see at first, because it was a bit cloudy; however, after about twenty minutes, we were rewarded with an awesome view of them from the seafront.

Overall, the Iceland trip was something that none of us will ever forget: we had the chance to see some of Iceland’s remarkable natural landforms, as well as being able to learn lots about the geology of Iceland and how it has changed over the course of many millennia.

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