Sixteen Derby Grammar School pupils from Year 11 to 13 enjoyed a trip to Iceland this half term with Mr Critchlow, Head of Geography and Mr Whitworth, Head of Games.
The tour was arranged through school travel experts, Rayburn Tours.
Mr Critchlow said: “The approach to Keflavik seemed lunar-like. In fact, Iceland was where the Apollo astronauts, including Neil Armstrong, prepared for their moon-landing.”
The four-day trip began with a trip to Reykjavik, exploring the city and its harbour area. Day two was packed full of sightseeing. It started with a trip to the Secret Lagoon, one of Iceland’s oldest geothermal bathing pools. The boys enjoyed relaxing here.
They then moved on to Gulfoss – The Golden Falls, and then to Geysir where they witnessed the Stokkur Geysir shooting water and steam skyward to a height of up to 18 metres.
The final visit of the day was to Thingvellir National Park where they saw the awesome mid-Atlantic ridge. This is where the Eurasian plate is moving apart from the North American plate.
The following day saw a trip to Solheimajokkul Glacier which is a massive black glacier that extends beyond the Myrdalsjokull icecap, and to Reynishverfi Beach where black basalt sands exist against a backdrop of columnar basalt on the cliff faces.
Another highlight of the day was the Skogafoss Waterfall, at 60 metres high the water thunders down into the plunge pool. Legend has it that there is a crock of gold buried by the settle Prasi in the plunge pool. They also visited Seljalandsfoss waterfall where they were able to walk behind the waterfall itself!
The day ended with a visit to the Lave Centre, a museum highlighting the importance and dangers of volcanic activity to Iceland.
Toby Ganley was one of the students on the trip. He said: “It was an amazing trip. We saw some fantastic sites including waterfalls, geysers and even the Northern Lights.”
Mr Critchlow added: “As a geographer, this trip was fantastic. But seeing all of these natural wonders was just as engaging for the non-geographers amongst us too.
The highlight of the trip was witnessing the amazing Northern Lights with their green hues and waves dancing in the dark skies.