In Michaelmas half-term 70 students and seven teachers managed to pull themselves out of bed at three o’clock in the morning to embark on a long and increasingly cold journey to Iceland. Once there we explored the peninsula of Snæfellsness and various other unpronounceable places while trying to get to grips with the very mathematically challenging currency of Icelandic Krona.
As well as noting various Game of Thrones filming locations, our guides introduced us to Icelandic folklore by telling tales of evil whales that live in the fjords and lava caves that host meetings for trolls (although some of us weren’t entirely convinced). We also visited all things geothermal, from facials at the Blue Lagoon, to hot springs and geysers, albeit accompanied by the rotting egg-like smell of sulphur, which, we were told by a very lively shark enthusiast, didn’t smell nearly as bad as fermenting shark meat. Some of us even had the stomach to taste that! We also had the opportunity to experience true darkness in the depths of a lava cave and effectively straddle two continents at the same time.
After nearly a week of visiting at least one waterfall every day (one of which we could walk behind) and spotting rainbows every 30 minutes, it was time to leave. Eventually, we all arrived back in England relieved that we could now step outside without wearing a coat and walking boots.