We experienced an incredible week in Iceland. Each excursion gave us all an opportunity to improve our photography skills within a spectacular context. Pippa Sanger, our trip leader, is to be congratulated for the planning she did before the trip and her meticulous organisation during it to ensure everything went smoothly. The highlight of the trip for me however was the time spent with our students who embraced everything that was thrown at them (quite literally in the case of the weather). We walked in snow blizzards, wind and rain. We crossed rivers, climbed hills and got wet every day but the students remained interested in every aspect of the trip. It was a privilege to share the experience with them.
We started our trip with a bracing walk amongst mud pools and steam vents with dramatic views of the vigorously bubbling Gunnuhver, Iceland’s largest mud pool. We also had the opportunity to view Reykjanesviti Iceland’s oldest lighthouse.
The following day with the weather due to make a turn for the worse we headed for the magnificent waterfall of Skógafoss. It is one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls – with a wide, thundering curtain of water 60m high.
Onto Vik, a tiny coastal town, we walked down to the black sand beach and viewed the remarkable sea stacks – Reynisdrangar.
The weather made a turn for the worse and so our visit to the glacier was curtailed due to a snow blizzard. Sólheimajökull ‘sun house glacier’ has been retreating since the end of the 19th century at a rate of around 100m per year. The photographs captured were magnificent despite the inclement weather.
The weather continued to worsen and so that evening we missed what would have been a spectacular display of the northern lights. We headed off early the following day, driving through the storm before visiting Seljalandsfoss, this waterfall’s plume spills 60m over a former sea cliff. From Seljalandsfoss, we walked along the cliff base to Gljúfrabúi waterfall – it’s hidden inside a gorge and we needed walking boots and rainproof gear as we needed to walk through a river to enter the canyon!
Off to rainy Reykjavik for an afternoon of shopping and getting very wet. The coach at one point drove through what we thought was a river – it was simply the road!
The National park of Thingvellir is where Iceland’s parliament was established in 930AD. The site straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, its rift valley forming where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates pull apart at an average of 3cm a year.
Gulfoss are double falls, dropping around 33m then plunge into a mile-long gorge – one of Iceland’s most photographed waterfalls; we certainly took a few ourselves!
One of our favourite stops was to meet the Icelandic ponies.
The Geysir eruption was something to behold, if a little tricky to capture!
On our last day we took the opportunity for street photography around Reykjavik before flying back home. Alas the Aurora proved elusive although some of us managed to capture it with our cameras even if we couldn’t see it with the naked eye.
Student photographs from the trip: