Forests and woodland account for less than 1% of Iceland’s area.
In the days of settlement – in the tenth century – forests accounted for more than 50% of the land.
Icecaps cover 11% of the island.
Vatnajokull is the largest ice cap in Europe.
Iceland has the only deserts in Europe.
Iceland does not have the only desserts in Europe’s supermarkets.
Atleast that’s what it feels like
Cause sometimes it hurts
Ice? Not so nice
Sliding all around
They seem the same
But are quite different
Like the name
We’re sorry you missed it Laura
But we will not forget
The memories of Iceland
That we won’t regret
Spoken Word by auriel, holly, flora
Rollin patrollin through them caves – Laura
18th Feb (day 6)
We were looking forward to caving all week, and today we finally did it!
We were all quite nervous but pretty excited as none of us had ever been in a lava tube before. The tube was over 2000 years old and was formed as lava pushed its way through the rock when the volcano erupted.
First up we had to dig our way into the cave as it was filled with snow from the night before! (So we had a snowman competition while we waited) Then we slid down the short snow slide into the first part of the cave.
The inside of the cave was filled with beautiful icicles And we couldn’t help but touch.
We squeezed through tiny gaps and stood in massive openings- resulting in sore knees and numb bums which wasn’t so much fun.
Our guide missed a turn so we had to go back in some places, but all together we loved it.
It was such an amazing experience and we would happily go back anyday!
By Tessa and Caitlin
Today we went on a cave tour which was a lava tube that was formed after a volcano eruption 2000 years ago.
We were all very nervous because we were worried about the small tight spaces but when we saw the snow slide which we had to dig out we were all ready to explore the cave.
The snow slide lead us into an opening in the cave which caused sore and wet bums. Once everyone was in the cave we were surrounded by an army of icicles (luckly we weren’t impailed like Olaf in frozen).
We had to crouch low and crawl on our bellies and backs, and our knees were very sore. However our surroundings were truly inspiring.
Unfortunately our guide forgot to turn left which resulted in a dropped phone and a lost battery.
By this time we had a biology lesson underground (Miss Woollen insisted on this under threat with an icicle).
After all this trauma we got our own back and threatened to tell her about Season 11 of Grey’s Anatomy.
Once we got out of the cave, we stretched out and had snowball competitions.
WOOLLEN IS ON THE LOOSE BEWARE.
By Daisy, Harriet and Caitlin
Wednesday 18th Feb 2015
This morning we set off at 8:15 to go to the Reykjavik Escape excursion. We arrived, and anxiously went inside, expecting something completely different to reality.
We were told snippets of information about what was happening and small anecdotes about our rooms.
After splitting into groups of three and fours we were sent off to separate rooms.
In our room, we had 60 minutes, just like everyone else, to unlock several codes that would give us the password to open the door.
All of these clues would lead together and the door would be opened. After being told there was only a 30-40% success rate, we didn’t go into isolation with much confidence.
Throughout the 1 hour time period, we had to deal with hard puzzles and trying to sort out what clue meant what. We were given some help by the game makers, as they called us a couple of times in our time of need, but apart from that, we were left to figure it all out ourselves.
Sadly, we didn’t manage to find out the combination in time, however if we had another 30 minutes we think we would have done it in time.
After we came out of the game, the Game Maker showed us The Truth in the rooms.
We were all relieved that it wasn’t just us that failed.
Overall, today consisted of a lot of fun and we enjoyed spending the other half of the day exploring parliament, and spending our last amounts of money on ice cream and souveniers.
By Sarah Boucher x
The Icelandic parliament is the oldest parliament in the world. It was established in 930AD.
Its original site was situated in the wide tectonic rift between the two continents of America and Europe. Uncanny hey?
Each summer clan leaders would ride on horseback for days to convene there. In two weeks of talks and negotiations they would resolve all the issues for the year.
A cynic might say that leaders of the modern British parliament break for two weeks each summer and spend the rest of the year in talks and negotiations but still fail to resolve anything meaningful. But that would be truly cynical.
Today is Shrove Tuesday, or in Icelandic, Sprengidagur – or Exploding Day: that is, people eat so much until they almost explode (as they prepare to begin their fast tomorrow).
Tuesday 17th Feb afternoon
After we visited the golden falls we got back on the coach and took a 1 hour coach journey (on which we continued our new knitting skills) to a National Park .
However there was A LOT of snow falling, so our view wasn’t as good as it could have been.
This picture shows the separation of the European plate and the North American plate. Sadly, due to the weather we couldn’t go across the bridge between the gap but at least we got to take a look at the huge gorge between the two plates.
At least we got to have a bit of fun though! We lay in the snow and climbed a huge snow pile!
Although we were driven over to the gorge instead of taking our hike, due to the weather, we still managed to take some really cool photos of the plate boundary between the American and Eurasian plate!
When we looked into the deep water below, we realised people had been dropping coins into the water because it is thought to give you good luck. The reflection meant the coins looked like shiny, blue crystals.
The weather meant we got back to our Wendy Houses early, which also meant we had a lot me free time! YAY! We built snowmen and had snowball fights and we had an amazing time in the hot tubs.
Tuesday 17th February 2015
Godan dagin (good day!)
Today we woke up at 7 to see even more snow had fallen over night!
We had breakfast at 8 and even though we were not able to have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday we did have some delicious waffles!
At 9 we headed off to an Icelandic school called Hveragerde, they were very friendly and very good at English and gave us a detailed tour of their school.
We had fun seeing all the different classrooms and the differences between their school and ours.
They were very welcoming and friendly towards us and continued to impress us with their variety of English vocabulary.
Once we had seen their school we had a big snowball fight, England vs Iceland (obviously England won) and then we went for a walk to visit the hot springs.
They were really beautiful and the Icelandic students knew a lot of information on them. It was a lot of fun and a great experience.
At 12 o’clock we left the school to head for the golden circle tour which we were all looking forward to. It was very pretty and full of interesting scenery.
At 2:00 we left for the golden falls. It was amazing, we all enjoyed taking photos of it and with it.
By Becca and Charlotte 😀
Beautiful snow today – a great setting for our next activity. We visited an Icelandic school and made friends with pupils (who had impeccable English).
The inside was lovely and warm, and they even had a theatre room (we were very jealous)!
We ended nicely with a short walk with the school up to the hot springs nearby – needless to say we took lots of group photos!
After the school visit, we headed to see some geysers where there were many hot springs that were at about 100 degrees C. One spouted out a thick cloud of steam and sulphur every 5 minutes. It stank of rotten eggs!
Despite the freezing cold weather we were able to take many extraordinary photos of these hot springs.
The next stop was this spectacular waterfall named the Golden Falls.
While we couldn’t go down to the side of the falls, we clearly understood well – the snow was so deep we saw a bench buried up to the seat! The view was enough to entice several impromptu selfies by its side.
The last activities of the day were two different views of the valley between the American and European tectonic plates. Crossing the bridge was enjoyable as we got to hop in-between!
The streams and pools in Iceland are a beautiful blue colour.
Coins thrown into the water (pollution, tut tut)
Ruohan and Natasha
The girls have been honing their woodworking skills:
if you find that wood begins to crack, rub it down with a cooked potato. Top tip.