Our last trip to Iceland was sadly cancelled due to Covid19 restrictions, but nothing was going to stop us from this adventure!
30 boys and 4 staff members travelled on board Icelandair to Keflavik. The adventure got off to a good start when the captain made a point of thanking our boys for their exemplary behaviour after we landed.
Our favourite tour guide, Hlíf Ingibjörnsdóttir, was at the airport to meet us. Hlíf had been our tour guide on all of our previous trips.
We started with a drive through the enchanting city of Reykjavik, taking in the sights of the impressive Harpa Congress Hall on the waterfront, the central Lake Tjornin, Hallgrimskirkja Church and the Sun Voyager Sculpture of a Viking ship.
Later that evening we settled in at our accommodation for the duration of our stay, the Hjardarbol Guesthouse. The meals at the venue were prepared by the family who run the guesthouse and these were always delicious. The owner ensures that the boys never go hungry.
During the next few days, we visited waterfalls (Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss and the majestic Gullfoss), a glacier (Solheimajokull), the black beach at Reynisfjara, the popular coastal town of Vik where much shopping was done by the boys. They purchased wisely and their parents and siblings were kept in mind. At Skogafoss, we were able to walk behind the waterfall and yes, we got soaked!
A particular highlight for many of the boys was when they donned helmets and crampons before entering the Lava Tunnel. Raufarholshellir is an expansive cave, one of the largest and longest in Iceland. We saw the inner workings of a lava tube. This was followed by a hands-on experience at the Iceland Volcano and Earthquake Centre.
An afternoon was spent swimming in one of the largest swimming pools in Iceland in the town of Selfoss. Here the boys met and spoke with some local boys. Later we walked amongst the hot springs in Hveragerdi.
Our second last day was started with a visit to the “Secret Lagoon” a natural hot spring and bathing pool situated in the small village of Fludir on the Golden Circle route. With steam rising into the air, the place has a magical feeling and one can well believe that Trolls abound in every nook and cranny in this area. An hour in the waters of the “Secret Lagoon” and we were back on the coach, refreshed and ready for the next adventure.
Next on the agenda was the visit to Geysir, a spouting hot spring that gave its name to all the world’s geysers. Although it does not often spout nowadays, its neighbour “Strokkur” erupts every 8 – 10 minutes reaching a height of around 30m.
A visit to the South-East of Iceland is never complete unless you visit Estidalur, a working dairy farm, for a choice of many, many flavours of ice-cream. The farm makes its own milk products, skyr, feta cheese and more. The boys enjoyed their two scoops!
We ended the day with a walk in the national park, Thingvellir. It is here that 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. The boys marvelled at the outstanding beauty of this region.
Before departing for the UK, we visited the Viking World Museum on the Reykjanes Peninsula. This was the last opportunity to spend some more Icelandic Kronas.
I would like to thank all the boys for being such good company on this trip. You did yourselves proud with your behaviour and good manners. This was commented upon by our tour guide, our hosts at Hjardarbol and many locals we met and spoke to on our travels around Iceland.
Further thanks and appreciation must go to Messrs Presnell, Ryde and Young for your assistance in helping to make this a memorable adventure. Thank you, gentlemen!