Grammar students explore landscape of ‘alien planet’

DUNDALK Grammar School students have returned home after spending five days exploring the landscape of Iceland.

DUNDALK Grammar School students have returned home after spending five days exploring the landscape of Iceland.

The Transition Year students including Daniel Bannon, Alex Gleeson, Derek Williams, John O’Dowd (pictured) left Ireland behind in the middle of an unusual warm spell for the “cold, windy, bleak” island country in the north Atlantic Ocean. Situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a hot spot of volcanic and geothermal activity.

According to Valerie Herve, Iceland seemed like an “almost alien planet” when the students’ plane touched down in Reykjavik.

“There were no trees to see, no grass around, gale force winds from every direction and the ground was brown as far as the eye could see,” she said.

“As they went through Reykjavik they were being lectured on the history and local landmarks of the nation’s capital by a university lecturer, who stayed with them for most of the duration of the five-day trip.”

During the trip, the students saw one of Iceland’s most visited attractions, the “Blue Lagoon”. The lake size swimming pool’s average temperature is between 37 and 39 degrees.

They also saw craters, waterfalls, caves, mudpools and a geyser as well as Iceland’s national park where they observed some magnificient sights.

On the third day the group went shopping, bowling, and white water rafting. The water was so cold that they were given under-armour, a wetsuit, a fleece, a jacket and an astronaut-type suit to wear.

“The group came back to Ireland after five days in Iceland tired but full of geographical knowledge. The trip would not have been possible without the hard work that Mr Corbett put into organizing it and without the help from Mrs Johnston, Mr Keagan, Miss Byrne and Mrs O’Reilly,” said Ms Herve.