After breakfast, we drove along the southern coast to the massive glacier, Solheimajökull, which comes from the Myrdalsjökull icecap. On our arrival we were met by our Icelandic Mountain Guides that briefed us about our walk, who provided us with crampons and ice axes. We followed our guides as we crossed an ice bridge, which we were told would disappear and not exist in 5 days (due to glacial melting). Two groups of ten were formed as we climbed the glacier. Surrounding us on every side were piles of tephra, thick black ash, not from the most recent volcanic eruptions, but from an eruption in the 1700s! As We even got a chance to walk through a small ice cave!
After lunch, we made our way to Reynishverfi, to walk along the black beach, climb on basalt hexagonal columns, look into a cave, and hear local folklore about how some of the formations were created from trolls turning to stone. We began our journey back toward the hostel with two stops at amazingly beautiful waterfalls, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, with its footpath running behind it, making it possible to walk all the way around and under the falls. From Seljalandsfoss, we traveled a short distance back to Husid, our home while in Iceland.
Students had a great week, exploring, learning, and appreciating the nature and dynamic geography of Iceland. I have seen the students grow closer together, bonding throughout the trip living together in their cabin, becoming a large family of sorts. Some students said, “I’ve never seen this much nature, EVER,” while others expressed in similar ways, “this was the best week of my life!”