Iceland 2017

Written by: Harry Maguire
Published: 2017-10-03

In May 2017 seven explorers and two leaders went on a week trip to the most northern scout centre. The aim of the trip was to improve our understanding and perspectives of another culture.

The facility we stayed at was detached and isolated from the main infrastructure and was located at the base of a 200-metre-high hill. A short walk up a track took us to the main building, where we occasionally joined other groups from around the world to enjoy a meal. The local area was stunning, with vast mountains, stunning waterfalls and a magnificent lake which is all year round one of the coldest in Iceland (reaching only 4 degrees Celsius in the summer).

On our first day, we went on a hike to the hot springs. The hot springs are a series of rivers that are heated by a volcano, so it reaches what most people would consider bath temperature or higher (depending on how close you get to the volcano). The weather on this day was horrendous, with a constant downpour of rain, and extremely intense winds. Elín and Rajesh, our two hike leaders, took us on an outstanding route through, round and over stunning mountains, rivers and lakes. By the time we got to the springs, we were all soaked, freezing and miserable but that all changed the moment we got in it. It was the most amazing experience that gave us all the will power and energy to finish the hike.

The next day we went to a pony centre and got to ride the ponies on a trek. We rode near the base of a mountain, on which most of the rocks formed were due to a previous volcanic eruption. When we got back to the site Rajesh challenged our scout group to a football match against the other leaders. We went up to the pitch that evening and joined with the leaders and another scout group to play a football game. The atmosphere and experience was amazing to play and talk to people of so many different cultures, it was a truly wonderful experience for even the un-sporty people.

The following day we went to the blue ice glacier and climbed and hiked on it. The views left all of us speechless. We were very lucky to see and go inside an ice cave, which once formed only lasts for just over a month before melting away. On the journey back, we were very kindly taken by our driver to two waterfalls. The day had shown us all how beautiful Iceland natural features are.

On our final day, we went to the capital city Reykjavik. We had a chance to go and see even more of the Icelandic culture. The capital city was very small from our perspective, after obviously being used to cities like London. It was still a very pleasant place with loads of shops selling clothing and possessions which expressed the Icelandic culture. Then in the afternoon we went on a boat tour to see some off the sea life in and around Iceland. We got to see dolphins which came and played around the boat, giving us the chance to really admire them. We also saw smaller islands off the coast of mainland Iceland, a variety of birds and glimpses of Minke whales.

The trip gave all of us truly amazing experiences which we will never forget and we met some of the kindest and most caring people.