News Geography Field Trip to Norway 20.04.2023
Over the Easter break, Sixth Form Geography students spent five days passing through fjords on electric ferries, snowshoeing near glaciers, and riding the Flåmsbana scenic railway on their visit to Norway.
The level of excitement was high for the first Geography trip abroad since 2019, and to the new destination of Norway. Students arrived in Norway’s wettest town of Bergen, to surprisingly dry weather and were joined by Bjarte, their amazing coach driver for the week. They set off along the stunning fjords with blue skies and bright sun, and a quick stop at our first site, Steinsdalsfossen. Along the road, Bjarte shared his knowledge of the places they were passing, and helped students to get a sense of Norwegian life and culture.
At the end of their coach journey, students arrived in Kinsarvik, their base for much of the week, where each small group had their own cabin to make home. Soon enough, everyone was settled in, some students even decorated their cabins with fairy lights they brought from home.
The next morning they were up early to catch the electric ferry across the fjord for their snowshoeing expedition. After a briefing in which they learnt about the Folgefonna glacier, the Sixth Formers made their way up the snowy road to a quiet area where, fuelled by tea and muffins, they began their snowshoe alongside a frozen lake and into the small surrounding hills.
On the third day students departed for Voss to undertake the much anticipated Norway in a Nutshell excursion, a trip on an electric ferry through the UNESCO protected Nærøyfjorda, and a ride on Europe’s top scenic railway. They arrived at the isolated ferry port to incredibly still water, reflecting the clear blue sky like a mirror. Certainly a site to remember.
Onboard the ferry, the students soaked in the unique and awe-inspiring landscape, as well as listening to ‘Let It Go’ from the Frozen soundtrack, as they sailed passed the village that inspired the location of Arendelle in Disney’s Frozen, and some students making their way to the bridge of the ferry and taking the helm!
On their last morning in Kinsarvik, students woke to snow on the ground before boarding Bjarte’s bus and heading to the Hardangervidda plateau. They wound our way through multiple switchbacks and tunnels, emerging onto a completely covered landscape 1,245m above sea level and -6oC temperatures! They disembarked the bus to walk on the fresh snow, of course snowball fights ensued. They headed back down into the valley later in the day to visit Simi Power Plant, Norway’s second largest hydroelectric power station set deep within a mountainside. It was fascinating to see the plant, which has been open for 43 years, and helps contribute to Norway’s power supply, which is 90% hydropower generated.
On their last morning students woke to a snow covered Bergen. They were shown around by local teacher, Margrete, on a walking tour of Bergen. She gave students a real sense of place and told them all about the city and the importance of the people who shaped it, including Greig, Isben and the Hanseatic League. The weather was very cold, and they were glad of a warming lunch before their last activity, riding the funicular to the top of one of Bergen’s ‘Seven Mountains’.
It was a fantastic trip, which allowed students to experience a snippet of the stunning landscape Norway has to offer. Everyone they interacted with was warm and friendly, and more than happy to tell us more about the places we visited. Huge thank you to Mr Golland, Mrs Nohlmans and Miss Graham for the trip, and all of the students for making it a trip to remember.