the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress
Geographers Explore Morocco
13 February 2015
On Friday 6 February at 2am, 13 girls and three teachers met at school to start their five day adventure to Marrakech in Morocco. The aim of the trip was to investigate "rebranding " in Marrakech, and to study flooding in the remote village of Imlil, high in the Atlas Mountains.
12 hours later, and after a traditional Moroccan tagine lunch, we headed out on horse drawn carriages for a tour of the traditional old city of Marrakech. As we stepped off the carriages we were handed a bunch of mint; slightly confused, we made our way through a maze of houses and emerged into a leather tannery. We immediately realised what the mint was for - to mask the smell of the traditional leather production.
On our way back to the hostel, we wandered through the labyrinth of market stalls in the souks, noticing a wide variety of goods for sale - spices, dried fruit, metal work and traditional clothing. We stopped off at an apothecary and stocked up on some bargains, including Argan Oil and saffron. In the evening we relaxed in the warm Moroccan sun before an early night.
On Saturday, we made our way to Imlil - a remote village in the mountains. On the way there we visited Tamansourt, a new Moroccan town on the outskirts of Marrakech. We carried out environmental and land use surveys, as well as visiting a local supermarket to stock up on snacks!
After arriving at our hotel, where film stars Daniel Craig and Jude law had previously stayed, we enjoyed a short walk to a small house where we sampled some local tea which can only be sourced in the Atlas Mountains.
Sunday was the day we collected our river data, and learnt more about the 1995 flash floods that affected Imlil. We also learnt the best way to avoid falling in the river, however lots of us failed at this task! After a long day of hard work, we relaxed in a traditional "hammam", a steam bath, and enjoyed a scavenger hunt around the hotel, with a few extra extra challenges; the teachers were very impressed with our rap skills!
Our final day was spent back in Marrakech. We visited the souks where we practised haggling with the locals, and savoured the atmosphere of the main square - Al Fnar. Our evening culminated in a light hearted ceremony where we were presented with individual awards for our, sometimes amusing, contributions during the trip.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our Moroccan Adventure and are very grateful to Miss Rowley, Miss Massey and Miss Hayday for giving up their time to take us to such a wonderful country and enabling us to experience the Moroccan culture.
It was one of our favourite school trips, and we would encourage all future Year 12 A Level Geographers to go on this trip!
Emma Shortland on behalf of #geogsquad