During the Easter holiday, 26 adventurous College geographers explored the colourful delights of Morocco. Pupils from both GCSE and A-level exam groups seized the opportunity to explore the culture and many of the landscapes that this vibrant country has to offer.
The nine-day excursion centred upon the city of Marrakech, the High Atlas mountain range in the southern region of the country and oasis town of Zagora, with its surrounding Saharan desert environment. Pupils witnessed some of the challenges inhabitants face when living on the fringes of an encroaching Saharan desert. They also saw first-hand the opportunities and potential risks associated with the development of a tourism industry that is at the heart of Morocco’s development plan.
The team explored date-palm plantations, Berber settlements, potteries, tanneries, silversmiths, film sets; they scaled mountain passes, picnicked on the summits, haggled in the souks (with varying success!), camped in the desert under the Saharan stars, relaxed in hammams and sipped mint teas on rooftops watching the sunset over the largest square in northern Africa, with its numerous mosques and minarets.
The College group was warmly welcomed by Association Club Union Sportif of Zagora who invited us to challenge them in a game of football in the town’s stadium – new acquaintances were made and the door opened to potential future friendships. It was a truly memorable adventure which will have benefited the geographical appreciation of all its participants and lodged numerous colourful images in their memory banks.