Reflecting on an Unforgettable University Field Trip to the Pyrenees and Ebro Basin

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Geography and Global Development, Undergraduate | 0 comments

Over this past week, I had the incredible opportunity to embark on a captivating journey with The University of Manchester to explore the breathtaking landscapes of Zaragoza, Jaca, and the Pyrenees in Spain. Over seven enriching days, I delved into a tapestry of natural wonders, from meandering rivers to majestic mountain peaks, each offering a unique glimpse into the earth’s diverse terrain, geomorphology and physical geography processes.

Our adventure began with a mesmerizing encounter with the Ebro River Meanders, where the serpentine flow of the river carved its way through the Spanish countryside, painting a vivid picture of erosion’s unrivaled artistry. As we ventured deeper into the Montegros Desert, the ethereal beauty of La Playa captivated our senses, reminding us of the delicate balance between aridity and life in this arid landscape.

The journey continued to unfold as we found ourselves immersed in the tranquil surroundings of Las Nieves Campsite, nestled amidst the pristine beauty of Búbal and Lanuza Reservoirs in the Tena Valley. Here, amidst the azure waters, we witnessed nature’s symphony in full bloom, a testament to the resilience of our planet’s ecosystems, as well as the importance of human infrastructure in reducing flood risk.

One of the most unforgettable moments of the trip was our exploration of the Sengue moraine in the Tena Valley, where we marveled at the intricate interplay of land and ice, a testament to the erosive forces of nature at work.

But perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this journey was the opportunity to conduct fieldwork alongside my esteemed colleagues, delving into the factors influencing the stability of snow-covered landscapes in the Rioseta Valley near Canfranc Estacion. Armed with Abney meters, GIS technology (utilizing QGIS), soil charts, and soil corers, we embarked on a mission to tackle our research questions, gaining invaluable insights and practical geographic skills along the way.

As I reflect on this transformative experience, I am filled with gratitude for the knowledge gained, the friendships forged, and the memories created. This trip has not only deepened my understanding of the natural world but has also equipped me with the skills and confidence to tackle future challenges in my academic and professional pursuits.

In essence, my journey through Zaragoza, Jaca, and the Pyrenees has been nothing short of extraordinary—a testament to the power of exploration, discovery, and the enduring beauty of our planet’s landscapes. As I return home, I carry with me not only a wealth of knowledge but also a heart full of cherished memories and a spirit renewed by the wonders of the natural world. Here’s to the adventures that await!

Written by Umar, current BSc Geography student at The University of Manchester