The Geography Department ran its biannual trip to Sorrento this year with much success and an enormous amount of enjoyment.
After arriving at our hotel and settling in for the evening, we headed up Mount Vesuvius on the first day for a guided tour of the crater and summit of the volcano. The quality of questions and the eagerness of the pupils to learn about the tectonic activity and the fate of Pompeii below was impressive. We enjoyed a lovely morning touring the site in beautifully warm Italian sunshine after the relative damp and cold of a British spring. Following our morning activities, we took the pupils down to Herculaneum, the amazingly well-preserved seaside town engulfed by the eruption in AD79. After lunch at a local pizzeria, the pupils spent the remainder of the afternoon touring the site and simply trying to take in the scale of the eruption, devastation and human tragedy which unfolded in the few brief moments all those years ago.
Saturday saw the group up early for our day looking at tourism on the island of Capri. This for many represented a real highlight with a boat trip around the island, ski lift ride and free time to eat as much ice cream and pizza as possible! Our boat trip was blessed with warm spring sunshine and almost the entire small vessel to ourselves. Following the tour we headed to the top of Capri via the novel mode of single seat ski lift. This allows a tranquil climb to the island's main peak peering over garden walls and into olive groves as you slowly climb to one of the most breath-taking viewpoints it is possible to imagine over the Bay of Naples.
Sunday took the group along the Amalfi Coast with stops along our route to take in the beauty of this part of Italy. With lunch in Amalfi town, we moved onto Pompeii. The scale and size of this Roman site and the fact that one can walk for twenty minutes in any direction and pass houses, shops, theatres, cafés, in the same way, one might walk around any modern city still humbles and astounds. In the warm afternoon sunshine our group remained attentive and following our tour enjoyed wandering the ancient city themselves.
Monday, our departure day, included a trip to a collapsed volcanic system called Solfatara which we would recommend to anyone. Following this we headed to Naples for a look around the amazing Museum of Naples with its collection of finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Following a short walk the group took part in a tour of Naples underground. A network of Greek, Roman, World War Two and modern tunnels which stretch for 200km under the city. Navigating by candle light in the narrow passages listening to the history of Naples was for me one of the great highlights of the trip. Thank you to Mr Lowry, Miss Flavell, Mr Slingo and Dr Corrigan who were a fantastic help during the trip. Also thank you to the pupils - you were really a very special group and it was a real privilege to have you along on the trip. An album of photos from the trip can be viewed below.
Dan Hodder - Head of Geography