An Adventurous Day: Kayaking & Stargazing in Constância, Portugal. (Student Takeover by Maddy & Sam)

Authored by:
Mariana Coelho

Hi! We are Maddy Jameson and Sam Golub, two aquatic enthusiasts from Morristown, New Jersey. We are two students interested in sustainability and ecosystems who are part of the CIEE high school study abroad program stationed in Lisbon, Portugal. Today we began our day by kayaking in Constância and ended the day at a planetarium in the same town. 

Our kayaking adventure was highly insightful. We began paddling downstream to eventually reach a clearing where we split into two groups to learn about the river. In one group we did an experiment to calculate the velocity of the water and estimated the depth and width of the river. In the other group, we observed the river in its natural state by identifying various species. By observing these plants and animals in their natural habitats, we could see how all aspects of the ecosystem work together. Throughout our journey, we got the opportunity to swim in the water that we were learning about; our new knowledge made us much more appreciative of the ecosystem we were swimming in. The water was refreshing and rewarding after kayaking in the heat! The journey ended at the Almourol Castle, which was a beautiful sight to end our trip

Later that night we visited the planetarium! We were split into two groups again. The first group spent their time outside looking through the telescope. They pointed out several stars and constellations we didn't know of, and we learned a lot of random and fun facts about the night sky. For instance, while looking through the telescope, we saw a star that appeared to be a single star but was actually two. We were able to tell the difference between the two stars because one was red and the other was blue, indicating a difference in age. In the other group, we were in the dome where we looked closely at the constellations and planets. Despite the heat in the dome, we were able to experience the milky way, and several planets up close, which was extremely interesting for both of us. 

We got back to the hotel late, but were extremely satisfied with everything that we had learned during the day. We cannot wait for more exciting adventures! 


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