One of the benefits about being a Science Technician is getting to go on school trips. Back in Liverpool I had managed to go to lots of different places including Alton Towers, Science Museum in Manchester, Catalyst Museum in Widnes and lots of places in North Wales including the beach at Talacre. My trip to Meise was only the second time I had managed to get out of school after just missing out on a trip to the zoo.
Meise is locates on the outskirts of Brussels and is a Botanical Garden which the Belgians created after seeing Kew Gardens in England. They are both famous for housing the infamous Carrion Flower that only flowers on rare occasions and also smells like rotting flesh!
We had decided to take Year 8 for the day to gain some fieldwork experience and also to look round the massive greenhouses. It turned out to be a perfect day weather wise and it was extremely warm so the sunglasses were out. The first part of the morning involved working outside and using quadrats to do some sampling. The biggest thing that struck me was how close to Zaventem Airport we were. The sound of the planes taking off was deafening at times!.
In the afternoon. walking up the hill to the giant greenhouse, it made you feel like you were visiting Jurassic Park (before the dinosaurs destroyed it) and I kept expecting Richard Attenborough to come out and greet us!
We were fortunate enough to have a couple of tour guides inside the greenhouses who were able to explain all the different zones inside including a Tropical and Desert zone. They also set the students some questions and sent them off amongst the plants to find the answers.
As somebody who doesn’t really do any gardening, I was very impressed with the variety and design of some of the more exotic plants. The height of some of the trees and the smell of the many herbs growing was quite intoxicating.
Although there was a lot to see, the fact it was the hottest day of the year, standing in a huge greenhouse was starting to take its toll on a lot of us and we retired outside to finish our work.
The grounds of Meise are quite large and there is a lot more to explore if we had the time. Over the lake was Bouchout Castle that looked really interesting but we had to make our way back to the coaches to head back to school.
I only have a few weeks left in Belgium now so I won’t be posting again until my final week but hopefully that will include a year in review 🙂
Thanks for reading.