So, the secret is finally out. This year’s Leap Day was spent in and around Lisbon, Portugal.
The weekend was filled with team building tasks and included a very special tour of the Geology of the Arrábida National Park with Professor Paulo Sá Caetano of the faculty of science and technology at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and Joao Brissos, Geological Engineer from eGiamb.
We travelled westwards along the Arrábida Range – the westernmost mountain range formed by the collision of the Eurasian and African Plates during the Alpine Orogeny – where steeply bedded strata make up the monocline structure that forms the range. We also learnt about the Salt diapirism that has led to the largest limestone cliffs in Europe. We observed the unique Arrábida Breccia, a carbonate conglomerate both in situ and in use as decorative building stone. We visited Sesimbra Castle to learn the history of the area and again observe the local geology, finishing up at the holy site of “The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Cape Espichel”, where fossilised Sauropod footprints in the cliffside have led to stories of apparitions and a giant mule bringing the Virgin Mary ashore.
We were also shown some of the amazing environmental restoration work that SECIL have been carrying out at their quarry in the National Park since the 1980s utilizing homegrown indigenous plants to restore the quarry sides alongside the ongoing extraction process. Their dedicated team of biologists are working to ensure that the original biodiversity of what is now a national park is restored to pre-quarrying levels.
The rest of the trip was filled with various team-building tasks including making bridges out of shoes and paper; spelling Leap with our bodies and finding suitable souvenirs to fit inside a matchbox.
These trips help everyone at Leap to broaden their horizons and see how different countries approach ground engineering.
They build management and leadership skills in our early-career professionals and bring our teams closer together for the mutual benefit of our staff and our clients.