Santiago de Compostella

September 27th, 2009

June 16, 2009

We started the day off in front of the Catedral de Santiago.

Catedral de Santiago

Catedral de Santiago

This is the end of the pilgrimage route from France through the northern part of Spain.  The plaza it faces is home to many of the government buildings for the region.

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Porto School of Architecture

August 15th, 2009

June 15, 2009

Architect: Alvaro Siza

Date: 1987-1994

Location: Porto, Portugal

This small school is situated on a hillside in Porto.  The school centers around a triangular plaza.

Porto School of Architecture

Porto School of Architecture

Porto School of Architecture Overview

Porto School of Architecture from above

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Casa da Musica

August 15th, 2009

June 14, 2009

Architect: Rem Koolhaas/OMA

Date: 2004

Location: Porto, Portugal

The Casa da Musica was built as part of Porto’s European Culture Capital year in 2001.

Casa da Musica

Casa da Musica

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Porto the full day

August 15th, 2009

June 14, 2009

We started our full day in Porto with a tour of the Casa da Musica.  After the Casa da Musica we walked around the city for a little while.

Street of Porto

Street of Porto

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Fair food!

August 13th, 2009

June 13 & 14, 2009

Usually we would try to do different meals every night but what we found in Porto was so great that we needed to go a second time for dinner.  Just down the street from our hostel was a small fair that had just a few booths.  The first night I had some sort of steak sandwich which was really good but what really looked awesome is what other people ordered.  They had a sandwich which starts with a fried piece of chicken covered with ham and melted cheese.  That was then topped with a bunch of stuff including these potato stick like things.  Finally they used these udder-like things to put the condiments on.  The next night when we went back I got one and it was one of the best meals of the trip.

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Leca Swimming Pools

August 12th, 2009

June 13, 2009

Architect: Alvaro Siza

Date: 1966

Location: Porto, Portugal

The Leca Swimming Pools sit on the Atlantic Ocean and provide a safe place to swim in contrast to the wave-crashed beaches.

Leca Swimming Pools

Leca Swimming Pools

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Boa Nova Tea House

August 12th, 2009

June 13, 2009

Architect: Alvaro Siza

Date: 1963

Location: Porto, Portugal

The Boa Nova Tea House is a small restaurant that sits on the Atlantic Ocean.

Boa Nova Tea House

Boa Nova Tea House

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Atlantic Ocean

August 11th, 2009

June 13, 2009

After getting settled into our hostel we headed in to meet in front of the Casa da Musica.  From there we took a city bus way out to the outskirts of the city.  After what was easily an hour bus ride we got off and walked a short distance to the Atlantic Ocean.  This is the first time we saw the Atlantic and it was interesting because there were some people who had never seen an ocean before.

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean

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Not RENFE

August 11th, 2009

June 13, 2009

Today we took our only long-distance train that was not run by RENFE.  The reason is that they operate in Spain and this was the only long-distance train we took out of Spain.  On the way out of Lisbon we went through the Estacao de Oriente making it the last of the many times going through there.

Traveling through Estacao de Oriente

Traveling through Estacao de Oriente

The quality of the CP train was decent but it really reinforced the quality that the RENFE has.

Festival of Santo Antonio

August 11th, 2009

June 12, 2009

We ended up being in Lisbon on the night of the biggest party of the year, The Festival of Santo Antonio.  After having some really good homemade pizza at the hostel we headed out to the party.  Many streets were shut down with people filling where cars and the trolleys we were going to take to the castle are usually.  We went and spent time wandering around and had some cotton candy and other random snacks.

Estacao de Oriente

August 10th, 2009

June 12, 2009

Architect: Santiago Calatrava

Date: 1998

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

We arrived in the Estacao de Oriente from Merida and this was the first visit to the building.  The building definitely has an interesting look but once you start to use the building you realize that it does not work.

Estacao de Oriente

Estacao de Oriente

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Castle of Sao Jorge

August 10th, 2009

June 12, 2009

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The Castle sits atop the highest hill overlooking the center of the city.

View from Citadel of Sao Jorge

View from Citadel of Sao Jorge

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Lisbon

August 10th, 2009

June 12, 2009

We started the day in the Praca do Comercio which is a plaza that sits on the edge of the city right next to the river.  This plaza is of the Plaza Mayor style with the tree sides not facing the water all having matching facades with a central gate to one of the major streets(and no cars are allowed on it) in the city.

Gate to Rua Augusta from Praca do Comercio

Gate to Rua Augusta from Praca do Comercio

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I just started to understand some Spanish!

August 6th, 2009

June 11, 2009

Just when I was starting to understand some Spanish we go to Portugal.  We got on a bus that took us from Merida, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal.  Not once crossing the border between the two countries did we have to show our passport because in the European Union you are free to move between countries unlike earlier where we would have had to go through a customs checkpoint.  We then arrived in Lisbon and I once again was totally without any clue as to communicating.  The one nice part was that more people in Portugal spoke English than in Spain.  We came into the Santiago Calatrava designed Estacao de Oriente.

Estacao de Oriente

Estacao de Oriente

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Roman Amphitheater and Theater

August 6th, 2009

June 11, 2009

Date: 15 BC

Location: Merida, Spain

These two theaters were built by the Romans and are among some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the area.  The amphitheater is still used today for performances.  I first visited the theater which would more likely called a stadium today.

Roman Theater

Roman Theater

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National Museum of Roman Art

August 6th, 2009

June 11, 2009

Architect: Rafael Moneo

Date: 1980-1985

Location: Merida, Spain

The National Museum of Roman Art was built to display the Roman artifacts from around Spain.  It was designed to use the Roman style as a source of style.  The entire building appears to be constructed from Brick but instead the brick is a fromwork for the reinforced concrete.  From the outside the building tries to not appear massive through the use of buttresses that line the main street facade.

National Museum of Roman Art Exterior

National Museum of Roman Art Exterior

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What is in Merida?

August 6th, 2009

June 11, 2009

Merida is an interesting town because it takes at most half an hour to walk to any point in the city, assuming you don’t take the long way.  Even when we went to the bus station to get tickets to Merida from Sevilla the attendant asked What is in Merida?  Still we stopped there and in terms of architecture this city has some pretty interesting buildings.  We started the day in Plaza de Espana.

Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana

From there we headed up to the National Museum of Roman Art.  On the way we passed the Templo de Diana, an ancient Roman temple that is currently being restored.

Templo de Diana

Templo de Diana

After the National Museum of Roman Art we headed over to the Roman Amphitheater and Theater.  That was the end of our day in Merida.

Photos of Merida

We need to be at the top of that other hill!

August 5th, 2009

June 10, 2009

After the morning in Sevilla we got on the bus and headed to Merida.  The ride to Merida was the first bus we took and I must say that I prefer the trains to the buses.  When we arrived in Merida we started to walk to where the Google Map showed the hotel to be.  We got there and there appeared to be no hotel and we were just a little confused.  Then we figured out that we were on the other side of the city from where we were supposed to be.

Merida Map

Merida Map

Luckily we were not in a hurry to get there so we were able to walk there and still have time for dinner.  Probably the worst part of this whole ordeal is that we knew the hotel had a pool so we were all looking forward to jumping in a cooling off.  Well when we got there they said that their pool was closed and did not open until the 15th.  What luck!

Sevilla: The Fair that Worked

August 5th, 2009

June 10, 2009

At the start of the day we made our way through the campus of the University of Sevilla.

University of Sevilla Courtyard

University of Sevilla Courtyard

From there we headed over to the grounds of the Ibero-American Exposition (photos) of 1929. On the way we saw one of the buildings I had done research on previously, the Infanta Elena Library by Cruz y Ortiz.

Infanta Elena Library

Infanta Elena Library

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Expo ’92: Welcome to a Sci-Fi Movie

August 5th, 2009

Sevilla held a World’s Fair type World’s Fair type Expo in 1992 and then had no idea what to do with their exposition halls.  What follows is a photo story, with minor narration, of what has happened with the grounds of the Expo ’92 in Sevilla.

Bridge over what used to be a river with Pavilion of the Future

Bridge over what used to be a river with Pavilion of the Future

This is the sight you see as you enter the old fairgrounds after crossing the Puente de la Barqueta.

Pavilion of the Future

Pavilion of the Future

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