Archive for August, 2009

Sevilla Day 1

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

June 9, 2009

We met at Plaza Nueva to start class for the day.

Statue in Plaza Nueva

Statue in Plaza Nueva

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Granada: Alhambra and Generalife

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

June 8, 2009

We had one of the best locations for a hostel with the AAE Lisboa.  It was located right on a plaza just a short walk from the meeting point in the morning.

Plaza from window of AAE Lisboa

Plaza from window of AAE Lisboa

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Major Train Ride #2

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

June 7, 2009

Today we traveled for the second time on a train but this ride was significantly shorter but took much longer because the trains did not travel as fast as the AVE high speed trains.

Madrid to Cordoba – 183 miles – 102 minutes – 108 mph

Cordoba to Granada – 80 miles – 152 minutes – 32 mph

The difference between the two rides is staggering and shows how a high speed train network can improve over a standard network making it actually competitive.

Photos from train ride

Cordoba

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

June 7, 2009

We started the day on the Roman Bridge.

Roman Bridge

Roman Bridge

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The Travel Begins!

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

June 6, 2009

We had an extra day off and after the week in Madrid we spent it relaxing.  At night we had a ride on the RENFE AVE train from Atocha Station.  This was the first major high speed rail line built in Spain.  In terms of using this over air travel I am totally for the train because the time is not much different and the amount of time you need to arrive before departure is minimal.  It is possible to show up to the train 15 minutes before it leaves and make it on without having issues.  Also, unlike airlines, the trains are very reliant with RENFE giving a guarantee that if a train is more than 20 minutes late you get a 100% refund (I would like to see an airline do that and stay in business).

The train ride was great and we just had a short walk to the hostel when we got to Cordoba.  In Cordoba we stayed at the Hosteling International – Instalacion Juvenil which was a very nice hostel that was simple but provided free breakfast.  After we got in the hostel we went out and took a walk to see what was around and found we were just 5 minutes from the meeting point on the Roman bridge.

Biblioteca Publica “Jose Hierro”

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

June 5, 2009

Architect: Abalos and Herreros

Date: 2003

Location: Madrid, Spain

Built in a still somewhat lower-end neighborhood this library was constructed on a tight budget.  The building sits as a skyscraper among the surrounding buildings.

Jose Hierro Exterior

Jose Hierro Exterior

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Biblioteca Regional and Archive

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

June 5, 2009

Architect: Mansilla and Tunon

Date: 2003

Locationi: Madrid, Spain

The Biblioteca Regional and Archive is a conversion of an old brewery.  The building is split in two separate parts, the Library and the Archive.  The Library is held within the old building and has turned the old silos into storage space.

Library with old Silos

Library with old Silos

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Last Class Day in Madrid

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

June 5, 2009

We started the day by going to see another archive building.  The Biblioteca Regional and Archive is a new complex that expands on the old Aguila Brewery.  We then proceeded south out of the center of the city.  We arrived at a lower-end part of the city where there has been some new development including the Biblioteca Publica Jose Hierro.  From the library we went to see some of the new housing projects.  This is one area where the difference between America and Spain is easily apparent.

Spanish Housing Projects

Spanish Housing Projects

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Best Day of the Trip: Toledo

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

June 4, 2009

In what is easily the best day of the trip we made our way to Toledo.  Again we started our day in Atoch Station but instead of getting on a regular train we got on to a high speed train.  I have for a long time liked the idea of a high speed train network and this was the first time I have been on a high speed train.  The high speed train was very nice and found the ride smooth.  We made it to Toledo in a half-hour versus the hour it takes to drive it in a car.

Upon arrival in Toledo we started the walk to the old city which sits up on a hill above the surrounding area.

Toledo from below

Toledo from below

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