Sunday, July 12, 2009

While the Students Are Away

Most of the engineering students have followed the Spanish students to Lagos, Portugal, this weekend. The summer is winding down and they are packing as much as possible into the last few weeks. Here is a map of the parts of Spain and Portugal that they have visited. Our official excursions took us to Cordoba, Granada, Toledo, and Madrid. Most of the students have also made their own trips to Cadiz, Malaga, and Lagos. About half of the students are planning an additional 1-2 weeks of travel to other parts of Europe at the end of classes. They have learned how to schedule bus, rail, and airline reservations and discovered how inexpensively and comfortably they can stay in the hostels located in all of the major cities. Kathy and I are planning to rent a car and make our own trip to Lagos next weekend. That should be an adventure.

This morning, Sunday, Alex and Kenneth joined us for a stroll through Sevilla and provided the horsepower for a paddleboat ride on the Guadalquivir. They claimed student exploitation but I think they were just whining.

With the students gone, Kathy and I did a little sightseeing on our own to visit the Royal Alcazar and the Plaza de Espana. The Alcazar (palace) was originally a Moorish fort constructed in the 10th century. It has been modified by many of the Spanish monarchs over the centuries, most notably Pedro "the Cruel" in the 14th century. It still serves as the royal residence for the king and queen of Spain when they visit Sevilla. Royal Alcaza Photo Album

The Plaza de Espana is part of the construction for the Ibero-American Expo (World's Fair) of 1929. The purpose of the exposition was to improve relations between Spain and the countries in attendance (Portugal, The United States, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Chile, the Republic of Columbia, Cuba, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Ecuador), many of which were former Spanish colonies. Plaza de Espana Photo Album

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