June 24, 2009

Bienvenido a Espana

spain.jpg

This morning we arrived in Cadiz, Spain. It's the first stop on our voyage this summer, and so far it is a BIG hit. Cadiz is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula and possibly all of southwestern Europe.

cadiz.jpg
Cadiz, Spain

The old city is a classic pre-auto design. Folks live in flats over stores, restaurants, and other commercial developments (located on the street level). Plazas and cafes are seemingly everywhere. Many streets are car free. Today in the U.S. we might call this "New Urbanism." It's hardly new, and everyone here seems to love this form of urban design. Life on the streets is both peaceful (let's just sit on this bench and watch the world go by) and electric (live music, flower stands, street performers). While the old city is the focus just off the ship, in the distance we can see the new focus of Spain ... renewable energy. Here are two examples. Not far away (near Sevilla where we will visit tomorrow) is Europe's first commercial solar power plant.

sevillasolar.jpg
10 MW Solar Thermal Plant near Sevilla

And from our ship we can see in the distance oodles of wind generators.

cadizwind.jpg
Cadiz "parques eolicos" or wind parks

Spain has become the third largest producer of wind power in the world and has recently begun shutting down their nuclear facilities and replacing them with efficiency, wind and solar. In addition to tapas, siestas, and Flamenco, this region has another "way of being" I think we should all embrace. Ole!

Posted by rohwedde at June 24, 2009 12:54 PM