Tuesday morning was a sunny and cold morning. We gathered at the IES Sáenz de Buruaga school where we got on a comfortable bus taking us to the hydro electric powerplant of Alange. The dam at Alange is a gravity dam built in 1992. It has two main uses; providing fresh water for the Mérida region and producing hydro electric power. Nuclear power is the most important source of energy in Spain at the moment (45%) but renewable sources like sunpower, aeolian power and hydro electric power are growing in importance.
The village of Alange is a sleeping beauty at this time of the year. Its approx. twothousand inhabitants are recovering from previous season and are expecting the next. When the fourhundred hotelrooms are full of tourists they have nine busy months of working around the clock. The main attraction is the Roman baths dating back to 300 AD. They are dedicated to the goddess Juno.
Overlooking the village is the Castle of Alange, once held by the military order of Santiago after they had conquered and won it from the Moors. The symbol of the order is said to date back to the age of the crusades.
The cross is also a prominent feature inside the Church of our lady of Miracles in the central part of Alange. In the walls of the church swifts have their nests which is seen as a symbol of fertility, giving extra power to the church.
In the evening our students spent their time with their hostfamilies meanwhile we got to enjoy the hospitality of our spanish co-ordinator Inaki trying different kinds of tapas.
Of course we sang along with the food!