This morning we where invited to the Extremaduran assembly. It was a very representative place in the middle of the city of Mérida. Here we learnt a bit about how an autonomous region works and that the Extremadura region has more ambitious goals than the Kingdom of Spain! When Spain has 20% of the energy coming from renewable sources, the figure for Extremadura is 50%! Our students also got to meet a politician from the assembly – Mr Felipe Redondo Milara, a member of the socialist party. One of the questions he was asked by our students was: “What are the politicians of Extremadura doing to improve the circular economy of Extremadura?”. He told us about the creation of a new National Park to protect biodiversity and the eco-system of the flora and fauna of the region. There is also approx. 160 other projects going on in the region. Many of those projects are about solar energy replacing fossile fuels as sources of energy production.

Entering the Extremaduran assembly
Swedish team outside the Assembly
Mr Felipe Redondo Milara with our translator Ines Pino, english Teacher at Sáenz de Buruaga
The alabaster decorations – lungs and hearts filling the people of the region with emotions and energy.

Next official visit was at the mayor´s office. The mayor himself: Antonio Rodriguez Osuna, held the opening speech. A panel made up of the head of the board of education, the head of environment and the principal of the Sáenz de Buruaga School told of us about their work with circular economy and sustainable tourism, then all students were presented with a gift from Merida, a T-shirt of course in spanish red.

The mayor Antonio Rodriguez Osuna was also wearing the 17 climategoals of UN on his lapel.
Anna Sierra the principal of Sáenz de Buruaga and Susanna, the head of Education.

When all questions had been answered we walked back in time to 37 AD, the date when Augusta Emerita, the “grandfather” of Mérida was founded. The Romans built a fort at the northern banks of the Guadiana river. The fort was later taken over by the arabs and turned into an Alcazaba. A remnant of its roman history is kept alive in the current coat of arms of the city – a two-arched bridge. Our guide through this long history was the archaeologist in charge of the excavations. Whoever was in charge of this fort controlled the only bridge from the north to the south in the province of Lusetania!

A picture of a coin imprinted with the two-arched bridge.
Our guide explaining the origins of the fort which later became an Alkazaba.
From the walls of the fort you have a great view over the bridge once built by the romans over the Guadiana.
Essential for all forts is a well, here is the entrance to the one watering this one.
The path used by the horses used for carrying the water supplying the 2000 soldiers living inside the premises of the fort.

Those of us who had some energy left after this went to Dolmen de Lacara and after that we had a dinner together before finally getting a night of sleep, preparing for another busy day experiencing the spanish hospitality.

The Dolmen of Lácara

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