Today was my last day in southern Spain and Chloe’s last day on the trip. There were only a few things to check off on the to-do list – a morning run along the river, explore the gardens and architecture in Maria Luisa Park, and a trip to the Archive of the Indies. The walk through the park resulted in a firm base for me to create materials based on gardens and fountains. It is a large and beautiful park that is a breezy and shaded retreat for Sevillians. We leisurely made our way through the park from the Plaza de Espana to the Plaza de Americas searching for geometric connections and observing those enjoying the space.
Upon entering the Archive of the Indies I was sad to learn the entire exhibit was in Spanish only with no audio guide available. I hoped that I would still gain the cross-curricular ties that drew me there. The building houses over 83 million pages of documents and maps that document Spain’s explorations of land and sea. The exhibit was fascinating. They had detailed maps, drawings and letters on display from the 14th and 15th centuries. Captivated, I studied a multitude of hand drawn maps with intricate details of coastlines and islands and others that sketched the layout of the towns popping up in South and Central America. I also tested my Spanish language abilities as I struggled through sailors letters to their loved ones in Spain. I tried to imagine a time during which so much of the world was still unexplored and unknown. An added bonus was a video about the history of the documents and the building that houses them. Lucky for me, there were English subtitles which added firm content to my previous observations. The exhibit sparked a number of ideas about how the study and making of maps could be worked into our geometry curriculum with cross-curricular ties.
Another evening in our favorite area, Barrio de Santa Cruz, brought our time in Sevilla to a close. It was great to have Chloe along in the first leg of the journey. I packed my bags and headed to the bus station for a painful overnight trip to Lisbon, Portugal.