Sunday, 24 October 2010

El Parque de Ciencias

23rd day, Saturday, 16 oct

Parque de Ciencias - Anca wanted to go here from day 1. It's at the outskirts of Granada and it is a huge site with different buildings, each with trunks full of magic and physics. Since Jose owns a Euro26 card (how do I lay my hands on one of those?), he paid only 6.5 Euros (4.5 for the whole Parque and 2 for the Planetarium) whereas we paid 8.5 Euros(6.5 and 2). As we got there at 2pm, and we were scheduled for the 5.30pm Planetarium session, we had the time in between to go feast our eyes.

I bet Dodo would be green with envy and yellow with jealousy, he'd eventually turn lime-coloured, wouldn't he. Dodo is my beloved co-worker that is passionate with physics and electricity.

We saw so many things, so many processes brought to life, so many experiments and phenomena explained in a very user-friendly way (still I.T. by heart) that I can't wrap my mind around them yet. Jose has technical/mecanics + I.T. background and owns a totally bad ass telescope => he's very interested in physics and could only be really excited when he showed us all the things there, argued with me on occasions, but mostly detailed every nook and cranny of every experiment there. He started arguing with an employee there actually over an electricity experiment.

We first watched an inactment of Foucault's Pendulum and therefore we were convinced that the Earth is round (if someone had any doubt anyway) and then went off to the huge room dedicated to Astronomy and Astrophysics (which honestly, I loved the most). Planets in and out of the Solar Systems, their composition, mass, their gravity constants, the layers of Earth's insides and outsides (troposphere, ionosphere etc.), Coriolis force, and all sorts of other effects caused by the rotation around Earth's axis and around the Sun.

After an hour or so, we went to the first floor and off to the Mecanics room. I was duly upset when I saw no inactment of the Henri Coanda effect but lighted up when  I saw a room full of ancient measuring technology: barometers, hygrometers, thermometers, old Morse telegraphs, ancient phones (that occupied half a wall) - I bet my mom would have loved to see this room, as her background is in telecommunications and worked as a phone operator for 20 odd years.

Starting from 5.30pm, we enjoyed 40 minutes of mind boggling depictions of constellations, planets, systems, black holes, explosions of supernovas and then, from macro we went to micro. DNA, how life on Earth was born - from a hot boiling sea that was filled with cells which made photosynthesis and caused the creation of masses of oxygen down to development of saurians. And a huge swath of Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution. Jose told us that the Granada Parque de Ciencias tried to inject Evolutionism and put an emphasis on this because they are developing right now something connected to this, and are trying to attract sponsors.

After the Planetarium - the first grand Planetarium that I have ever been to and I feel so privileged and lucky because of that - we went to a different building: this was consecrated to space navigation. We saw genuine space costumes (one that went in an Apollo mission too) from NASA, URSS, Chinese space programs, food that is usually taken into space, how they pee in those suits (it's quite an intricate device) and how they communicate.

And the great finale: the rooms dedicated to Electricity where amazing experiments followed suit. Electricity in 10 experiments, to be more specific. How ozone was created from oxygen with the help of an electrcal discharge, the amount of energy we as human beings produce (of course that spawned a few Matrix(the movie) puns) and much more. I'm gonna leave it now for Dodo to dwell painfully on that "much more".

We went for tapas later: history of tapas @Jose - in Medieval ages, people at Court would be brought hot beverages and mixes that had to be covered with something until the savours would blend. Since the plate put above the mug was looking a bit naked, food was served on it, for the customer to eat while he waited for the drink to be done. Wherever you see "bar & tapas" it means that once you order a drink, you are automatically brought food that's included in the price. You can eat really cheap that way. By the way it's mostly in AndalucĂ­a, not everywhere in Spain.

But Parque de Ciencias was explored only  40%. We still have 60% more left. Coming up in the next series.


  1. Ok, recunosc, poate se observa o nuanta de verde... And yeah, I wish I were there indeed :P

    Thanks for the 'in your face!' blog post ;;)

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