Thursday, August 27, 2015

BARCELONA: LA MOLA


Un domingo de agosto decidimos hacer la subida a La Mola donde en su cima se encuentra el Monasterio Románico de Sant Llorenç del Munt. Esta excursión es una de las más conocidas de las que se pueden hacer cerca de Barcelona por las fuertes pendientes de algunos tramos del camino.

La motivación de esta ascensión era doble. Por un lado hacer un poco de ejercicio en un entorno bonito como el del Parque Natural en el que se encuentra y, por el otro, ver de cerca este monasterio románico que he visto tantas veces en foto.



Monasterio de La Mola
Monasterio de La Mola



El Camí dels Monjos, el itinerario que seguimos para la ascensión, une los monasterios de Sant Cugat y Sant Llorenç del Munt y tiene unos 25km de longitud. Su nombre viene del hecho que lo utilizaban los monjes para desplazarse entre ambos monasterios. De hecho hay tramos empedrados y escaleras en las partes más empinadas para permitir subir a los burros y caballos con los que subían provisiones y todo aquello que necesitaran.

Nosotros nos incorporamos en este camino a la altura de Matadepera. Desde este punto son unos 6km entre la ida y la vuelta. Nosotros tardamos alrededor de 1h20 en realizar la ascensión y unos 45 minutos en hacer el descenso (un poco más de 2h en total) más la hora que estuvimos en el restaurante recuperando fuerzas con un buen bocata.

Para llegar al punto de partida hay que entrar a Matadepera por la segunda entrada y subir por el Passeig del Pla hasta la Plaça del Pla de Sant Llorenç. Ahí cogeremos la calle Cavall Bernat hasta la calle de las Belles Roques a la derecha. Seguiremos por esta calle hasta la calle de Vistalegre, que cogeremos a la derecha. Continuaremos hasta el final de esta calle donde podemos aparcar el coche.


Mapa del Camí dels Monjos de ascenso a La Mola desde Matadepera



Mapa del Camí dels Monjos a La Mola
Mapa del itinerario del Camí dels Montjos desde Matadepera a La Mola


Después de dejar el coche, cogeremos un camino que sale a la derecha junto a una casa blanca. Al final del camino encontraremos un depósito a mano derecha. Hay que coger el camino a mano izquierda donde enseguida encontraremos una marca amarilla y blanca y una placa que indica “El Camí dels Monjos”. Comenzaremos a subir por un camino que todavía tiene tramos de empedrado que existían antiguamente.


Camí dels Monjos a La Mola




Cami dels Monjos a La Mola
Comienzo de la subida a La Mola desde Matadepera pel Camí dels Monjos



Cami dels Monjos a La Mola
En este punto el camino es suave pero las pendientes mayores se encuentran en la parte inicial de la ascensión




Cam dels Monjos a La Mola desde Matadepera
Pared vertical al junto al camino de subida a La Mola




La Mola en Barcelona
Vistas desde el camino de subida a La Mola



 La Mola en Barcelona
Torre de piedrecitas junto al camino




Camí dels Monjos a La Mola
Las indicaciones del camino son constantes así que no hay pérdida posible




Montserrat desde La Mola
Montserrat desde La Mola



Ascenso de La Mola
Tramo final de ascensión a La Mola



Cima de La Mola



Monasterio de  La Mola
Este es el primer punto del Camí dels Monjos desde el que se ve El Monasterio de Sant Llorenç del Munt en La Mola



Monasterio de  La Mola
Últimos pasos sobre un camino empedrado para llegar a la cima de La Mola




Monasterio de Sant Llorenç del Munt en La Mola



Monasterio de  La Mola
Monasterio románico de Sant Llorenç del Munt en la cima de La Mola


Monasterio de  La Mola
Al llegar a la cima de La Mola el día ya era soleado



Monasterio de  La Mola
Ábside de la iglesia del monasterio románico de Sant Llorenç del Munt en La Mola


Iglesia del Monasterio de  La Mola
Iglesia del monasterio de Sant Llorenç del Munt en La Mola


Monasterio de  La Mola
Campanario románico del monasterio de Sant Llorenç del Munt en La Mola


Monasterio de  La Mola
Dentro del monasterio de La Mola



Monasterio de  La Mola
Los ventanales que se ven corresponden al restaurante del interior del monasterio


Burros y caballos en La Mola
Con estos animales suben lo necesario hasta el monasterio porque yo no vi ningún camino por el que pudiera subir un vehículo



Vistas desde La Mola



Vista desde La Mola
Vista desde La Mola en Barcelona


Vista desde La Mola
Otra vista desde la cima de La Mola






Barcelona desde La Mola
Desde la cima de La Mola se podía ver la Torre de Collserola, las Torres Gemelas de la Villa Olímpica en Barcelona y las chimeneas de la Central Térmica de Sant Adrià


Camino de Descenso de La Mola



Descenso de La Mola
El día era más soleado y caluroso durante el descenso


En los siguientes enlaces puedes obtener más información sobre El Camí dels Monjos para ascender a La Mola:


Otros pueblos, ciudades y lugares interesantes que he visitado cerca de Barcelona son:





  • Castelldefels




  • CATALONIA MEDIEVAL: ABBEYS AND MONASTERIES


    Today I would like to speak about a kind of religious building I like a lot: abbeys and monasteries. In Catalonia there are many monasteries and some of them are really important. Actually, some of these monasteries are references of the architectural style in which they are built.


    I like visiting abbeys because they are great exemples of the medieval art in Catalonia and of two architectural styles I like: the romanesque and gothic styles. Besides, when I enter a monastery, I enjoy the peace and calmness I feel walking inside this kind of places and its environment.

    Next you can see the more important abbeys and monasteries you can visit in Catalonia:


    In brackets the century when were founded.

    Without any doubt, some of the most important abbeys in Catalonia are the ones of Ripoll, Montserrat, Poblet and Santes Creus. The most beautiful ones for me: Ripoll and Poblet Monasteries.


    Besides, there is a route connecting three of the monasteries listed above: Santes Creus, Poblet and Vallbona de les Monges. This route is called La Ruta del Cister (The Cistercian Route) and its name comes from the artistic and cultural heritage of these three Cistercian monasteries.


    Ripoll Monastery



    Cloister of Ripoll Monastery in Catalonia
    Typical romanesque archs of the two-storey cloister of Ripoll Monastery

    Church of the benedictine Ripoll monastery
    Inside the romanesque church of the benedictine Ripoll monastery

    Ripoll monastery in Catalonia
    Ripoll monastery, cradle of Catalan culture, with the catalan flag on top of the bell tower


    Montserrat Abbey


    Montserrat Abbey in Catalonia
    Bell tower of Montserrat Abbey, one of the most important symbols of the Catalan Culture as well as a bastion of resistance against the dictatorship

    Gothic cloister of the benedictine Montserrat Abbey
    Gothic cloister of the benedictine Montserrat Abbey with Montserrat mountains behind it


    Sant Joan de les Abadesses Abbey


    Romanesque church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery
    The bell tower of the romanesque church of Sant Joan de les Abadesses Monastery through one of the gothic archs of the cloister

    Gothic cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses monastery
    Gothic archs of the cloister of Sant Joan de les Abadesses Monastery, a really quiet and peaceful place


    Sant Pere de Rodes  Monastery


    Sant Pere de Rodes monastery in Catalonia
    One of the bell towers of the Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery, built in romanesque style. The views of the Mediterranean sea and the village of El Port de la Selva from this monastery are fantastic

    Romanesque church of the Sant Pere de Rodes monastery
    Inside the romanesque church of the Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery


    Sant Pere Abbey in Besalú


    Romanesque church of the Sant Pere monastery in Besalú
    The romanesque church of the Sant Pere Monastery in Besalú is the only part of the monastery  which still remains


    Sant Pere Monastery in Camprodon


    Monastery of Sant Pere de Camprodón in Catalonia

    Of the ancient monastery of Sant Pere de Camprodón, the third largest in the area after the Ripoll and Sant Joan de les Abadesses monasteries, only the church remains. This is a simple construction that keeps the original Latin cross plan. The bell tower is located on the octagonal dome above the altar



    Poblet Monastery (Ruta del Cister)


    Poblet monastery in Catalonia
    Benedictine Monastery of Poblet


    Gothic cloister of Poblet monastery
    Gothic archs of the cloister of Poblet Monastery

    Cloister of Poblet monastery
    Another picture of the cloister of Poblet Monastery is a really well preserved religious building


    Santes Creus  Monastery (Ruta del Cister)



    Santes Creus Monastery in Catalonia
    Main facade of the church of Santes Creus Monastery


    Cloister of Santes Creus Monastery
    Gothic cloister of the benedictine Santes Creus Monastery


    Vallbona de les Monges  Monastery (Ruta del Cister)


    Gothic cloister of the monastery of Vallbona de les Monges
    Gothic cloister of the benedictine monastery of Vallbona de les Monges (picture taken by Josep Renalias and obtained from wikipedia)


    Sant Pere de Galligants Monastery


    Sant Pere de Galligants monastery in Girona
    Apse and bell tower of Sant Pere de Galligants Monastery, located in a lovely area of the old city of Girona


    Pedralbes Monastery


    Gothic church of Pedralbes monastery in Barcelona
    Bell tower of the gothic church of Pedralbes Monastery

    Gothic cloister of Pedralbes monastery in Barcelona
    Gothic archs of the two-storey cloister of Pedralbes Monastery



    Sant Miquel del Fai


    Medieval abbey of Sant Miquel del Fai in Catalonia
    Medieval abbey of Sant Miquel del Fai



    Monastery of La Mola



    Monastery of La Mola
    Monastery on the top of La Mola, called Sant Llorenç del Munt


    I also recommend visiting other fantastic religious buildings like the church of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, the cathedral of Girona, the romanesque churches in la Vall de Boí or the romanesque church of Sant Cristófol de Beget.

    Besides, clicking on the next link you will find links to other beautiful places in Catalonia, among them, some charming medieval villages like Besalú, Beget, Castellar de N'Hug, Montblanc or Rupit.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015

    ALBA SYNCHROTRON IN BARCELONA

    Since I heard about particle accelerators for the first time, like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN, I have been interested in learning more about these high technology machines.

    With the construction of the Alba Synchrotron near the city where I live, I even could eventually visit one kind of them: A synchrotron.


    Barcelona Synchrotron Park


    Alba Synchrotron is a part of the Barcelona Synchrotron Park, a complex of electron accelerators to produce synchrotron light, which includes wavelengths from infrared to X-rays. Synchrotron light is a kind of light emitted by electrons or other charged particles of high energy and rotating within a containtment ring.  As the X-rays have a similar wavelength to the distance between atoms, synchrotron light allows the visualization of the atomic structure of matter as well as the study of its properties.


    Barcelona Synchrotron Park
    Barcelona Synchrotron Park


    Alba Synchrotron


    The ALBA Synchrotron is a 3rd generation Synchrotron Light facility, being the newest source in the Mediterranean area,  located in Cerdanyola del Vallès, 15 km from Barcelona city centre. Its characteristics as a third generation source make it comparable to the new facilities found in Germany, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom.


    Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    Alba Synchrotron located near Barcelona




    The ALBA Synchrotron light source is the most important singular scientific facility in the south of Europe. The facility consists in a linear accelerator and a synchrotron which accelerates electrons at near-light speed, at an energy of 3 GeV. 


    Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    Inside the Alba Synchrotron facility


    Generating Synchrotron Light


    The procedure for generating synchrotron light is:

    1- A source generates an electron beam as thin as a hair, and the beam is accelerated through a linear accelerator (also known as LINAC by its acronym in English). The electrons almost reach the speed of light and a first energy level, 100MeV.

    2- The electron beam is directed to a second circular accelerator, called booster, that increases its energy to the level operation of the synchrotron, 3 GeV. The low-emittance, full-energy Booster is placed in the same tunnel as the Storage Ring.

    The RadioFrequency (RF) systems of ALBA are responsible of the electrons acceleration in the Booster and the Storage Ring. In the Booster, the energy of the electrons is increased from 100MeV to 3GeV. In the Storage Ring, the RF systems just restore the energy that the electrons lose due to synchrotron radiation (1.3MeV/turn maximum).


    Radiofrequency system of Alba Synchrotron
    The acceleration is accomplished creating high electric fields in the path of the electrons. The electric fields are created in resonant cavities which are fed by RF Amplifiers.


    3- Electrons are injected into a storage ring of 270 meters where revolve for several hours and emit synchrotron radiation, which is used at the beamlines. This storage ring is optimised to produce a continuum of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, from infrareds to X rays. They are stored and maintained within the ring using magnetic fields.


    Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    The booster and the storage ring are located inside this structure


    Booster and storage ring of Alba Synchrotron
    Booster and storage ring of Alba Synchrotron


    4- When the electrons moving around in the ring take a curve, they emit extremely intense light with wavelengths ranging from the visible to X-rays. This light is highly focalized, polarized and then emitted in the form of pulses like a camera flash. So using electromagnetic devices the trajectory of the electrons are deflected or forced to oscillate. Electrons lose energy as light, thus generating synchrotron light.

    5- The energy lost by electrons in the form of synchrotron radiation (those beams of light) is compensated by RF cavities giving them energy to keep spinning and the process is repeated.

    6- The synchrotron light is focused and selected (selection of the wavelength) by optical devices (lenses and mirrors) that guide it towards the experimental stations.

    7- Each beamline is a real laboratory to prepare and analyze samples, analyzing the information obtained and thus study the most varied problems: from masterpieces of Renaissance art to chronic degenerative diseases.


    Basic Physical Principle of Operation



    The ALBA accelerators rely on electromagnets to guide and focus the electrons along the trajectory under the influence of magnetic fields, electrons follow the Lorentz force:





    At ALBA four different types of magnets are in use:

    • Dipole magnets: these are typical construction electromagnets with an iron yoke, in a C-form or H-from and two coils wound around the yoke. Dipole magnets are used to deflect the electrons in the transfer lines and also to provide orbit correction.


    Dipole of Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    The red magnet is a dipole

    • Quadrupole magnets: as the name indicates, these have four magnetic poles and therefore 4 coils. The magnetic field created by a quadrupole increases linearly with the distance from the center. Quadrupoles are used to focus the electrons and enable the transport of an electron beam over long distances, like for example, an electron beam circulating inside the ALBA storage ring.

    Quadrupole of Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    On the left a sextupole magnet and, on the right, a quadrupole magnet


    • Combined function magnets: are a combination of a dipole magnet and a quadrupole magnet. They are used both in the booster and in the storage ring and fulfil two functions at the same time: on one side, they are responsible for the electrons completing the 360º of circumference around both circular accelerators, and on the other side, they provide additional focusing. By the use of combined magnets, space has been saved inside the accelerators. This space has been used to increase the length available to insertion devices.

    Magnets of Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    A dipole magnet (red), a sextupole magnet (yellow) and a quadrupole magnet



    • Sextupole magnets: have six poles as its name indicates and are used to provide additional focusing. The magnetic field increases quadratically with the distance from the center.

    Sextupole magnet of Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    Sextupole magnet of Alba Synchrotron


    Beamlines


    ALBA's 270 meter perimeter has 17 straight sections all of which are available for the installation of insertion devices.

    ALBA currently has seven operational state-of-the-art phase-I beamlines, comprising soft and hard X-rays, which are devoted mainly to biosciences, condensed matter (magnetic and electronic properties, nanoscience) and materials science. Additionally, two phase-II beamlines are in construction (infrared microspectroscopy and low-energy ultra-high-resolution angular photoemission for complex materials).

    During operation of the beamlines, the accelerators run 24 hours a day, 7 seven days a week. About 75% of the time that the accelerators are powered up is dedicated to providing beam to the beamlines. The rest is dedicated to improving the quality of the beam as well as the further development of the accelerators.




    Beamline of Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    One of the operational beamline of Alba Synchrotron



    Beamline of Alba Synchrotron in Barcelona
    High technology equipment in a beamline of Alba Synchrotron




    Applications of Alba Synchrotron



    • BIOLOGY AND BIOMEDICINE to improve the diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases and develop drugs.
    • NANOTECHNOLOGY to study and build electronic and magnetic devices to the nanometer scale.
    • MATERIALS SCIENCE to create more durable materials, corrosion-resistant, lightweight, elastic.
    • ENVIRONMENT to analyze toxic materials of, soil, rocks.
    • PHYSICS to determine the atomic structure of liquids and solids.
    • CHEMISTRY: to analyze and improve the efficiency of chemical reactions.
    • HISTORICAL AND ARTISTIC HERITAGE To study art or archaeological objects noninvasively.


    Alba Synchrotron in Catalonia
    One last picture before leaving the Alba Synchrotron after a really interesting visit