Friday, July 10, 2015

Time Flies

With long days at work and traveling on the weekends, it feels like my summer has been flying by. I keep meaning to write more posts and before I know it a week has just gone by. Two weeks ago I took a super short weekend trip to London. I saw the Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Camden town, St. James park, London Eye, Big Ben and the British Museum. I also had the legendary fish and chips, however I have had so many exotic and flavorful dishes this summer that the fish and chips just weren’t as great as I thought they would be. It’s a very pretty city (when it’s not raining…) and reminded me a lot of America in terms of culture.
In front of Big Ben and the London Eye
This past weekend I explored more of Spain and visited Granada and Seville in the South. This was possibly one of the best and worst decisions of my life. Best, because both places are absolutely beautiful and historic. Worst, because we have been having a never-ending heat wave of 102/104 degree weather here in Madrid every day. So imagine going 6 hours South of that weather…it was about 108/110 degree weather plus humidity (Madrid is very dry, no humidity).

The South is known for being Moorish (some of the street signs are written in Spanish and Arabic), so the architecture was unlike any I had ever seen before. It was as though I was in a different country or continent completely. The Alhambra in Granada is a fortress and palace from 899 that was owned by the Nasrid dynasty and has since been added to and remodeled many times. What amazes me is how all of these places have been able to withstand thousands of years. Seville lacked the Alhambra, however they had their own Moorish palace which was beautiful as well.
Plaza in Seville
The Alhambra 
Windows from top of Alhambra 
Moorish Palace in Seville
This weekend I will be staying in Madrid and exploring more of what is in this wonderful city. Madrid and my lab continue to be going great. The most difficult part about the lab would be the heat. We have no AC at work so there is never a break from the heat. Due to this, the lab is currently stacked with as many portable AC’s as possible. Aside from the AC issue, I'm really enjoying not only my work, but the people and the lab in general. It’s sad thinking I only have about two weeks left here.  I am also a little sad because I will be sacrificing my mice that I have been working with all summer next week in order to start analyzing the brains.  However, I am excited to finally see and analyze the data. With the behavioral tests that I have been doing there haven't been that many significant differences between different groups. It should be interesting to see if the histological analysis shows anything. 

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