Olá pessoal! I’m writing to you all following my spring break adventures in Spain and Portugal. Studying abroad in Europe in the spring means that there are quite a few days off in order to respect Christian holidays. Semana Santa, in particular, allowed for a week of reverence…and also a break from my studies. I (finally) started my biology courses at UNIL, and I have to say that I am satiated with a balance of review material and completely new information. A week’s break was just what I needed after diving into pharmacology, neuroscience, metabolism, and endocrinology!
I first traveled to Barcelona with a group of friends from Lausanne. We, of course, went to the Sagrada Familia. Although beautiful, the cathedral is overwhelming!
Here’s a picture from Park Güell. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the mosaics of the park, but we were able to tour the national park that surrounds it: a picturesque area that immerses you in a forest and rugged architecture.
Visiting Barcelona also allowed for another reunion with my friend and suitemate from UR. After the fun in the city, we continued our trip to Lisbon, Portugal. As a Portuguese-speaker, I was ecstatic to be able to speak Portuguese to random strangers and for handling sundry things.
Luckily for us, one of my friend’s from Lausanne reconnected with a former exchange student from her host university in London, Ontario. Her friend gave us a private tour of Lisbon over the course of two days, including a trip to the Lisbon monastery.
Along one of the harbors in Lisbon, there is an enormous monument dedicated to the explorers who set out on adventures to the New World. As our tour guide put it, the monument was directed at me.
Following Lisbon, we traveled to Lagos, a touristy area a couple of hours away from Lisbon. I became enamored of the area and its beaches and will surely try to invest in property there.
Lagos had its own angsty graffiti as well. Someone pointedly spray-painted “Natureza vitima do negócio” (“Nature victim of negotiation”) on a wall in front of a huge hotel resort.
That’s all from me this time. The next few weeks are going to be filled with my biology labs and maybe a trip here and there, but science dictates my schedule. We’ll see how far I get by next week’s post! (Probably not that far–to the other end of the biochemistry building, maybe.)