I'll be shipping out this Tuesday the 27th to Salamanca, Spain, a small city home to a big university. The University of Salamanca was founded in 1134, and formally recognized by King Alfonso IX of Spain in 1218 and Pope the in 1255, over 200 years before the Spainish monarchs sent Columbus to the Americas!
I'll be working for Antonio Álvarez-Valero conducting research on how the plumbing of some extinct volcanoes in the south of Spain worked using computer modeling as well as REALLY high pressure and temperature chemistry. The one catch: I'll only be speaking Spanish in Salamanca, including in the lab, as most people there do not speak English. I expect the first couple of days may be rough, but I should be nearly fluent by the end of the summer.
Over the weekends, I'll be exploring the various provinces of Spain and meeting up with my family in Paris. Then, when the lab shuts down for vacation in August, I'll be taking off for Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Milan, before finally returning home.
I'll be posting weekly updates on my research and travels, hopefully with tons of photos. The trip won't be all fun and games, since I'll be working full-time on some really awesome research, as well as keeping up with my flute playing. However, I'm really looking forward to spending some time learning what it's like to live in Spain and exploring Europe!