Christmas, Free time

The beginning of a new year…

Hey! It is already 2016!

It seems so odd that only 3 months after starting my PhD, holidays were already on the corner. For me, it was only 2 months and a half, but still… it was odd.

Nonetheless, I can not complain too much. It was so good being back home. For instance, I had the chance to travel a little bit. I went to the south of Portugal, Algarve, which is awesome during Winter time. You should go there during December! No people around, beautiful scenery and… the most important… 20-celsius degrees! So, I stood in a very nice bungalow in a camping site and it was almost empty. I had a relaxed time, but I also managed to get to see one really book-like geological feature… a beautiful unconformity, meaning the bottom rocks are much older and deformed than the top rocks.

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southwesternmost part of Europe… Sagres

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These are the skies I tend to miss…

 

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It’s a visible geological structure in the bottom, we call it fold, overlain by quite horizontal layers of red sandstone

It was a scary trip towards the outcrops because it is an hour walking or so through the rocks and you have to pay attention to the tides or else you would be trapped on that particular beach, having to wait around 10hours to go away again. It was rough coming back, with water topping my belly, but we succeeded! (or I might not have been writing this!)

There was a considerable amount of food! And after being a couple months away, I didn’t stop myself. Now, I have to deal with extra weight for the beginning of the year… I believe it was worth it, though. Sometimes eating can be comforting.

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After Christmas with family, it was time to plan another trip. It is in the top destinations in the World and it is the second largest city of Portugal: Oporto (or Porto in Portuguese). It is almost a decadent city, with lots of old buildings. But the architecture and the ambiance bring good vibes. The city itself breathes culture and you can feel the history of the place touching your skin as you go. Plus, you have lots of entertainment. You can do boat trips, very good wine tastings, dining listening to typical Fado music… I have been there on several occasions, but this particular one I wanted to do some trekking in the coastal area and some geocaching, and enjoy the New Year’s Eve. It was great though the weather was not that great. We managed to have a nice evening listening to Pedro Abrunhosa, a Portuguese producer, musician, and songwriter, who is originally from that city.

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The last day of 2015 and yet, so much to see

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Looking at invaders! Whoever they might be. This one was taken from a small castle, named as “Cheese Castle” – nope, no cheese over there, just one surname of the person who had it done

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Proper acknowledgment to a famous writer

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‘Winter has come’, some say

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Live Concert in the Aliados Avenue – more than 150k people

I’ve been back for more than 1 week now and I’m back on track. After 3 weeks off, I was struggling a bit with schedules and the routine. These are hard times, having to adjust all over again. I’ve been back to demonstrating as well. These previous weeks students had to identify hand samples of magmatic origin. It has been a great experience, one that I was hoping to enjoy and it is paying off. I would most certainly like to help more, but sometimes not only communicating is hard but also the amount of information that they can hold on to is not that big. They are just freshers and it is quite demanding! I try to do my best to keep them on track and to highlight what it is important to know. But in the end, it is up to them!

 

How was your coming back? Did you have a good Season back at home?

Cheers,

 

Ines

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