The past month has been packed full of work. I am certainly not complaining, I picked it. But sooner or later most people (myself included) need a break. Sitting in the telescope control room on Christmas Day, I realized I was reaching that point. With 4 more days of observing ahead and the travel home, a work-free day would take a bit of time to materialize.
One perk of this particular observatory is that it lies right in the middle of a ski resort. There’s even a lift that goes right to the telescope. In anticipation of some work-free daylight hours, I had hauled my skis across the ocean. But the first half of our observing run was during the day (radio telescopes aren’t limited to nighttime like optical telescopes).
The day after Christmas was also full of observing. We were collecting good data, but I occasionally got to peek out the window at the ski resort.
I was feeling the pull of the snow and the need for a short break. But, the lifts would close just as our our observing session ended at 5pm. So, out of luck?
Fortunately, I had brought my alpine touring gear along (in case the lifts closed due to weather and I had to get back to the telescope!). So I had the equipment to ski down a run and then climb back up it, but would I?
I spent the past 2 days in Granada, visiting the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía. I have several collaborators there, and when they learned I would be coming for more observations on the IRAM 30m they invited me to give a talk on my thesis research. So I flew in a day or two early for the talk and spent a bit of time talking science.
I found myself recently delayed in Madrid on my return flight to the US. With my hour of prepaid wifi run out, I pulled out a camera and tried to document my stay in terminal A while I waited for the 11am departure…
For the first batch of pictures from the Alhambra, see: Part I: Generalife
After walking through the Generalife, I went over to the main area of the Alhambra. I had a few hours before my entry time to the Nasrid Palaces (the main attraction at the Alhambra) and I spent it in the old military portion of the complex, the Alcazaba. There were great views of the city from the towers.
The Nasrid Palaces are the most popular attraction at the Alhambra, hosting the most impressive art and architecture. It was a very impressive sight, with stunning carvings on the walls and ceilings.
For the rest of the pictures see Alhambra and Generalife on flickr.
While in Granada a few weeks ago I took a day to visit the Alhambra, a Moorish fortress/palace complex on a hill near the edge of town. I spent almost a whole day there, wandering through the gardens, seeing the intricate carvings in the walls, and enjoying the views of the city from the tops of towers. Following is a photo essay of sorts. I’ll do it in several parts, the first being the Generalife palace and gardens. The full set of pictures is available here (more pictures will be uploaded to the same place): Alhambra and Generalife on flickr.