Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I just spent a week in Elche. I was there to learn about some of the earlier work on SH3 domains. Work which my thesis hopefully will expand. The learning was good. I now see much more of the big picture of my work. And I also got to work with Estefania, a post-doc, who will also expand on the same earlier work as me (but for another protein domain). This is nice. Hopefully we can share a lot of the debugging and improvements to earlier techniques that we will both need.

5 long days of learning is tough though. Fortunately we left a little earlier wednesday to do a sightseeing of Elche. Elche seems to grow a lot. The part western part of Elche where my hotel was seems to be all new (all the buildings seem new). The center looks more like a real city, with a mix of old and new houses.

5 random observations:

1) Elche is famous for its palms. And there really is a lot of palms, and nice palm gardens. And all of the public parks seem to have palms.

Palms in front of the hotel where I stayed. I should have taken more photos of palms.

2) Whereas Barcelona has Bicing and quite extensive possiblity for biking, this is not the case in Elche. There are no bike-paths. And Estephania has a car, her boyfriend too. Anybody who wants to go somewhere has a car. What is this? Texas?

3) The trafic in roundabouts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundabout) is more interesting (and fast!) than what I am used to. Maybe this is a result of spanish driving mentality. However, the roundabouts are also built with curved entries that enable high speed, almost "tangential" entry to the trafic of the roundabout (as opposed to the danish version which is with entry that is orthogonal to the tangent and forces a slower, sharper right turn to enter the traffic).

4) In the summer the university of Elche allows kindergartens to use some of the university facilities. And to eat in the canteen. Wow, 50-80 kindergarten children make a lot of noise!

5) Close to the new part of Elche, where I stayed, is an old industrial zone. Many of the old factory halls have no been converted into night clubs.

Heres a nightclub with a pirate theme, yay! (maybe a Columbus theme, hmm)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lises visit

Last weekend Lise came to visit for the first time. Yay! She met me at the lab friday at around 15. The rest of the day we mostly spent shopping. In the evening we had dinner at the excellent organic restaurant mentioned below, and we discovered another organic restaurant close by.
Saturday we did more shopping. I actually need some new clothes, and Lise didn't mind the shopping. However, we did find some time for girls-clothes-shops also.

We also visited the lab:

Saturday evening was night of ... So the trams ran all night and everyone seemed to converge on the beach with fireworks. This sort of conflicted with our plans for a nice quiet dinner in Barceloneta. We did have the dinner, but with the background sounds of a warzone (the fireworks).

Sunday shops are closed, so we decided to go for a relaxing walk. We stated to stroll down Avinguida Diagonal. On our way we noticed a pretty street crossing Diagonal - the Rambla del Poblenou. So we went down the Rambla del Poblenou - which turned out to be a very nice street all the way. Poblenou is a nice part of Barcelona with many modernized buildings. The Rambla del Poblenou also leads straight to the beach, so we sat down and enjoyed the beach for a while.

All in all it was great. One can really enjoy just a weekend together. A long weekend is better of course, but just a weekend is surprisingly nice. I still look forward to a full week of vacation with Lise though. Just 2 weeks to go.