Tuesday, July 6, 2010

From Verona to Riva to Dolomiti

Hello everyone! I am writing from Corvara, Italy in a region of the Dolomites known at Alta Badia. Chris and I finished our third day of hiking this morning and reached this little ski/bike town just around lunch. The past week has been full of adventures so I will try to start at the beginning and hopefully I don't leave too much out!

Verona: After flying to Italy Chris and I met up in Verona for a few days of site seeing and jet-lag recovery. Verona is best known as being the setting for Romeo and Juliette, but is also has a lot of Roman ruins and is a gateway into the Lake Garda region - where we were eventually headed for our conference. Verona was a perfect little intro to our trip. We stayed in a great little bed and breakfast, we were the only ones there so pretty much had the place to ourselves. One key feature of the place was its air conditioning! There has been somewhat of a heat wave and it was great to be able to come back to a cool room after walking around sweating all day. One of the highlights of Verona was an awesome Roman Colosseum. They currently have operas in the arena but we were able to go inside and check it out during the day. Chris has had a great time pulling out quotes from Gladiator. It was pretty amazing to see out over the whole of the city from the top row of seating. We also spent a while walking around the city and along the river that runs around the main portion of town. We walked to an old amphitheater on a hill overlooking the city which is where we took the pictures of us eating a giant sandwich. Some other adventures - amazing gelato, pizza, and wine! We have had a hard time thus far resisting the amazing food. At one point before we were ready to head to the bus station to catch our we caught a wif of some delicious roast chicken. Chris of course had to go in and get a whole chicken, which we promptly ate standing by the river. It was delicious!

From Verona we jumped on a bus to Riva del Garda, at the very head of Lake Garda and the location of the Sunbelt Conference. We arrived at our little apartment just in time for a much needed nap! Up until this point we were still feeling a bit of jet lag.....on a schedule of two 4 hour naps a day rather than a full night's sleep. Lake Garda is a very big lake and the bus ride along the edge was very scenic - this was great for me because it took my mind off the windy road! The lake was a bluish green color and the 500 foot peaks that line the lake gave us our first taste of the sheer rocky peaks that make up the Dolomiti. It is so rocky that there isn't much beach per se but little rocky outcroppings which were packed with people suntanning. At one point the bus stopped to let on two old couples - totally sunburned, the men with tiny rolled up shorts and their shirts completely opened.

Riva del Garda: Riva is somewhat of a local tourist destination, reminding us somewhat of the Lake Chelan scene. Everyone was out tanning in the grass and the few beaches we saw were packed full of people in all kinds of bathing attire. The conference itself was four days of talks and schmoozing. Sunbelt is different from many academic conferences in that it has a reputation for welcoming newcomers to the field. While this is great for us lowly grad students it also results in huge variation in presentation quality. Overall, Chris and I were able to make some good connections, see some interesting work, and get feedback on some of our own research. Internet access was lacking and the only place with free wifi was at the conference center, we had to walk over there and sit on the grass outside every time we wanted to get online. After the conference we shipped all of our nice clothes to Paris and set out to start the hike! It was a quick bus ride to Trento and from there some navigating of the train system to Bressenone where we started our backpacking trip!

Need to take a break for now.....more update to come soon!


1 comment:

與發 said...