Monday, July 11, 2011

Not Courmayeur, Mostly Valle d'Aosta

And here are all the photos from my Italy trip that were not of Courmayeur itself.

I went for a 'walk' (which turned out to be hiking -- I hate hiking). But it was pretty (pics above and below).

On one afternoon off (there was more than one afternoon off: it was that kind of conference), we went into Aosta itself. Here is the town hall, but there were a lot of nice Roman ruins too.

Arco d'Augusto:

Porta Praetoria and the Torre dei Signori Sancti Ursi:

And a Roman theater:

For the conference dinner, we went to some 'agriturismo' place with a field full of cows with very very loud bells attached to them.

And somewhere behind those clouds and thereabouts is Mont Blanc.

Finally, back in Milan, I stayed one night in a hotel before catching my flight back to the US. It had a garden and pool area crawling with these (kinda cute) little lizards, which did not want me to photograph them.


Saturday, July 02, 2011

Italy II: the revenge (Courmayeur)

I went on a week long trip to Italy for a repeat of the 2009 Italy conference I went to: lots of the same people, same organizers, same week in June, same region of Italy. While still in Valle d'Aosta, this time the little town was Courmayeur not Cogne. And this time I was going to be prepared.

Imagine June 2009: winding mountain roads, wildflowers everywhere, cheese at every meal (even cheese soup). Me: lactose intolerant, allergies and no antihistamines, antiemetic chewing gum that made my whole mouth numb and freaked me out.

This time I brought piles of Lactaid and Claritin and Dramamine. How did it go? Well, for some reason (maybe they had an early spring), there were no wildflowers. The Dramimine seemed to work okay. But even though I took Lactaid like vitamins, everything I ate made me sick. The first few days were the worse; I felt terrible and I was starving because I couldn't eat anything. Still, I guess two out of three isn't bad.

Here's a photo of my hilariously tiny bed:

And a bunch of photos looking out of my hotel room in different weather conditions: