elba, pisa, lucca

We're back from Elba, which turned into a slightly extended trip to also include Pisa and Lucca since we received the offer of a place to stay in Pisa for the weekend. I've got lots of catching up to do after a relaxing week at the beach. We feasted like kings at the resort in La Biodola, Elba, enjoyed the liveliness of Pisa, and I brought home an extra special souvenir from Lucca...much more to come.

And we're up-to-date. Elba, Pisa Lucca 5/23 - 5/30.



I like to just wander around when we travel, so we did lots of just wandering around. The streets of Pisa are filled with people walking and bicycling- bike everywhere. We walked through some of the main streets, some narrow walkways, and along the river's colorful buildings.

Lots of good thinks to see in the windows too.

And of course, we had to see the leaning tower and make the obligatory posed photos (hehehe).

We made our way there early in the evening and the daytime crowds had thinned out by then, so it was actually quite nice.


departure, but not returning just yet...

The week went by too quickly, and we departed on the bus and ferry from the island. Thanks to a last minute offer from a friend, we didn't return on the bus to CERN, but took a train to Pisa to stay at his apartment for the weekend. He gave us a quick tour of some nearby eateries and passed off the key. So we wandered around for the remaining hours of daylight. The piazza near his apartment:

The colors are beautiful.
We gathered some wine, tomatoes, basil, bread, etc from street vendors and small shops and had a relaxing, single course, dinner, which was quite a relief after this week's surplus.


elba, thursday

I've been soaking in as much sunshine as possible since the weather has been absolute perfection. Today, the conference took a longer break in the afternoon, so Derek finally had the opportunity to join me on the beach and in the pools. (He and some of his colleagues made a point to visit each pool -I think there were four- for their last afternoon on the island besides swimming in the sea). The conference organized and extra special dinner for the last evening plus dancing. Fun.


elba, wednesday

In the afternoon, I joined the tour group visiting one of the island's iron mines.

After the mine tour, we stopped for wine tasting.

The best wine was a sweet red desert wine that is made on Elba (and not exported).

Back at the conference, sunset provided a great backdrop for a fun photo shoot by the pool.

Tonight's colors were spectacular.


elba, tuesday

After a second day of beautiful sunshine (yes, the sun felt so good to get away from Geneva's lingering winter sunlessness) everyone gathers for the multi-course dinner. I wish I could have enjoyed the cheese table, doesn't it look good?

I had to scoot out of dinner to take a few shots of the fabulous sunset.

And a few more.


elba, monday

I got to be the conference unofficial official photographer. One of the other physicists lent me his fabulous 5D to use for the week. Wow- it was fun, and I built up lots of upper body strenght lugging it around everywhere. I shoot some of the conference sessions, coffee breaks, dinners, but mostly, it was fun to wander around the hotel to make a few photos (okay, hundreds of photos). My conference photos here.

I don't remember what type of trees these are, but they lost little white fuzz into the air. The hotel was gorgeous and the food was incredible. Lunch buffets below.


la biodola, isola d'elba

We started out on on bikes early this morning to CERN to catch the bus to Elba. After 9 hours traveling, we reached the port where the bus boarded the ferry boat across to Elba. Then just a short trip again on the bus around hairpin turns down to the conference hotel in time for poolside welcome drinks and sunset. Then the first of our elaborate dinners before finally turning in ready for tomorrow's sunshine.


le reculet

Sunshine and daffodils and green everywhere. (finally) We made it up to Le Reculet for the first time since December. A few little patches of snow, but after our first 70 degree day, those should be gone soon. A great day for a hike.


a paris overview

Looking toward Sacre Coeur from la Tour Eiffel. 

Since this week in the Geneva area has had 40 degree temps and been generally soggy and gray, I've gotten a chance to back-blog our Paris trip (scroll down to April 22-26).  Audio accompaniment: accordion.

Okay, weather, back to sunshine any time now. It is May after all.