Monday, September 7, 2009

Sciencebod takes a late summer holiday

Yes, having spent most of the summer looking after a friend's house in Bratislava - complete with resident cats - it's time to have a touring holiday,  with no bowls to be re-charged morning, noon and night.

Where are we going?  Well, here's a clue. These structures are megalithic (which sounds technically savvy until you realise the literal meaning - "big stones"- which is hardly a giveaway.

We'll work in a visit to those" big stones", then travel north and hop across the straits to another more mountainous island. I've been sampling its beer, which recently appeared locally.

Chestnut flour is a major ingredient of the brew, we are told.  It's not bad at all,  with a well-defined malty presence, but maybe a tad too strong for my liking (6% alc).

If our various hotels all deliver on their wi- fi promises, I'll be able to keep an eye on the science news, and try to post a short report on anything that looks tasty. There are also a couple of posts in draft that could be fleshed out if rainy weather sets in - which is not impossible in mid-September, even in a location noted for its sunny climate. Will report back in a couple weeks - if not sooner.

Update  24th September

Am back from a fascinating 13 night recce of Sardinia and Corsica.  Visited the world-famous Su Nuraxi site at Barumini (see first piccy above) , about 50km north of Cagliari - which thanks to an officious and frankly sub-standard local guide was a mixed experience.

Here is the lady guide who not only insisted we join her group, despite her not speaking a word of English, but specifically prevented us from tagging along with the other guide whom we later heard using both English and Italian.

Reminder, young lady: Barumini is a UNESCO World Heritage site. To accept a question in English, and to reply in Italian is just downright inconsiderate, not to say perverse, especially when your colleague(?) was talking fluently in both languages.

Su Nuraxi? To give some idea of its age, it was abandoned  by its inhabitants, about whom we know next to nothing, in the 6th century BC. Prior to that, it had been occupied for millennia!

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