Saturday, May 31, 2014

When accordions are playing, nobody can hear you scream ...

I arrived in Bled in a raging thunderstorm after three flights and no sleep. Lightning silhouetted the castle. Then the church bells rang - I half expected to see the villages assembling in the square with pitchforks and torches. If I hear wolves howling while I'm here, I'm running. 

My guest house is really quite delightful, just a short stagger away from many good pubs and restaurants, and the meeting hotel. The highlight of the guest house is a rather a nice balcony/sunroom, wherein there will be much lunging and drinking of wine.

Staying in the guest house was the indomintable Barbera, chum and the scientific delegate from Chile and a longtime participant of the IWC. So braving the downpour we headed out for dinner at a rather nice local restaurant, where our meal was vegetable soup and a strange dish comprising: a bed of rocket, covered in polenta, covered in mushrooms and sprinkled with gorgonzola. Yum. Plus wine, lots and lots of good wine.

The next day the meeting started in earnest, with lots of administrative details abut setting up the meeting. We have over two hundred papers to read and digest with due diligence (which translates to probably reading no more than the title, if you are lucky). A break in the rain in the afternoon, a short break between back-to-back meetings often involving much stress (and a somewhat surprise email from back home that precipitated the need for some mental paradigm-shifting) enabled/ required a walk around the glorious lake (pictures below). An hour and a half of head clearing and close to 200 photos later, I had to head off to an official reception in my dapperest of threads to schmooze and booze. A Slovenian oompah band was the entertainment and yodeling and feisty accordion music temporarily drowned out the stresses of the day, at least until I got home and yet another thunderstorm hit.

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