Monday, 11 July 2011

Greece is HOT!

Sheesh, Greece in July is HOT! We've been in Nafplio for two days now for the ICEE 2011 and it's like living inside a convection oven! I was in Qatar in November 2009 when it was relatively mild by their standards, so this is definitely the hottest place that the family or I have experienced. I now have an even better appreciation for behavioural thermoregulation, as the entire day is spent avoiding getting baked alive, from walking on the shaded side of the street to enjoying the city late at night once the sun goes down. The conference is being held at the original Parlaiment buildings for modern Greece, and is a beautiful place for a meeting. Today (Monday) I gave my big symposium talk on thermal perception and exercise capacity. For some reason, I was crazy nervous about it and kept messing with the talk right to 5 min before, but it turned out great in the end (I think anyway!). I'm part of 9 talks/posters at the conference, so definitely no slacking!

More pics from our first days in Nafplio!

Another important aspect of behavioural thermoregulation is finding the beach! There's a nice little beach about 10 min walk from the hotel and city centre, and the water is perfect for swimming. We all went yesterday (Sunday) and the clan went with Igor's family today.

Great surprise and treat - my former SFU labmate Thannasis Passias came down from northern Greece for the first day of ICEE. Thannasis did his Ph.D. with Igor during my M.Sc., and I was always his favourite guinea pig. Haven't seen him since 17 years! He now runs a very successful exporting business. He's still the same happy guy I remember, and we'll be sure to get together when we're back here in Greece in Jan-Mar 2012.

Since we were at at ICEE 2007 in Piran, Slovenia, Debbie knows almost as many people here as she does at her vet conferences. Here she's with Polona Jaki-Mekjavic, Igor's wife, who she got to know well during our month in Slovenia in 2007 and from their visiting us in the summer of 2008 in Niagara. The boys on the right are with their children Veronika and Marko.

Went on a great boat tour at night as part of the conference, sailing around the Mediterranean for 4h from the early evening. This is a fortress a short swim away from the port.

The best part of any meeting is renewing acquaintances again, and ICEE is truly my "home" meeting for my closest friends in the scientific world. Hein Daanen, who I've known since he was a visiting scholar at DCIEM in 1995, will be our hosts in spring 2012, had a drink with my former Ph.D. student Andreas Flouris. Later on, Hein and I enjoyed a double gelato - YUM! and a great way to beat the heat!

Syntagma (Constitution) Square, Nafplio. We'll blame the poor handstand form on jet lag and heat exhaustion...

More pics from our first days in Nafplio!