Thursday, July 16, 2009
Italy & ECOOP
First off, I took the Pittsburgh to Paris flight. It was really great to fly direct to Europe and even thought it was a relatively small plane (757) they had those awesome TVs where you get to choose your own movie, TV & music, which made the flight fly by.
Genoa is a cool city. At first it looks pretty grungy, but the old city, with its tiny alleyways and the port on the Medditerranean were wonderful and made up for any other low points. We took full advantage of the Italian tradition of pre-dinner drinks, and I met a bunch of cool people from the conference.
The conference itself was also interesting. My workshop paper was fine, and ECOOP had more papers that I actually want to read than any conference I've ever been to before. I would say that 10 of 25 papers were interesting, when compared with the normal 3 or 4. Also Simon Peyton Jones gave a keynote, and I finally understand Haskell's Type Classes!
After Genoa I met up with Amy, a friend studying in Italy. We went to Milan for one day, which was fine, and then we moved along to Domodossola, a small city on the Swiss border in the Alps. I didn't really know what to expect, but we had an amazing time. There were two big highlights. First, we went to an Italian/Mountain folk festival where we ate ribs, sausage and listened to Italian folk music which was kind of like polka. The sausage was definitely the best I have ever had in my life! The next day we went to Lago Maggiore, the biggest lake in Italy. While it was full of European tourists, the scenery was awesome, so I didn't care. There were three tiny islands that we visited with palaces & gardens. The whole thing had the feeling of a Greek village. Definitely awesome.
Italy's great, and sometimes I sort of forget that. I definitely prefer the smaller places we went to over, say, Rome which is hot & crowded (but still great). It's great to be back!