You cannot miss something that you never had

Last December my family and I spent a week in Cuba, in the Havana area. Seven days are clearly not enough to understand a country, especially one like Cuba that has a very complicated modern history that is still unfolding. However, because of the peculiarity of the political system, one of the few communist states remained somewhat intact after the fall of Berlin’s wall, I thought I would write down a few of my first impressions and some interesting tidbits I noticed during my stay on the island. It is also important to remember that I stayed in the richest and most connected part of Cuba (near the capital) and I personally can’t comment on more remote areas, even though I was told that there are big differences.

Moments before landing in Havana

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A week in the Bay Area: some sparse thoughts

Just over a month ago I spent a week in the Bay Area. For the first five days I resided in Palo Alto (I attended an astronomy conference at Stanford) and then I spent the weekend in San Francisco. It wasn’t obviously enough time to get a real idea of the place and to understand how it would be to live there (also, this piece won’t take into consideration the big variations that must exist from place to place in the Bay). However, I wanted to write down some initial personal contrasting impressions and sentiments regarding the region in the world that most contributes to bring forward the tech sector . My thoughts below will be mostly sparse and limited (thus mainly a bullet point list), and possibly incorrect, but definitely honest and genuine—I recorded them in my Notes app as they came to mind (some editing and details were applied at a later stage; some points were also discussed with a couple of other British researchers who stayed with me during my time in the Bay). I will try to read more about the area in the future to correct the likely misconceptions, but I thought it was interesting to put down in writing the initial impressions that a European visitor may get.
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The End of the World – Argentina, South Georgia & Antarctica

During the Christmas holidays of 2013, my father and I went for a marvellous three week holiday to Argentina, Antarctica, and a few close-by islands. We spent the first week visiting the main points of interest of the South American country touching, in chronological order, the famous glacier Perito Moreno, the Iguazú Falls (including the Brazilian side), Buenos Aires, and Ushuaia. The remaining two weeks were spent on an expedition cruise, which allowed us to put foot on Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. I will now try to give a brief account of this extraordinary holiday so that if somebody is thinking of visiting the same places, they will have some more information for planning their trip. I will try to keep it short and personal, but at the same time precise and informative. I will be including some photographs we have taken during the holiday in order to give a better context.  Continue reading “The End of the World – Argentina, South Georgia & Antarctica”