Sorry I don’t have a bit more to report. I’ve been traveling to a wedding. I have a bit of downtime though and wanted to give a few more details about my trip! I’ll be able to give first hand accounts of all of these places in the next couple of weeks (!!) but for how here are some links to information online in case you want to read a bit more about all of the places I’ll be visiting.
As the last post said, I’m flying into Athens Greece next Thursday and will head to the docks looking for a ferry to Naxos, a large island in the Aegean. Here are a bunch of pictures. I know it looks like a beach paradise but in fact the lizards living on this island and the other islands in the Greek archipelago are fascinating! Most of these lizards are fairly terrible swimmers but at various times in the past these islands have been connected by land bridges as sea levels have risen and fallen. By mixing populations when the water is low and isolating populations when the water is high, the lizards have some very interesting evolutionary stories to tell. This is one of the the research focuses of Johannes Foufopoulos, a scientist I’ll be staying with for my first week.
After that I’m headed to Italy via a ferry from Igouenitsa Greece (I’ll be anxious to hear how that’s actually pronounced. I’m going to need to get a lot better at pronouncing place names if I’m ever going to ask directions!) my first destination in Italy is Gargano National Park. This should be a fascinating start to Mediterranean Italy because though the climate will be similar to the areas in Greece I was just visiting, the vegetation will all be forest. I’ll be curious to see what lizards I can find!
Also in Italy are Cilento and Vallo di Diano national parks. This is definitely another spot I’ll be spending quite a bit of time looking for lizards. Right now my final stop will be in the Cinque Terre region of North Western Italy. Again I’m hoping the coastal Mediterranean climate will be great for lizards!
I’m running out of time so I’ll have to update you on plans for Spain next time. If you’ve been to any of these parks or have other ideas for sites please pass them along in the comments! Stay tuned for updates because starting next Thursday I’ll be reporting from these places first hand without just linking to Wikipedia articles! I can hardly wait!