I spent the past week in Biarritz for the Carbon 2009 conference. Biarritz is located in the Basque country on the shores of the Atlantic ocean. It used to be a resort for the rich ones (Napoleon, for instance, had a summer residence there), and the town still has that kind of feeling to it. The conference took place in the Casino, right on the beachfront, and in a former Casino transformed to a convention center, with a nice view over the ocean. We had only a few hours of sun here and there; we did take a bath in the ocean but it was quite cold.
I did an oral presentation about the "Structure and Reactivity of Carbon Nanotube/Manganese Oxide Nanocomposites", which was well received, I think. There were some interesting questions, and everything went well—except for the fact that the "moderator monitor" in Keynote stopped responding at about the third slide. On the big screen however, everything continued smoothly. Other talks were very interesting, too: Kazu Suenaga from AIST in Japan showed atomic-resolution electron microscopy images and even videos of reactions taking place inside the microscope. Wow.
For the people presenting posters, the situation was less rosy though: all the poster sessions were in parallel to a buffet, so you had to choose between eating and looking at the posters.