A Tale of Three Cities: Lisbon, Coimbra, and Padua – March 2014

Off again….it seemed that we had barely settled at home, but this was a short trip, a bit over two weeks. Ray had a “COST” conference in Lisbon (also referred to by us as the annual meeting of the European talking fund) and plans to visit a colleague in Coimbra. The last time Ray was in Portugal was in 1976, when we were young and poor, and Edie had never been there. So we were not inclined to pass up the opportunity, despite an upcoming wedding in the family (Yoni and Lian on April 4), missing Purim with Abigail and Elianna, and Ray’s sister Marlene’s arrival for Passover (and as it turns out, also the wedding) the day after we returned.

We continued on to Italy, where Ray gives, every year or two, a short plasma course in a master’s program associated with the University of Padua. This time he gave also the short writing course so Edie spent many hours reviewing and commenting on exercises. Sightseeing in the Veneto was selective but that’s okay- every trip we see a few more things.

Those of you who have patience to read the attached file may learn a bit more about:
• the Masonic principles behind the construction of Lisbon’s new lower city,
• the development of coaches as a more comfortable mode of transport for royalty and nobles (and the origin of the word “coach”),
• the Catholic saint who lived in Lisbon, Coimbra, and Padua more than 800 years ago and what he has in common with Isaac Abrabanel, a Jewish philosopher, Biblical commentator and financier to royalty in the period leading up to Jewish exile from Iberia.

Everything going on after we got back has delayed posting this report and we are already in United States for another short sabbatical, starting with conferences in San Diego and Chicago. More to follow!


Lisbon Coimbra Padua March 9-24 2014 final

Back Home

Dear Folks,

We are truly enjoying being at home, spending some time with our kids and granddaughters, and puttering about in our garden. We have some travels coming up in the coming year, though maybe not as adventurous as OZ and NZ.

We wrote trip reports on some of travels in the past — if you enjoyed our tales from OZ and NZ, you can check our takes about Korea, Turkey, some parts of Spain you might have missed, and Ray’s “roots trip” to his mother’s birth village in what was once Hungary. They are all at https://sites.google.com/site/rayandediestrips/

There are links at the bottom of the web page. Its probably best to download the pdf files onto your own computer and read them there.

All the best,
Ray and Edie

Leaving Sydney November 5-15, 2013

Leaving Sydney November 5-15 2013

A brief account of our last week or so in Sydney, written while waiting for a delayed flight from Melbourne to Christchurch. It wasn’t delayed enough for us to finish our account from Melbourne!

We’re are quite behind in posting, partly due to lack of internet connections while tramping in New Zealand, but mainly due to Don Selina, Edie’s father, passing a few days ago.
We spent much of our time in Melbourne considering options for Edie to fly back to Connecticut, and skyping to Connecticut. About the time that Edie decided that she could not handle the travel and jet lag involved in going back, with no certainty that she would get there in time (and against her father’s expressed wishes), our daughter Lily decided to fly in from Chicago to see her grandfather. Blessedly, she was able to spend his last weekend with him.

Although he weakened rapidly, Don remained mentally sharp and involved with people till near the very end. We will miss him greatly but are thankful that he had a peaceful death when he was ready.