Sydney, Australia 15-22 March 2015

This past week we have been visiting in Sydney, NSW, Australia. Our report is short – no attached files. Ray visited the School of Physics at Sydney University, where he spent a mini-sabbatical August-November 2013. During the week he had very lively scientific discussions with his colleagues Marcella Bilek and his host David McKenzie and their students, presented a seminar on his group’s research at TAU, and worked long-distance on organizing the program for a conference on microwave power to be held in San Diego (USA) in June.

Edie sight-see’d, heard a great organ concert at Sydney Town Hall, bought fish at the fish market, and mostly worked on our book on communicating science and technology.

We had a very active social life. Almost as soon as we were settled in last Sunday, John and Tamara Lowbier, friends from Beit Millman, the hostel for new immigrants where we initially lived in Israel, picked us up and took us to the Sydney Jewish Museum for lunch, and an interesting lecture by a holocaust survivor. Monday night we had off, and enjoyed cooking and eating the fish which Edie landed at the fish market. Tuesday we had dinner with Uwe and Ines, friends we met touring Ayer’s Rock in the “outback” on our first trip to Australia. We ate at a picturesque ‘hotel’ in Newtown, with original ceramic tiles and great food. Wednesday we rejoined Frances’ Israeli dance class, and caught up with our dancing friends there. See at clip of dancing with Frances on our YouTube site –

Thursday evening we travelled out to Kingsgrove to Margaret’s Irish dance class. Her group was rehearsing for a performance in two weeks at the Australian National Folk Festival — I am in the process of uploading a few clips to YouTube — in the meantime see:


Friday evening we attended Erev Shabbat services at the Newtown Synagogue, one block from our apartment. We visited there a year ago, and they were short of a minyan. This year there was a minyan and a half and a lively new spirit, perhaps bolstered by the Shabbat meal which was offered after shul. We skipped that meal, and met a physics colleague, Ian Falconer and his wife Ruth, for dinner at an excellent Thai restaurant (one of many!) in Newtown. Saturday we had a stroll in the “Rocks”, one of Sydney’s oldest settlements, and then joined Macella Bilek and her husband Andrew (also a professor at U. Sydney) and their children at the Sydney Aquarium. This was “plan B”, invoked because the inclement weather suggested that a harbor hike might be unpleasant.

And now, after a dinner of Australian lamb sausages, we are packing for our flights tomorrow noon to Shanghai and Xian. Hopefully we will send a short report from there!

Christchurch New Zealand (part 2) 23 February – 1 March 2015


Dear Readers,

The attached file describes our week, and more so our weekend, based in Christchurch, with lots of great pics, especially our sailing cruise in the Akaroa Harbor to see dolphins (above), and a nice hike in the Rakaia Gorge (below).


The link is here:

Christchurch Feb 23-March 1

Want to see where these places are: Click on the map link:

And there is a clip of Hector’s dolphins playing around Ray’s boat in our YouTube channel:


All the best….

Ray and Edie

Christchurch: Hike to Lyttelton Harbor and visit to downtown


After our first full week in Christchurch, we had a nice weekend hike to the harbor across the hills in Lyttelton, and a visit downtown on the 4th memorial of the 2011. The above pic shows the “187 empty chairs”, a memorial to the victims, and the temporary “cardboard cathedral”, both located across the street from the CTV building, which claimed 115 of the victims when it collapsed. Details of our visit are found in the link below:

Christchurch Feb 17-22

The locations can be see on the map link below:


And don’t forget to visit our growing  YouTube channel: