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 – http://youtu.be/m-EbkOVOFzQ
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!