What I did over the last year!
September 2008 to September 2009

This piece of historic documentation covers the academic year in Vienna and the summer to follow.

There was difficulty in creating this file so I apologise for any errors in spelling or grammar.   Call them typos please.

 

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September 2008 saw me moving to Vienna to the University of Vienna, the home of Luwig Boltzmann.

The connection came from Prof. Heinz Kabelka who had assisted the Ausralian IPhO team in the nineties and made his lab available for our training.

My apartment, old but warm and comfortable, was only 3 tramstops from the Ring, 6 stops from the Opera House, 3 stops from the University and 5 stops from the Westbahnhof, all in different directions.  The house was old but fully furnished making me very comfortable.

I joined the Department of Physics and was given a class of final year physics education students and a course on teaching physics using alternative methods.  The course was great fun and we all enjoyed it, and learnt a lot.  The class gave me a nice souvenir book of Vienna when term ended at Christmas.

The trick for me was that I only taught of Tuesdays and Wednesdays thus giving me a 5 day weekend every week.  I used the time well to travel about on a 3 month Eurail pass, some of the journeys you will find under Places I have visited which are in chronological order.

Came Christmas and I shot off home to Australia, caught up my needs in Canberra (including renewing a passport which was completely full), spent some time with Shiranee, had Christmas with my brother and family in Adelaide then spent a few days in Brisbane before coming back for semester 2.

After only two weeks back it was mid winter break so I had a 4 week period off.  This trip I went back to England, then to the Arctic Circle in Norway, then did a complete about turn and went to Crete, by train, ferry, train and ferry.  Coming back from there I went on to Turkey, still by train, and then back to start work again.   Fortunately by then most of the new eastern European countries in the EU had implemented the Schengen agreement and while inside the EU I did not have to show or have passport stamped, otherwise it would have filled again.

That was then end of the wild travelling and the visitors began.

From the first week in March for about  10 weeks I had continuous visitors.   This meant that I now saw Vienna and the countryside (and countries) nearby.  This did not stop me from making a trip to Barcelona for a Rotary junket but all the same, I saw locally.  From mid-May to mid-June the visitor intensity dropped to about 50% and I continued to enjoy and see things locally.

 I was in Vienna for 16 weeks (one semester) over the 26 of the first half of 2008 and during the time I went to operas/operettas/ballets/concerts numbering 37.   Not a bad haul, probably more than I had EVER been to in Australia.  To have seen 7 Wagner Operas is something not many people can claim.

At the end of the semester the class took me out to dinner and we had a great celebration.   Understandably I was very sorry to leave.

One of the most rewarding changes in Europe over this time was to see smoking banned in public transport.  It is a start because these people smoke incessantly.  Restaurants sometimes have no smoking areas but by their own choice.

Once my time was finished in Vienna I returned to Brienz, for only six weeks this year, and after a fair amount of tripping around, made my way to Vancouver.

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