Shalom (शलोम)…. infact being a Saturday, I must say “Shabbat Shalom” (शब्बात शलोम) 🙂 It’s been six months since I last posted a travelog on Isreal and so, here is a brief(!) recap. The links will lead you to corresponding blog-posts.
My first foreign backpacking experience started in Jerusalem where I (un)fortunately landed on a Friday evening – beginning of Shabbat – when the whole city shuts down (literally). In few hours, I got cheated by a cab too. Fortunately it was all good, because I got to experience a Sabbath evening at the Kotel, which was a truly magical experience. Win some – lose some.
Soon, I ventured into the Arab dominated area of East Jerusalem. Mount of Olives gives a picture perfect view of the old city.
The old city will charm you with its crowded narrow alleys, hundreds of little stores, security men, sights and smells, and oh, a overpowering feel of religious energy that one cannot escape. The old city is walkable in a day and is divided between Jewish, Christian and Muslim areas.
In the Palestinian territory of West Bank was the Church of Nativity where Jesus was born. The feel of West Bank area, after crossing the big wall and the security checks, was noticeably different.
After plenty of pushing and squeezing and struggling with a bus full of army boys and girls, I reached the lovely town of Tiberias.
Seeing that there are so many sites in a route that runs abt 75km, I decided to pick up a bike and go cycling around the sea of Galilee. Several little sites of tourist and religious interest dotted this ancient bibical-era lake.
Beit She’an was next. It’s a remarkable ancient city which is still being excavated and fans of architecture should definitely visit this place.
Safed is a little town drenched in the Jewish Kabbalistic traditions. I loved the calm and quiet of this place perched on a hill top. It was fun to hitch a ride with soldiers on the way back.
Haifa and Akko:
Haifa is located on the shores of the Mediterranean and a little north of Tel Aviv. It is a pretty serious town with industries, educational centers and prominently the home town of the Bahai religion (newest religion this place produced). However the most fascinating thing I found here was the condom beach, which I am told is closed now.
My Israel series has so far reached Akko, the walled city.
[And I thought this would be a brief post]
Sorry for not finishing this series before (blame it on Peru!) But if that was a sufficient refresher, lets get ready to move on to the Dead Sea 🙂