Trip to Israel draws to an end

10Nov08

Shalom y’all.

It’s coming up three weeks since I arrived in Israel, and it’s been a memorable experience.

This is a business trip, with emphasis on “business”. That meant long hours — I normally arrive at work at 7:30am and don’t leave till past 7pm — and generally higher stress levels. It’s not fun living three weeks out of a suitcase with only a week’s worth of clothing. Also, it’s a pain to live in a hotel. I always liked the idea of living in a hotel and having someone clean after you, but in practice, it ain’t all it’s made out to be. I don’t like having my stuff open and strewn around when the cleaning people come around, and hence I generally keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door unless I need a change of towels, laundry service, etc. That means I need to pack up a little each time before I let the cleaning people in. Maybe it’s just me… Finally, and most importantly, I miss Mrs. Blog and home.

I fly back to Portland in four days. I’m looking forward to leaving for all the above reasons, yet it’s rather bitter sweet because of the good memories.

Akko is beautiful. It’s small and still retains the small town charm and lived in feel.

Jerusalem, in it’s hustle and bustle, pushy vendors, awful roads, and ridiculous crowds, is amazing. There’s so much history in the city and I’ve only scratched the surface on the two days that I visited it. Heck, I’m not even religious! I got to see the Dome of the Rock and the city around it from the Mount of Olives, experience two Armenian services at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, donned a yarmulke and walk along the Western Wall.

I had awesome falafel, shawarma, hummus, Turkish coffee and tea. I bought beautiful souvenirs in an inlaid chess board and a hand painted (or so I believe) plate, and also got taken when I bought a table runner.

The only thing I missed was to walk the Temple Mount itself. Alas, it’s now closed to non-Muslims on the days that I can visit.

This morning I happened to wake up early, and walked around Yeffe Nof Street or Panorama Street. The sun was just rising and it was glorious. I leave you with this composite photo.

Haifa wakes up

Haifa wakes up

Cheers.

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