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Month: December, 2012

Tel Aviv, Then Cali

Our layover in Tel Aviv is about seven hours, so we decide to enter into the city for a walk and some dinner before continuing on to Los Angeles.  We find a great spot called the Social Club where we split several appetizers and enjoy a couple cocktails.  Upon returning to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion […]

Jordan Border Crossing, Part II

We enter back into Israel between Aqaba and Eilat, right on this corner of the Red Sea that brings together Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.  Our car is not allowed to cross and thus we do it by foot.  After several passport checks, a couple more security scans, and a lot of questioning, we […]

Wadi Rum

On Christmas day, we visit Wadi Rum, the Wadi made famous by the T. E. Lawrence of Arabia.  In a country only 5% Christian, Christmas is not exactly a major holiday but it is nonetheless declared a national holiday.  In addition, the hotel buffet for Christmas Eve was definitely a step up from the night […]

Little Petra

After seeing Petra yesterday, Little Petra, also known as Al Beidha, seems whelming (as my sister says, “if it is neither overwhelming nor underwhelming, it’s just whelming”).  Had we seen it first, Little Petra would seem much more dramatic, but after seeing the masterpiece that is Petra, it is hard for much to compare to […]

Picture Perfect Petra

There is something about Petra that seems simultaneously both ancient and more advanced than today.  This Nabataean settlement’s stunning rock-cut architecture is unimaginable and would be hard to create with today’s technology let alone over two thousand years ago.  As we pass through the narrow Siq, we eventually arrive at the famous Treasury façade leading […]

No Crowds

It is always nice to travel when there are fewer tourists and shorter lines; however, the circumstances that lead to this trip’s smaller crowds are not happy ones for Israel and the Middle East.  In the second half of last month, well over 1000 Palestinian rockets were fired at Israel.  Specifically, both Jerusalem and Tel […]

King’s Highway

Leading from Egypt to Damascus and referenced a couple times in the Bible, the King’s Highway has been traveled at least a couple times over human history.  It served not only as an important passageway, but also as a critical trade route and later as a Christian pilgrimage route. Today, as we make our way […]

Pompeii of the East – Jerash

After we meet our new guide, Audi, we immediately head towards Jerash stopping along the way for a feast of a lunch.  There are spreads and dips and different meats and pita and more of every dish than we could possibly consume.  I feel like I could survive purely on their twice-baked pita and fresh […]

Jordan Border Crossing

It takes three cars, six gates, a couple bag searches, a pair of new visas, and a little patience, but we eventually make it through the Allenby Bridge – King Hussein Border crossing and enter into Jordan.  This border, which connects the West Bank and Jordan is the only designated entry and exit point for […]

Next Year in Jerusalem

Every year at the end of the Passover Seder, we finish with the words “next year in Jerusalem,” and today, here I am in one of the most sacred places in the world.  And not only one of the most sacred, but it is also one of the most historic.  Jerusalem is a city that […]