Cyprus, Israel, Palestine
Jerusalem Travel Blog› entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
Cyprus, Isreal and Palestine.
I caught a flight to larnaca in cyprus, i stayed for the first night in small village called orakilonni outside Larnaca. The people that run the place were very friendly, and for 14 bucks i got an apartment, i'm returning there ina few days to end my trip in cyprus. The island is very expensive, 2 us dollars to 1 cyprus pound, and its pretty greek, but still not, hard to explain. Anyways i got a good deal aon a two days cruise to isreal, which was a far cry for royal caribbean. it was full of russians, brits and a few american misstionary students. I got stuck a table of russians for dinner, so the dinning was pretty un eventful.
We arrived in Haif'a Isreal early, and set out on the tour to the holy land. the guide was an archeologist, but fille din once in a while as a tour guide. Durign the tour he kept telling us to look around at the beauty and the peace, and when we're home to tell people of our time, so that more tourists would come. he also said to not buy things in isreal but to wait til after we cross the border into palestine, because "they need the money more" We hit all the sites of importance, and even though i'm not one bit religious my stomach was in a knot full of butter flies as we drove up the hills to jerusalem. The holy city is stunning, on many mountains that are terraced. the tour guide nomminated me his assisstant to bring up the rear and make sure that we didnt loose any of the 80year old brits. and for my good deed i recieved some isreali folk dancing dvd...should be interewsting.
We made the walk from the point where jesus was crucified and buried, down the hill through the armenian, muslim, christian, and jewish areas ending up at the wailing wall. Seeing the mouselum under which jesus was burried and touching the stone on which he bleed was indeeda n experience i'll never forget. At the wailing wall i wrote a wish on a paper and stuck it in the cracks. There was also a bat mitsvah occuring there, which was very intersting.
another thing that was interesting was seeign all the young soldiers, serving their mandatory 2 or 3 years (girls and guys), carrying the rifles along with their book bags onto the busses as if they were heading home fromclass. Also, some of them looked no more than 15 or 16 years old.
Next we headed into Bethleham, which is in the Palestinean territories. We passed throught the giant gates of the wall that divides the two countries. The walls could be seen all the way from the north down to jerusalem. Out tour guide could not come with us because he was a jew, so on the other side a palestini guide joined us, our bus driver was fine to continue because he was an isreali muslim. on the otherside of the gate it was totally different, a lot poorer, and very intersting. There were hawkers trying tos ell the normal tourist stuff, but what was interesting was that they each had a gov issued vest that sported the logo and the Pallestinean ministry of tourism and antiquities. Also any currency was accepted, euros, uk pounds,cyprus pounds, and especially us Dollars,
We went into the one of th eolded churches in the world, and saw the star of bethleham, which marks the spot upon where jesus was born...another chill. all in all i am defenitly going back to isreal, it is a country that has so much to offer, and atleast in the parts i was, it was very safe, clean, and nice.
Anyways enough writing, now i'mspend a couple 5 days in cyprus, enjoying the sun and beach. Then off to rome.