Rocking the Desert ~~ December 27, 2017

Amir is in Morocco by now, starting another travel adventure with another client. Besides guiding, he is developing a business as an adventure concierge, an expert and natural travel companion who explores new places at your side while somehow making the connections and smoothing the pathways so that you don’t have to. His natural talent…

The hopes and fears ~~ December 24, 2017

Waking up in Bethlehem the day before Christmas Eve. I don’t think I’ve been in a sadder place. It’s Palestinian territory, landlocked in the West Bank, surrounded by walls designed by Israelis to keep terror and violence where they belong, which, they are determined, will not be in Israel. The day before, we arrived shortly…

Deep thoughts and full stomachs ~~ December 22, 2017

A few days ago we were en route to Jerusalem from a Druze village in the north, tight against the Syrian border. There was bloody fighting here in 1973, a surprise attack on the Israelis from Syria on Yom Kippur. The Israelis were apparently caught unawares and as a consequence were fighting for their survival….

Knafeh ~~ December 20, 2017

Another day of over-eating. It was also a day in Old Jerusalem, and I’ll have more to say about that later as it sinks in. But right now my mind is focused on something blessedly more simple: knafeh. Knafeh (there are probably a dozen ways to spell it and almost as many to make it)…

Happiness in the Golan Heights ~~ December 20, 2017

(Still running a few days behind ~~ writing about 12/18 here) After we left Tzvat on Monday afternoon, we drove to the Golan Heights. A disconcerting length of the drive was within sight of Lebanon, clearly visible across a forbidding and impregnable border. When we got to the village where we were having dinner with…

And now, Israel. ~~ December 18, 2017

Five days into our Israeli trip already. I am snug in bed in the Golan Heights, trying to assemble the last few days in my mind. I’ll just throw out the highlights, to bring us to now. We left Beirut on the 14th. Easy travel through Amman, no grilling by immigration on our entrance to…

Bye Bye, Beirut ~~ December 16, 2017

We woke up in Nazareth this morning, in an old mansion, once owned by a prosperous Christian, now converted to a guest house for tourists and pilgrims. The last few days have been tightly packed and I was trying to finish a textbook chapter, so that was where all my writing efforts went. No time…

Food, Food, Food ~~December 11, 2017

And more food. Yesterday was a walking food tour of Beirut. We ate ourselves silly and learned a ton about Beirut and Lebanon from Iffat, our truly amazing, warm and wonderful guide from Taste Lebanon. She spent the day with us, from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm (when we even got a peek at the…

Dinner by the sea ~~ Babel Bay ~~ December 10, 2017

I’ve eaten a lot of meals sitting by, or even floating on, the Mediterranean. Wonderful meals, kissed by salty sea breezes in France, in Spain, in Greece, in Croatia, in Turkey, in Italy, in Israel. Today I added a country I was never quite sure I would get to. Lebanon. In Beirut’s Babel Bay we…