Monday, March 06, 2006

walking in ancient footsteps

I just returned from a tour of the Holy Land. it was not long before it hit me that I was driving past and walking on the very ground of biblical and recent history. the tour guide went on: "this hill over there was where Prophet Elijah put the canaanite priests to the sword". not surpisingly, I took hundreds of pictures and will load them after sorting thru them. here's some snippets for a start.
this green door is the cell of Ethiopian monks. their small church and monastery was actually on the roof of the Church of Holy Sepulchre! As a free-thinker (or agnostic at best), I was still struck by the deep sense of intertwined spritualism that seemed to permeate the ancient walls and cobblestones of this city.
replica of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Tristam's Starling at the Masada citadel. this bird is endemic to the region. Jewish zealots held out in this hill top fortification against the Romans; when the outer wall was breached, the defenders killed their wives and children rather than to let them face slavery and later committed suicide.
bunkers and trenchs on the Har Ben Tal Observation Point on the Golan Heights, with the snow-capped Mt Hermon in the background. Now a tourist spot, the OP overlooks the "Valley of Tears" down which Syrian tanks rumbled down during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Even now mines field covered the landscape as were beautiful wild flowers.
a friendly guy from the Swarma (or kebabs) shop. stuffed full of fresh veggies, hummus (chick pea paste) and tahina (sesame paste) and delicious tender chicken, shwarma (and falafel) is a staple street food in Israel.
the shiok beach and rolling waves on the Tel Aviv beach front. many dogs roam the beach together with their human companions. after years of watching news footage of suicide bombers, I felt safer on the streets of Tel Aviv than in LA! after my failure to find a Palestinian kaffiyeh (the black and white checked arab scarf), I realised that I probably had to cross over to the PA (Palestinian Authority not Peoples' Association). later I saw kaffiyehs being sold at the arab quarter in Jerusalem but these were probably tourist traps. should have bought one off the camel herder!


At 12:04 AM, Blogger Jenad said...

woah cool! great place to visit. would love to see it personally someday too!

more stories & pic pls! ;)

thanks for telling us about the pig-blood-jelly in the soup, Ad almost had face cramps after learning about it hee....


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