Caesarea, Israel

After reading this blog entry, you may wish to review the current travel warning I have on Israel.


Caesarea is a city that has experienced multiple different administrations, one of them being the Romans.


The horseracing place turned gladiator place.


The theatre. The complex was first built by a king who knew the good life.


The palace. Part of it was built into the Mediterranean sea as a pool.


The port, with the crusaders’ city next to it.

Dead Sea/Ein Gedi, Israel

After reading this blog post, you may wish to review the current travel warning I have on Israel. It is possible to visit the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side, although Ein Gedi itself is Israeli territory.


The Dead Sea is an extremely salty sea so salty one can easily float without much effort. It also claims to be the lowest point on Earth, although presumably the qualifier “on the surface” should be somewhere in that phrase.


The Sea is in fact firmly in the desert, and on the Israeli side, you will have the mountain ridge behind you.


There are public beaches, but I decided to go instead of Ein Gedi Spa. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it, as even though it’s not particularly expensive, the entrance fee you pay doesn’t include the locker or the towel, and its facilities were pretty old. In fact, they went out of power suddenly for around 15 minutes, and their sulphur pool wasn’t working properly either.

Speaking of sulphur pool, remember to remove all your jewelleries. My silver bracelet tarnished as a result. It’s very smelly, too.


Even though it was in the middle of winter (1 January) and was cloudy (later did rain), the water was warm enough. The wind was relatively strong, however, and if you just float without doing anything, you’d be washed away by the waves.


Whilst it’s possible to book a mud massage session for several hundred NIS, you can also just go get some mud and put it on you.


It being winter and cloudy, there weren’t that many people. And the tour groups only came in the afternoon.


The water was very clear.


Salt was all over the beach, and walking in shallow water was challenging as hard salt was quite painful to walk on.


It was surprisingly fun to just be floating around.


Flying home from Israel: Frankfurt, Germany, Greenland, Canada

After reading this blog entry, you may wish to review the current travel warning on Israel I published. The troubles with flying from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel-Aviv happen even with transit passengers.


Canadian mountains from the sky. Snow everywhere.


I believe these were icebergs. We weren’t that north but apparently it’s all frozen.


At Frankfurt airport, there are some big photos for you to take a selfie with, so you can pretend you have actually entered Germany proper.

It’s necessary to go through airport security even as a transit passenger, and some gates are really far.


Greenland. Do you know the Vikings only called it Greenland to deceive their countrymen?

Bethleham, Palestine

After reading this post, you will perhaps want to review the current travel warning I have on Israel. It is currently not possible to travel to the Palestinian West Bank without going through Israeli authority, ever if one is travelling by land from Jordan.


Bethlehem, the alleged birthplace of Jewish moral leader Jesus, the pretender to the throne of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah.


Bethlehem is only around 30 minutes from central Jerusalem, but since it’s in the Palestinian territories, public transport is not particularly frequent. Taking a taxi there is easy, although you would need to negotiate the price and you will have to have an Arab taxi driver, as Israeli Jews are not typically allowed to enter it (although somehow there are many exceptions, and the intercity buses certainly do pass through Palestinian territories, even when the bus drivers and many of their passengers are Israeli Jews).


The town itself was OK. Quite orderly, not dirty, and very lively. The highlight is of course the Church of the Nativity, and it’s filled with tourists everywhere.


The nativity scene opposite to the church. It was boxing day.


Petra, Jordan


The lost city of Petra is one of the main tourist attractions in Jordan.


It is a city that is basically a collection of temples, with a very nice landscape.


It’s got some plants and is firmly in the desert.


Bought another headgear. Bargained it down from JOD15 to JOD6.


There were a gigantic amount of oriental tourists, although Japanese ones seemed to outnumber the rest.


It has gotten plenty of Roman structures, too.


Interesting rocks.


It’s a pretty big place and there are many routes. But the hike up to the monastery is the main one. It’s around 1.5 hours for me from the entrance to here.


Many people will try to sell you a donkey ride, telling you it’s an hour-long hike. Fake news. It’s around 20 minutes each way.


To get to Petra by bus, you will need to be at the bus station before 6am, and to leave, be there before 3.30pm. It’s around 4 hours each way. They played a promotional short film with His Majesty The King taking an American journalist on a tour around the country.


The only theatre caved into a rock.


The ceiling of the main building of the royal tombs. It’s the only one tourists are allowed in. In the middle, you see the crack created by the major earthquake.


The famous treasury.


Amman, Jordan


Amman, the capital of Jordan, is the seat of His Majesty The King, one of the current monarchs partly educated at Oxford University.


Good views at the citadel. Certainly is worth the 3 Jordanian diners.


The Roman theatre.


If you are visiting Amman, I would advise against going out of this area. It’s safe, but it’s quite dirty (not as dirty as Egypt was) and there’s lots of dust everywhere.


I was quite surprised by the fact that there were plenty of Roman buildings.


A part of the citadel.


The museum.


City walls.


Looking like Greece.


The big flag is where the palace is at.

Cairo, Egypt


Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is a metropolitan with its tourist attractions basically all at the centre.


Pollution was pretty bad and so it’s not very clear.


The Coptic Church.


The mosque and the Saladin Citadel.


Some Egyptians asked for a photo with me. That must be how being white feels like.


If it’s a clear day, one would be able to spot the pyramids easily from here. I could see them, but couldn’t really capture them.


The mosque is magnificent.


The hanging church. Not that interesting.


Inside the mosque.


The Egyptian Museum. They closed parts of it.

Aswan/Abu Simbel/The Nile/Felucca, Egypt


Aswan is the southern-most city in Egypt with some temples.


One of the nearby temples in this one built by the Greeks who ruled Egypt after the death of gay emperor Alexander the Great.


The Greeks wanted to be accepted by the masses, thus they built everything in Egyptian style.


Some years later, Coptic Christians occupied many of these places.


Abu Simbel, another temple, is one that’s relatively close to the Sudanese border and is another popular attraction around 3-4 hours from Aswan.


Another main activity to do in Aswan is to go on the Nile.


There are two temples in Abu Simbel. Carved into rocks, designed to let the light shine into the sacred room, and later moved up to avoid having them drowned, it’s definitely worth a visit.


The famous statues in Abu Simbel.


A felucca. One can choose to take a cruise or one of these up the river.


This lake was in fact artificial to an extent so Egypt gets enough electricity. It would flood many archaeological sites, so there were large projects to relocate them.


The feluca is a tiny boat that allows around 10 people to sleep on the same surface, and does not have a lavatory or anything.

Most people seemed to have really enjoyed it, but it was hell for me. There were lots of mosquitoes after sunset, it’s quite cold in the mornings, quite hot in the afternoon, one may not shower there, may not have a decent mattress or pillow to sleep on, and the blankets were itchy. Oh, and you eat where you sleep too so it’s scraps everywhere.

It’s also very boring. And the crew smoked.


The High Dam. Definitely can skip this. They built this but they didn’t have the money, so they nationalized the Suez Canal.