Amanda and Niklas

Rembrandt

Amanda and Niklas




Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem December 22nd 2014

We spent our last day in Israel at Yad Vashem. This is a holocaust museum that sits atop Mt. Herzl. The light rail ride there had us delayed about 40 minutes due to a "suspicious object" found near the tracks ahead of us. No one on or around seemed all that concerned so we took our cues from them. The museum itself is a beautiful work of architecture. Outside were a line of trees, each dedicated to someone considered Righteous Among the Nations. These are non-Jews who risked their lives to help the Jewish people during the holocaust. People like Oskar Schindler and Sweden's Raoul Wallenberg are honoured in the garden. Inside the museum, visitors are led through the meandering exhibits depicting the lives touched by holocaust and educating on the events from Hitler's rise to ... read more
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Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Jaffa December 21st 2014

Took Israeli transit into Tel Aviv today and visited the cute neighbourhood of Old Jaffa. This is a port city that lies on the Mediterranean Sea. It is here that Andromeda of the Greek myths was rumoured to be chained to a rock by her king father in order to appease Poseidon. Andromeda's Rock lies near a natural pier and is now marked by an Israeli flag. We strolled along the beach and visited some gardens. Several people tried to ask us stuff in hebrew today. Flattered that they think we're locals. One woman asked me something about the bus and another seemed to be asking Niklas for directions. Another was trying to sell me something at the bus station. How cute. Speaking of Jerusalem Central Station, we were quite impressed with a bakery we came ... read more
Old Jaffa Clock Tower
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Military Everywhere

Middle East » Israel » South District » Ein Bokek December 20th 2014

Today is Rembrandt's birthday. Our little guy turns three years old. The day began with another scenic ride down route 90. This time we went south to the beautiful Dead Sea resort town of Ein Bokek. We had some spa treatments booked at the Shizen Spa at Daniel Resort. First we were massaged with Dead Sea salt and scented oils then wrapped up like mummies and left to marinate. After the exfoliating massage we were slathered with mud and wrapped up again. My skin never felt so soft. When our spa treatments were done we decided to take a dip in the indoor/outdoor pool filled with Dead Sea water. Took some time to get used to the buoyancy. The anti-gravity effect was pretty cool. We wrapped up our day in Ein Bokek with some floating around ... read more
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Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth December 19th 2014

This morning got off to a frustrating start. By the time we found our way to the car rental and made our peace with our sat nav system, it was almost lunchtime. Thankfully the gas station on Route 1 served the best gas station food I've ever tried. With schnitzel sandwiches and sugar-free energy drinks to fuel us, we made our way north on Route 90. This stretch of highway runs parallel to the Jordan river. We felt popping in our ears as we approached it. We finally figured out that it was because we were driving below sea level as that was the beginning of the Dead Sea area. Along our route were markers indicating our depth. It was a very scenic, desert looking region. The desert scenery became greener and more lush as we ... read more
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Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Bethlehem » Beit Jala December 18th 2014

Today started out with us catching an Arab bus from Damascus Gate and taking a trip into Palestine. It is there we find Bethlehem. Exiting the bus, we are greeted by what can only be described as the world's most annoying taxi driver. He followed us for a couple minutes chirping on about how the tourist area is 3km away and he could take us. First, I knew for a fact where we needed to go was just a 1km walk down Pope Paulus. Second, even if he was telling the truth, a 3km walk is nothing to us anyway. When ignoring him didn't work, we tried another tactic. We started answering him in Swedish. I used the few sentences I knew and Niklas did most of the babbling. By the end of the exchange, he ... read more
Manger Square
Where His Manger Was
His Exact Place of Birth

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem December 17th 2014

We began the day with a trek down Via Dolorosa, making our way to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. There lies Golgotha - better known to Christians as the rock upon which they crucified Christ. From there we made our way to the Western Wall. Of all the holy places we visited today, this one inexplicably touched me the most. I don't know if it was the hauntingly beautiful singing of the Jewish men, or being surrounded by crying, praying, devout women, or seeing all the handwritten prayers in all the cracks. I myself was moved to tears. The wall is what's left of two destroyed temples. The other side lies Temaple Mount. It is here that they believe God took the clay to create Adam. It is here that they believe Abraham was prepared ... read more
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Golgotha
Western Wall

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem December 16th 2014

It took 12 hours exactly from door to door. Utterly exhausted and ready for bed. Impressed with the Turkish people and have decided we need to make Istanbul a vacation destination in the near future. Tomorrow: Old City sightseeing. Shalom... read more
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Europe » Sweden » Skåne » Lund December 15th 2014

We leave for our Israel adventure tomorrow at 11:30am local time (5:30am EST). Just finished putting our itinerary together. My backpack still packed from toronto. To put to ease the minds of some of our nearest and dearest, and for the interest of others, I plan to blog about our journey at the end of each of the next 8 days. Looking forward to waking up on my 30th birthday on Wednesday in the land that gave birth to my faith. Hej då!... read more




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