Lesley & Don Nadel

the antipodean adventurers

Lesley & Don Nadel

Two retired travellers continue roaming the world after our first great adventure.

Middle East » Israel » North District » Tiberias July 16th 2020

This was the last day of our break and we did not rush to leave. We had a leisurely breakfast and went back to the room to pack. Check out was simple and we put our bags into the car. All the closures since the virus outbreak meant that we had not made our usual spring trip to the Golan. In previous years the water level in the Kinneret lake (also known as the Sea of Galilee) was significantly down due to lack of rain. Seeing wide dry banks all around the lake had not been encouraging. Fortunately this winter had broken that drought cycle spectacularly. The Kinneret was filled and the authorities had even released some of the water to prevent overflow. We wanted to see the lake in its fullness. So we decided to ... read more
homebound lunch at Pagoda on Decks lido

Middle East » Israel » North District » Kfar Blum July 15th 2020

Today after breakfast we drove up to see the border with Lebanon. Less than 20 km north from our hotel we arrived at the Kibbutz Misgav Am Visitors Centre. Misgav Am is a kibbutz northern Galilee. Its name means Fortress of the People. It was founded by Palmach members in 1945 and has served as part of the protection of Israel ever since. It is located on a high hill with the Lebanese border surrounding it on three sides. Toward the east you can see the Hula Valley, Golan Heights and Mount Hermon, while north and westward you can see directly into southern Lebanon. It is a working kibbutz with income from farming, tourism, and inevitably some Israeli entrepreneurial business. One of the long-term kibbutz residents met us at the Visitors Centre (masked of course) and ... read more
masked Misgav Am guide describes the kibbutz situation

Middle East » Israel » North District » Kfar Blum July 14th 2020

We spent the day relaxing, not feeling any pressure to go anywhere. The back glass door of our suite opened to a small private patio garden. This was shielded from the outdoor spaces of neighboring rooms by shrubbery, for a good feeling of privacy as well as security from potential virus. During the morning we used the efficient hotel internet to access some classes in a summer program in which we were enrolled. We each used our headphones with our iPads to avoid generating noise that might disturb our neighbors while sitting on the patio. The weather was ideal for lounging and reading on our private patio. We took a simple lunch break with a snack we had collected from the breakfast offerings. Don decided to wander around the hotel environs for a bit in the ... read more

Middle East » Israel » North District » Kfar Blum July 13th 2020

In the morning we went to breakfast and hoped to find the mask situation improved. One change we made was to go slightly off schedule so that we might be between dining waves. That helped somewhat purely by dint of fewer diners. Unfortunately otherwise it was not much better. After the meal we complained about the situation which went against the virus mask regulations. The management promptly agreed with our point and indeed when we went back to dinner in the evening more staff were supervising. They politely admonished people to keep their masks on when not sitting and eating at their own tables. We felt much happier from then on. Before leaving breakfast we made sandwiches for our lunch; frankly this was not encouraged but we were subtle and only took a minimum of food ... read more
along the path of Agamon Hula Park lake

Middle East » Israel » North District » Kfar Blum July 12th 2020

Summer was well underway with sunny and increasingly warm weather at our home in Israel. Unfortunately the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic was also well entrenched here as elsewhere around the world. We had been stuck in various degrees of restrictions or lockdown for 4 months since our last festive gathering in March. Even worse it was 5 months since visiting our daughter in England, with no obvious end to the travel ban visible. In fact we had booked a vacation trip for August but that was cancelled in the spring. As readers of our Travel Blog can imagine, we really wanted a holiday break mainly for a change of scene. Flying anywhere was clearly off the menu. But our beautiful little country offers many interesting options, so we considered a number of destinations within Israel. Always fans ... read more
hotel main building bar lounge
Kfar Blum located in the middle of our touring area

Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum September 11th 2019

For breakfast at the Wadi Rum lodge I raced to be first at the egg station. Since nobody else had yet put odd ingredients into the pan, I got some freshly cooked eggs for a change. One of the chefs was baking flat bread at the next station. I watched him roll out the dough and spread it on a convex oven top where it baked almost immediately. Then he peeled it off the oven and placed it into a basket. Nice warm pita bread and eggs. Plus juice and fruit and cereal. Today I determined to start with a good breakfast and it proved to be a good decision. After breakfast we boarded a fleet of pickup trucks for what they called a jeep safari led by Bedouin guides. Although they were not genuine Jeep ... read more
Fresh pita for breakfast
Bust in desert rock
Caravan drawing on desert rock

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra September 10th 2019

The day began with breakfast at the hotel. As mentioned the group discussed the Petra by Night tour. Although most felt it was a disappointing slog after a full day on the coach, everyone was excited to explore ancient Petra this morning. After breakfast onto the coach and soon we were back at the Petra Visitor Center. Our tour guide handed out tickets and led us from the Visitor plaza to the broad paved start of the walk to Petra. This is where the historic aspects began. Our guide explained some key geographic aspects like how the deep channel was naturally carved over millions of years by water flooding down the path when rare rainstorms hit the area. He also pointed out scattered caves which were used for burial sites. We approached ancient Petra city from ... read more
Siq - the narrow passage into Petra
Camel Caravan Relief detail
Street of Facades in downtown Petra

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra September 9th 2019

We had booked to participate in a 3-day tour through Jordan with Petra being the highlight. Unfortunately shortly before the trip, Lesley encountered some difficultly with her leg and it quickly became clear that she could not tolerate sitting in a coach for long journeys nor traipsing the uneven paths we would reach. Don decided to still take the trip with the group. Fortunately the operator Tourist Israel Tours was able to change our double booking into a single. Thus the blog post text and pictures for this trip will be provided entirely by Don, and Lesley should not be blamed for errors in it. The day started with an early taxi ride from home to Netanya where most of the group boarded the coach at 6am. It stopped briefly in Zichron Yakov to collect a ... read more
St George Greek Orthodox Church in Madaba
Madaba Map on church floor
Jerusalem detail on the Madaba Map (source Wikipedia)

Asia » Hong Kong » Lantau Island May 28th 2019

We were able to have a lie-in in the Regal Hotel at Hong Kong airport because the flight wasn’t until 16:40. However, as we hadn’t been given new e-tickets and we were so skeptical about having a seat on the plane we were determined to check in when the El Al desk opened. Breakfast in the Regal was surreal. There was half a plane load of Israelis including the crew in the restaurant - we could have been in Tel Aviv. There wasn’t too much to do as we didn’t want to go into Hong Kong for shopping so we sat in the hotel lounge trying to concentrate on the blog. We had a quick lunch and rushed back across to the airport. We had our seats as promised so we went through check-in, passport control ... read more
Our flights to and from Japan

Asia » Japan » Osaka » Izumisano May 27th 2019

Well up at 6.30 am in our Nikko Kansai Airport room to quickly dress and walk back across to the airport. We checked in to Cathay Pacific to fly to Hong Kong. They were able to check our bags through to Tel Aviv! There was nothing in the lounge we could eat so we found a bakery with croissants and coffee. Then back to the lounge waiting and waiting for the plane to be called for boarding. Eventually we were called. The staff were very upset that we couldn’t eat any of the delicious food on offer in business class because it was all meat and shellfish. (Of course we had not been able to request kosher meals because this flight was suddenly booked less than 24 hours earlier.) However, they did find us some salad ... read more
HKG airport Hong Kong interior looks like any other - and we saw it repeatedly!

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