Jerusalem- This adventure in Israel involved the rental of a battered van and taking to off roads, stopping everywhere to taste the food in tiny holes in wall, until we took the small detour and reached Jordan. Crossing the Israel border by car is possible through Jordan River Crossing in Irbid, Beit She'an or Wadi Araba Crossing in Aqaba / Eilat. I was there on assignment for a documentary film and the crazy detours we took were unbelievable. Back then, The State of Palestine was not recognized and tensions were, as always in these lands, dramatic. We also traveled there, with special permits, ate at several local's homes and had more unforgettable experiences than we can count. One thing is to read about this conflict. Quite another is to see it. We also had time to explore Jerusalem's four quarters; The Jewish Quarter, The Armenian Quarter, The Christian Quarter, and The Muslim Quarter, one more striking and moving than the next. Allow at the very least two or three days to explore the quarters.
Sadly, not knowing better, I went camel riding. The lives of elephants and camels used for rides bear no resemblance to a natural existence. Stuffed into cramped, trucks, transported across the country, and used for entertainment, these intelligent animals are forced to carry patrons on their back for hours. Now we know better than to do this. Behind my very feathered hair, in the second picture you can see Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shine at the Temple Mount in the Old City. When aching for a break from the local cuisine, head to El Gaucho Jerusalem. Gastronomy is a joy to explore here. This diverse city offers everything from sushi bars, to kosher churrasquerias, Armenian, Kurdish, Arabic and Jewish restaurants nestled in the Old City. Machane Yehuda is the soul of the city’s food scene – an energetic dynamic always going on between vendors and locals. This a trip everyone should do at least once in a lifetime.
Happy small detours!