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Travel Announcement: To Israel!

israel2

Sometimes opportunities arise when you least expect them. It happened to me recently when a new travel company asked me to visit Israel and participate in a test tour. I pay only airfare - everything else from luxury hotel accommodations to food are covered by the organizer. Israel isn't a country to which I previously envisioned traveling, but how can I resist such an opportunity? It gives me a chance to explore an entirely new region of the world. The schedule will be out of my control to some extent, but the organizers will work with participants to visit areas of interest. I know for certain that we will be in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I don't know if we will go further into Palestine, but I hope so.

Of course, the primary tourist attractions in Israel are religious sites but they're of no interest to me. What else can I see/do in these cities? Where can I find the most dramatic desert or scenic landscapes? Interesting people or markets? I want to make the drive to Ramon Crater, and am curious about the bedouin village/school in Khan al-Alhmar after reading this report. Has anyone been there? Please leave any suggestions about interesting places or people in comments. If anyone knows local English speakers in these cities who may be willing to answer questions and/or act as a guide, please let me know. I'd also be grateful if you could throw links to interesting photo reports from other LJ bloggers who have traveled in the region.

Thanks, in advance, for the help! I depart next Sunday, and will be sure to share photos and impressions of my journey.

Comments

peacetraveler22
Apr. 3rd, 2014 02:45 am (UTC)
Hi! Nice to hear from you again. :) Thanks for the detailed response. I would only drive into other parts of Palestine with a male and, of course, appropriately dressed. Most of the other participants probably won't want to venture off the beaten path, so I may be limited to Bethlehem. Mostly I want to visit a Bedouin village, but not sure it will be possible.
moebiuscat
Apr. 3rd, 2014 02:46 pm (UTC)
There are some bedouin tourist-oriented villages in the Negev desert in the south. If you're going to Makhtesh Ramon there should be some on the way. They are fairly safe, much more so than arab towns. Bedouins don't like arabs and even 5 to 10% volunteer to serve in Israeli army. There are a few car thieves and drug dealers in their tribes, so watch your pockets, but not much violent crime or terrorism. Otherwise, very safe and should be a nice experience.

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