Friday, June 26, 2009

... And now for Egypt

    So it's been a very crazy and exciting week, thus to lack of posting.  After completing the Livnot trip on Sunday, which was such an incredible experience, myself and several friends headed down to Tel Aviv for an evening on the Mediterranean.  As with the best travel plans, we had none.  No place to stay, only friends of friends we could contact in hopes something would work out.  As the sun was setting on the sea and an impromptu modeling shoot broke out (see images here finally something gave way and we had a place to stay.  Our very good friend Tehila contacted a good friend of hers and her brother, who had never met Tehila, invited us into his home (four of us mind you) for as long as we needed.  His roommate moved out of his room to make way for us and slept on the couch.  As you can see, the giving atmosphere here is incredible.  So now we find ourselves with access to a beautiful apartment in the middle of Tel Aviv.  Got to love serendepitous travels.
     So we got our Egyptian visas, which took 24 hours, and spent the second day wandering the old city of Jaffa.  We walked through the extensive Shuk (marketplace) and met some incredible people.  We finished the afternoon off with a swim in the Mediterranean and then headed back to the apartment for a final meal with our hosts and then a late night bus ride to Eilat, the southern most city in Israel and the equivalent of Las Vegas.  
      We arrived in Eilat around 6 am, got a hostel and spent the afternoon in the Red Sea.  The next morning we got up and headed to Jordan to enjoy Petra, one of the seven wonders of the world.  After haggling and dealing with quite pushy Jordanian men, we arrived at Petra, for no cheap price unfortunately, and wandered through the ancient ruins for the afternoon.  Needless to say, it was incredible.  It's where they filmed Indiana Jones, the Last Crusade, for those that remember.  Unreal.  
        We left Petra that afternoon, headed back to Israel, crossed back into Israel, caught and cab and then crossed the border into Egypt.  Three countries, one day.  Only the Middle East.  So the evening was spent, once again, haggling and dealing with Arabic men who have little patience for our lack of Arabic language, understandably.  We arrived in Dhaba, a beautiful beach town in Sinai, late last night.  Such a long and exhausting day.  Never been so dirty.  Never been so tired.
        Woke up this morning to the bluest water I've ever seen and calls to prayer ringing from Minarets in every corner of the horizon.  Dhaba has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, so this afternoon we went snorkeling and verified that fact.  The place is a bit touristy, but the locals are incredibly kind and welcoming of Americans.  They love Barack Obama, that's for sure.  
       So our plan for now is to relax in Dhaba, enjoy Shabbat and then climb Mt. Sinai on Monday or Tuesday.  After Mt. Sinai, it will be on to Cairo and the pyramids.  As you might imagine, this trip is a little too much to process while experiencing it, but there's definitely a perpetual feeling of being completely overwhelmed by everything.  The sights, the sounds, the people, the culture, and just the incredible opportunity to experience this.  My travel companions are amazing guys, both unique in their own ways.  An actor and a surfer.  Entertaining,  down to earth, and hilarious.  
      For those that have been following, sorry I haven't been able to update more often.  It's a bit tough to find internet readily available.  Hope this finds you all well and thanks for reading along. 

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