The Holy Land Awaits

In the UK we have a saying about busses that goes something along the lines of “You wait ages for a bus and then three turn up at once”. I’m sure that every culture has a similar saying and we can all probably think of at least one occasion we’ve been in a ‘three busses’ situation. In many cultures it is even seen as a lucky number. In fact, for a mild OCD sufferer who craves symmetry and order, my life is surprisingly full of the number three and now so too are my travel plans it would seem, even if unintended.

Obviously I’m off to Iceland. That’s the first bus.

The second bus is that the company I work for has an incentive weekend booked ‘somewhere’ in Europe. The destination is all very hush-hush and very few people know the specifics. If the previous incentive weekends are anything to go by there will be a shocking amount of alcohol consumed and likely end up with some terribly embarrassing moments. But, it will also be a chance to get in some urban photography and I have already got some shots lined up.

Bus number three came as a big surprise and one I only found out about on Friday. I’ve been booked on a course at the head office of one of our company’s vendors. So, it would appear that I’m off to Israel  – Tel Aviv to be precise – in June! Despite being there to work, the benefit of travelling there in June is that daylight hours extend well into the evening and so I’m guessing that, even if I were to only stay for the duration of the course, I would get plenty of photographic sightseeing under my belt. It does go without saying, however, that I immediately booked the following week as holiday and so I have some dedicated time too. And now that I have had time to think about it, this trip has some rather fortuitous side effects.

For a start, I’ve had the outline of a trip to Jordan planned for ages but have never quite got round to seeing it through, mainly because I am a cold-weather person and, let’s be realistic, Jordan isn’t exactly known for its cold climate. Whilst Israel is obviously not going to be confused with Jordan, nor any cooler, one of the key stops on the Jordan itinerary was the Dead Sea, which conveniently has the majority of its shoreline in Israel. The last time I was at the Dead Sea was circa 1982 and far too young to appreciate it – or really remember it to be honest.

The next point is that Jerusalem isn’t too far from Tel Aviv – about an hour by bus in fact. Again, last time I was there was over three decades ago and so I only have dim recollections of the experience. A cursory Google would suggest that, whilst time and ‘progress’ has meant  that Jerusalem has inevitably modernised, it does seem to be largely confined to ‘new’ Jerusalem, leaving the old city as was. In any event,  you really can’t not go if you are in Israel, can you?

So, I’ve busied myself this weekend getting accommodation booked in Jerusalem and at the Dead Sea. There is still a lot of planning to do; travel plans between places, and ‘A’ and ‘B’ site lists being the most pressing. Still, it is all very exciting…

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