Tag Archives: Dead Sea

Time waits for no man…

Well, back from Iceland less than a week and by now I would be running through the first pick photographs. But I’ve spent five of seven nights working – or travelling for work – and I’m off to Israel in a week. So, as amazing as Iceland was, first pick has to wait as it is time to wrap up the trip plans for Israel.

First up is a pretty major change to the itinerary. Originally it was Tel Aviv (as the course that work has put me on is there), then straight out to Jerusalem for a couple of days before moving on to Ein Bokek at the Dead Sea. But, I have long had this nagging doubt about how wise the Jerusalem/Dead Sea time split was and so, when filling in the exit form that Isreali immigration requires I began to think about changing the plan. And so I have.

Essentially, after leaving Tel Aviv, I’m basing myself in Jerusalem, giving me five full days, plus bits on the arrival and departure days. The Dead Sea is easily reachable from Jerusalem being about an hour away, less if you hire a car. So I can still travel there pretty freely. But I feel the need to just spend a more leisurely time in the capital.

The main reason for this change is likely because of the leisurely pace of Iceland. It was just so useful to be able say “I can return tomorrow, or the next day” if the weather wasn’t giving me what I was after. Now I can. In Iceland, being able to return to sites meant that I got shots that otherwise would have been missed.

I have ideas on the shots that I want to take and I know my (photographic) limits. So the shots I want to achieve willl take time – and luck – to achieve. I’ve created the time, all I now need is the luck!


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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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