A Travellerspoint blog

Jerusalem

sunny 38 °C

On July 23-24, we spent two days in Jerusalem, exploring respectively the old and new city. Our first visit was to the Western Wall.
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Jordan placed a traditional good-wish message in the crack between the 3000-year old stones of the Temple's remaining foundation.
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The next day, we visited the Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Museum in the morning,
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and the Israel Museum in the afternoon, including the home of the famous Qumran bible scrolls.
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Posted by svjorber 07:08 Archived in Israel Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Tiberias Area

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Following our visit to the coastal cities of Haifa and Acre, we ended up the day in Tiberias, along the Sea of Galilee.
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The next day, we visited the area, including the Gamla bird sanctuary across the lake which hosts the endangered Griffin vulture (Nesher) mentioned in the Bible.
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To Jordan;s delight, we visited the river named after him...or is it the other way around?
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and spent the rest of the day trying to cool off at a local water park :)

The next day, we visited the old city of Bet Shean on our way to Jerusalem... Temperatures exceeded 42 degrees celcius...
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Posted by svjorber 23:11 Archived in Israel Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Arrival to Israel and Coastal Area

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After a long trip from Malaga, Spain via Milan on Alitalia, we arrived in Israel at 4 AM on July 19th. After a few hours of rest at our Netanya seaside hotel, we joined my brother and his son Amos and daughter Lara poolside. (Charles, Amos and Lara are joining us in Israel)
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The next day, we departed Netanya and stopped along the coast in Haifa where we visited the Bahai temple and its gardens,
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and the coastal town of Acre and its ancient citadel as well as the newly excavated Templar tunnel. Acre is a well known crusader fortress in Israel dating to the 12th and 13th century.
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Posted by svjorber 23:00 Archived in Israel Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Day at the Beach

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We rounded off our visit to Spain with a great day at the beach in Toremolinos on the Costa del Sol, just South of Malaga.
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Tomorrow we travel to Israel via Milan - long day (and a half)

Posted by svjorber 23:49 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Granada

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From Seville we traveled to Granada to visit the famous Alhambra. The Alhambra is the site of a fortress and castle of the sultans that dominated the area for over 700 years until the Christian Kings took the areas back in the late 1400's.
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The Alhambra includes the Nazrid castle, the fort, the gardens and Charles the Fifth's palace.
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Following the visit, we saw the Granada Cathedral which took 180 years to build.
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Posted by svjorber 23:42 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Flamenco

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At night, we went to see a traditional flamenco show in a nearby club. Sveta, Jordan and I really enjoyed it. The dancing was outstanding and very spirited. The dancers were true professionals, incredibly skilled and you could tell they were totally involved into their dancing.

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Posted by svjorber 00:02 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (3)

Seville, Spain

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On Saturday, We visited the main landmarks in Seville, the Cathedral and the Alcazar. The Cathedral used to be a Mosque when Spain was under Islamic control until the 1200's.
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Seville was the major point of departure (and return for the Spanish explorers and conquistadors to went over to the Americas. The Cathedral is an amazing amalgam of Gothic architecture and renaissance treasures, including the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
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The Alcazar is also an amazing palace with a mixture of Arab and Western styles.
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In between our visits, we enjoyed traditional Spannish food, including tapas (small portions) at the "Belmonte" pub. Above our heads was a reminder of what happens to the bulls at the corrida...
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Posted by svjorber 23:30 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Road to Seville

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On...heck, we have no idea what day of the week it is, even less what date it is. Well, that day, we woke up and knew it was time to drive to Seville, about 120 miles away.

First we came across these eerie windmill farms that populate the very Southern tip of Spain, near the Straights of Gibraltar, where I suppose Don Quixote use to work a while back
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Between Algeciras and Cadiz, we stopped at Vejer de la Frontera, one of the beautiful "white villages" of Andalusia.
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Our next stop was the city of Jerez de la Frontera, famous for its many many distilleries, including Harveys Bristol Cream, Sandeman Sherry, and many many others. Below is the statue of local hero TIO PEPE adoring a city square: !!
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No sampling for us though... we are either driving or under age. Maybe next time.

Posted by svjorber 23:15 Archived in Spain Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

North to Tangiers

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Following Fes, we drove North to Tangiers, stopping in the city of Chefchaouen, located high in the Rif mountains.


We admired the dramatic landscapes and the traditional folks selling their wares on the sides of the road (this is onion harvest)
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We finally made it to the Mediterranean Sea where we were treated to a beautiful sunset
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The next day was devoted primarily to crossing the Straights of Gibraltar from Tangier to Algeciras where we spent the night.
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Here is Jordan on the boat with a faint view of Gibraltar in the background. It takes about 2.5 hours on the slow boat (ours) to make the 11 miles + crossing. Then you land in Spain where it is two hours later than in Morocco, so you have pretty much spent the whole day...

Posted by svjorber 10:01 Archived in Morocco Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Fes

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We had a full day to explore the ancient city of Fes with the help of our guide Houcine. This included some of the oldest schools and universities still in existence in the Word
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and the beautiful medina (old city)
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The guide takes you to all the different crafts, including the tanneries
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and the weaver shops, (hand woven silk and cotton fabrics) hoping you will buy souvenirs you don't need.
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Jordan had a great day looking for cats all over the city...
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Posted by svjorber 00:52 Archived in Morocco Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Essaouira

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On July 10, we made a day trip to the Atlantic coast city of Essaouira. We visited the small medina (ancient city) and had a great lunch of fresh grilled shrimp, fish and crab.

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Posted by svjorber 15:47 Archived in Morocco Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Marrakech

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The temperature in Marrakech was in the 40 degree celsius so the first thing we did was give Jordan a buzz cut
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Then we walked around the old city at night and the famous Jemaa al Fna where we enjoyed the entertainment and the food
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Posted by svjorber 15:41 Archived in Morocco Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Joys of Travel

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On July 4th we traveled from Arraial to Rio, then few to Sao Paulo in order to catch an Air France flight to Paris. We managed to load all of our carry-on bags on board the cabin becuase we knew we had a tight connection in Paris.

We landed 20 minutes late, but exited the airport and hopped on a taxi literally in 5 minutes to Orly, where our connecting Air France flight to Marrakech Morocco departed from. We ran into a novice taxi driver and into the worse Parisian traffic jams ever.

We arrived at Orly 15 minutes before boarding and even though we did not have bags to check, we were refused on the flight by an overzealous AF employee.

With a bit of insistence, Air France put us at a nearby hotel for the day and on a Royal Air Maroc flight bound for Marrakech in the evening. So in the end, we lost about a half day which we would have probably used to recuperate in Marrakech anyways.

Posted by svjorber 15:33 Archived in Morocco Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Arraial do Cabo

Beach Happy...

sunny 23 °C
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Following our visit to our cousins in Teresopolis, we headed to Arraial do Cabo, a small beach town located at the very eastern tip of the map, about 160 km from Rio. It is the little nook and cranny on the map, to the right of Rio.

There are bigger towns nearby like Cabo Frio or Buzios. Arraial was suggested by our guide Pedro Novak and it is known for its pristine beaches, like Praia Grande which is known for surfing
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Angel's beach iis the main departure point for traditional boat rides
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Here Capt. Jordan took charge of our ship:
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After the ride, we returned by trail to one of the nicest beaches in the area, Praia al Forno, kown for its warm waters. Jordan and I went snorkeling and saw a number in interesting fishes.
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That's a day (or two) at the beach...

See you in Morocco...

Posted by svjorber 06:04 Archived in Brazil Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Travel to Teresopolis

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On June 30th, we rented a car and traveled North to Petropolis, where Emperors Pedro the I and the II once had their second residence. Petropolis is about 3000 feet above sea level. After visiting the Imperial museum, where we have to wear booties on top of our shoes not to damage the wooden floor, we drove over an amazing stretch of road
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to visit our cousins in Teresopolis.

We had a wonderful evening at their mountain top house with their entire family, their kids Danny, Lara and Gabriel, and their inlaws from the US.
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Cousin Beni is in the center. Mostapha, his father in law is on the left.

We spent the night at a local hotel and headed to the coast the next day.

Posted by svjorber 05:46 Archived in Brazil Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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