The last three days have been incredible... I can barely describe them. Right now, I am sitting on a balcony looking out over the lights of a luxurious resort to the Red Sea at the junction of four countries. But before I get to that, I must cover my journey here, to Eilat.
Sunday was a leisurely day filled with the sights and sounds of central Tel Aviv streets, shopping malls and markets. There are cats everywhere! It really is so different to Australia. Security is another common theme; at car parks an inspector checks your boot before permitting entry, and at every entrance to the shopping centre security checks bags and people.
Not exactly a tourist destination, an excursion to the bank highlighted the irrelevance of following rules in Israeli culture! A two minute errand turned into a battle of process but was eventually sorted. Car parking in the city is also drastically different in Tel Aviv... could you imagine parking your car in a space so tight the parking attendant needs to move two cars before you can get in the drive way? And then you leave him your keys and immobilizer code before you walk off?!
After a quick nap (I'm getting used to these!) we had dinner with a friend in a boardwalk area, similar to our South Bank. It has quite recently been renovated and whilst quiet and peaceful during the week, is a crowded hot spot on the weekends.
Yesterday was a perfect day in Ceaserea. I was very much looking forward to the trip to this old Roman town, but it was even more wonderful and interesting than I expected. We wandered through rubbled remains, and stone foundations thousands of years old. We marveled at the construction of the ancient port, and admired the beauty of the harbour. I tasted the most delicious sweet potato ravioli with sour cream, white wine and basil sauce (honestly the description doesn't even capture how divine it was!). We savoured refreshing lemon and mint frozen mocktails as the sea lapped just a few meters away. We watched a beautiful sun set near the ancient aqueduct, and took many photos of the incredible site showered in the lights at night.
Today, after our usual breakfast of rich cream cheeses, hommous and ham on fresh bread, we set off early for the 4-5 hour drive to the end of the country. Along the way, we stopped at Mizpie Ramon, which is the biggest crater in the world. I have never seen anything like it, with layers and layers of dirt and rock dating back to the time of the dinosaurs... I have to show you the photos! We watched wild goats called Ibex, dance among the cliff faces (literately up and down!) almost camouflaged in the desert. We were very lucky to spot them!
We have arrived at the most amazing resort in Eilat - the view is incredible and the weather perfect. I have never stayed in such a place (bath robes and all!) and feel so relaxed. I can't wait to wake up tomorrow to swim and laze by the lagoon pools again and explore the Red Sea!