Since my last blog, the adventures have not stopped! With the long busy days I have barely had time to reflect let alone write!
Wednesday was a day filled with snorkeling and more snorkeling in the Red Sea. Among other amazing marine life, Ran spotted an octopus and it was incredible to watch the fish try to annoy it - they darted at it, poked it and swam all over it. It was like being in a National Geographic documentary! I also went on an introductory dive and that was another level of amazing.
We enjoyed another delicious dinner (the night before we ate hommous, this amazing labenae cheese and chicken skewers literally ON the beach in our own hut). Our waiter recommended some fantastic pastas, and we had a perfect wine to match. This restaurant had a beautiful atmosphere, with white tablecloths and candles everywhere. The beach was less than a metre from my feet!
Thursday we missed our breakfast to set off early on a tour to Petra in Jordan. We crossed the border, and hoped our passports weren't being copied as we waited in the in-between zone! After a two hour bus ride through Jordan's hilly desert (and spotting wild camels along the way!) I honestly can not find the words to describe Petra. There is so much more to the 'lost city of Petra' than any travel book or photo can capture. The sheer size, the depth of hand made caves, of rooms within the rock, the elaborate carvings and the engineering feats are absolutely incredible. We travelled 4km in to the city, and explored all day but still only saw the tip of the iceberg. Camels, donkeys and horses are everywhere, and merchants sell goods in market stalls along the trail and within the rocks... it truly feels and looks like life in Biblical times. To complete the experience, we travelled the last of the way back to the top of the hidden city on horseback! We highly recommend a visit to this second wonder of the world so you can understand just what I'm trying to describe!
That night, we drove back from Eilat to Tel Aviv along the easier highway. I had my first experience of driving on the right hand side on the road in the right hand side of the car! After 4 hours we made it back to Tel Aviv, and I had the best shower of my life!
Friday, which is the first day of the weekend, was a nice quiet one. After breakfast, we drove the 10 minutes to the center of Tel Aviv and one hour later we had finally parked the car! Lesson number one: do not drive in the centre of Tel Aviv!
I spent a leisurely day shopping and walking through the streets while Ran booked the rest of our plans at a coffee shop. After this much needed peaceful day, we had dinner with Rans uncle, cousins and their partners at a beautiful restaurant. We had news to celebrate, as Ran's cousin just got engaged! I had the most delectable, incredibly tender calamari and prawns in a garlic and white wine butter. After dinner, we met with one of Ran's friends for a few drinks. A great day, a great night.
The next day, Saturday, was jam packed with catch ups... we had breakfast and coffee with a family friend, we had smoothies and went shopping with Shmulik, we ate sushi and played snooker with other friends and had dinner, desert and coffee with more again. Another busy but wonderful day :)
Which finally brings us to today, Sunday. We drove to Jerusalem, and walked through the artistic streets and small alleyways. I love Jerusalem, it is so quaint and picturesque. We walked through the old city and went on a night tour through the ancient tunnels. It was another monumental experience filled with history and wonder.
Dinner was perfect: delicious and in a beautiful building, which was the first art college built in Jerusalem in 1906. Afterwards, Ran's aunt and uncle took us through some of the orthodox Jewish streets, and it was honestly like being transported to a different world in a long ago timezone! The 'costumes' the hats, the hairstyles, the streets.... absolutely from another time.
Well I hope that has filled in the gap of the last few days! After a well deserved sleep we are off to the Dead Sea!