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    I went to Israel from Jan 16th to 27th, 2006.  I was with Ron Roberson, Joe Blanton and Tim O'Haire.  
    While we were there we stayed in a suburb of north Tel Aviv called Herzliya and we worked about
    an hour south of Tel Aviv in a city called Ashdod.  We stayed at a very nice hotel on the Mediterranean
    with a very nice beach view - too bad it was the middle of winter, we were the only ones out on the beach

    My initial impressions of Israel were that it is much greener and cleaner than I expected.  It reminded
    me of Southern California area.  There were miles of orange groves, tall eucalyptus trees, shrubs
    all over, and large pines up in the northern end of the country.  There were also vineyards and olive
    trees all over.

    We took a guided tour of Jerusalem on a Friday and I have put some pictures here of that trip.  
    Went with Ron and Joe.  Our tour guide was great and I recommend hiring a good guide to get
    the most of you time in Jerusalem.

    After Ron left, Joe and I spent a day driving with our friend Ronen Schatz to the north part of Israel.  
    We went up to the north border with Lebanon, and the drove down the east borders with Syria and
    Jordan.  We went to visit some Kibbutz's, saw miles of farms and saw the only ski area in the Middle
    East, at Mt. Hermon.  Although I had dreamed of getting to go skiing in Israel, we got there too
    late in the day and I did not get to go skiing, maybe another time.

    Some interesting things that happened while I was there in Israel:  I went into downtwon Tel Aviv
    to arrange for Joe to fly home on a different flight and we heard a loud noise.  There was a suicide
    bomber there that day that hurt a few dozen people.  Also, as we were about to leave, the Palestinians
    had an election and the group Hamas won.  There was protesting, partying, rioting in the streets.  

    Page three of these pages has email's with trip notes about where we went and some of my
    thoughts and notes about Israel.  Israel is a pretty nice place to visit.  What we see on the news
    every day does not show all there is to see there.  
Click on any photo to see a larger view
More Detailed Map of Israel
Mediterranean Area Map
Map of Israel
    Ron Roberson and Tim O'Haire in
    the lobby of the Dan Accadia in
    Herzliya.  We did drink a few beers
    on this trip.
    Old Jerusalem as seen from the  Mount of Olives.
    Old Jerusalem is 3500 years old, maybe 5000
    years old and is the holiest city of the Hebrew,
    Christian and Muslim religions.  It has been fought
    over for many thousands of years and has been
    destroyed and rebuilt man times.
    The Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem near
    the Mount of Olives.  These olive trees are many
    hundreds of years old and some people believe
    that they were around when Jesus was here
    The traffic was pretty bad on the Mount of Olives
    but the view was very good.  Israel is a mix of
    old and new cultures.  At the right is the Dome
    of the Rock in the old City of Jerusalem, the
    holiest site of the Hebrew, Muslim and Christian
    faiths.
    The Zion Gate entrance into the Old City of Jerusalem.  We
    ended up having to drive through this gate and also the Jaffa
    Gate.  It was a pretty tight fit as the gates were made when a
    donkey cart was the biggest thing on the road.
Me, Ron Roberson & Joe Blanton on Old Jerusalem
standing in front of a map of Jerusalem which was
always the center of the world in old maps
Ron and me at the Wailing Wall,
we had to wear hats to go to the wall.
Our guide for the day was Shalom, who is a professional
licenced tour guide.  I have his address and phone number
if I ever get a chance to visit Jerusalem again
Ron, Joe  and me in the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre.  Many of our pictures
did not come out well because it is so
dark and so big
Joe Blanton coming out of a hole
in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  
He looks like a guilty crook stealing
something from the church.
Ron, Joe, Me and Shalom eating dinner
in a traditional Arabic restaurant.  I think
Shalom looks like Sean Connery

Food is very good, many fresh vegetables and fruits, mainly Mediterranean dishes
like hummus, tahini, pita bread, pickles, olives, rice in grape leave

•        Tahini is sesame sees paste with olive oil, lemon & garlic - scoop with pita
•        Hummus is chickpea paste with olive oil, lemon & garlic - scoop with pita
•        falafel  is deep fried balls of mashed chickpeas
•        kebab is ground meat grilled on a skewer
•        picked veggies are at every meal - pickles with the hummus and the tahini
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Israel Trip January 2006 - Page 1