Shalom Belfast

Shalom Belfast

So I’ve lagged a bit behind updating you on my middle east adventures.  I’ve been too busy adventuring.  Even though I’m sitting in Tel Aviv ready to get my flight home, I’m going to keep blogging, as I’ve more stories to tell – my Nazareth tour run by people who just love their hometown, watching … Continue reading

Embracing Haifa

Just as things were starting to get tense in Jerusalem, I exited the police cordon at Jaffa Gate with my suitcase dragging behind me (the first of many an uphill dragging, in 30+ heat. I’m embracing being a sweaty mess!) and hopped onto a bus to Tel Aviv and then a train to Haifa. The … Continue reading

Headscarves, wigs and the women’s side

I hadn’t even left the airport and I had started a religious argument.  The last remaining seat on the shuttle from the airport was beside me.  A more orthodox Jewish man got onto the bus and, in Hebrew, asked the woman behind me to sit beside me, probably so he didn’t have to compromise his … Continue reading

Archaeologist at Work

Last year I would have said that there was nowhere else in the world that I really wanted to travel to.  I would have half-heartedly mentioned something about Florence.  But I was pretty much content in my little cocoon, it was cosy in there and when you can get Netflix why would you want to … Continue reading

Pray for Jerusalem

Being from Belfast, I have become accustomed to recognising that the sound of a low flying helicopter only means one thing … trouble.  Turns out that it means the same here in Jerusalem.  Whilst tourists were taking selfies and being overpowered by incense at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, I was watching this strange … Continue reading

Hiding from nutters

Man it’s hot and going to get hotter!  How’s the rain? My first week has gone by so quickly and I’ve packed so much in. Today I’m taking it easy – nice breakfast outdoors, a wander in all the fabric shops and habdasherys that are in the area (my kind of place), a Date and … Continue reading

Shabbat

Whilst I wait on my laundry to finish, let me tell you about another highlight from last Friday.  Most things in the Jewish areas of Jerusalem start to close down around 2pm for Shabbat (Sabbath).  Shabbat is from sun down on Friday until sun down on Saturday. As I left the Old City on Friday … Continue reading

Muddy Strangers and Community

This is the second time in recent years that I’ve found myself getting on a minibus at the crack of dawn with a bus load of minus banter strangers and going to a place that I could easily trip and plummet to my death. And you know me and tripping! The tour started off in … Continue reading

He’s not here

I hadn’t yet left the departure lounge in Manchester when I became very aware of culture’s colliding.  I’ve never been on an airplane before that announces a prayer gathering at the rear of the plane … where I happened to be sitting.  I tried to do what my mother said and not stare.  However I … Continue reading