Israel diary - 9
18 August 2001
Well, I'm well behind myself again, this diary thing was never my
strong point! So we'll have to go back in time for a bit while a
recap what's bin happening...
12 August 2001 - Beersheva
Beersheva sits at the north of the Negev, and yes, it's much drier!
We stayed with The Newman's,
in their house in the old city. Staying with them was wonderfully
interesting. They are a religious family and keep a kosher kitchen
- meaning that meat and milk are kept seperately. Beersheva is trying
very hard to attract tourists. It has some very interesting sites
on offer, like Abraham's well
which was the reason that the town was created in the first place
(take a look at the inscription
for more information). It also has some slightly more dubious ones,
like a school and the shopping centre. Some of the others that could
be good are not exactly presented in the best possible light - the
Turkish station and station master's house are boarded up and are
virtually in the middle of a building site! Beersheva does however
have the best ice cream parlour in Israel. There is no other way
to describe it. The range of ice creams and sorbets is criminal
and the prices just ridiculously cheap - go look for it (it's round
the corner from the glitzier, but not as wonderful 'Beersheva' ice
cream parlour). I can't rememeber the name unfortunately, but email
me if you're in the area and I'll try and give you directions!
We spent one night in the town's YHA before continuing south to
Misre. Sede Boker. That night is a story all to itself - but perhaps
not for the website...
15 August 2001
Kibbutz Sede Boker is where David and Paulra Ben
lived (oh, and in English
too). It's an amazing place - tiny considering that it was inhabited
by the prime minsiter of the country. Thanks must go to the guide,
"Hi Maor! Thanks for the great tour. My apologies for not being
able to meet up - Another time!" , who gave a very informative
and interesting insight into the place.
It was a long day and I was a bit tired,
what can I say!? That evening, we stayed in the house
of Yair & Leah
who live in a scientific academy 5km south of kibbutz Sede Boker.
Amazing, just amazing. The place was set up to study the desert,
and ways to live and work there. The place is right in the middle
of the desert, like a little oasis.
Yair is an architect and designed the house in such a way that it
does not need to be actively heated or cooled. This achievement
is really brought into focus for me, by having experienced the extremes
of temperatures of the desert in summer for myself - boiling hot
during the day and really cold as soon as the sun goes down.
Just take a look at some of the views from
the bedroom window, and the back garden...
Right next-door to Sede Boker is a real oasis - 'En Avdat'. Well,
by 'right next-door', I mean it's actually a bit of a walk, both
We went down early morning which was very pleasant, but walking
back at around midday was a little bit more trying! The place was
stunning. I won't try and describe it, I'll let the pictures
speak for the place (but I took so many that may take some time
for them all to load).
Ibix are a kind of mountain goat. They are everywhere around the
area, but they can be quite tricky to spot
Avdat is just south of Sede Boker. It's a Nabatean (sorry Amit!)
town - like Petra - on the Spice Road between Jordan and Gazza.
It was founded in the 4th century BC(E) as a way station. Again,
this is an amazing place (I'm running out of adjectives - I'll have
to start using my thesaurus!), just remarkable. Take
a look at the place.
After Sede Boker we continued southward to Mizpe Ramon and its
staying with Yaakov & Ruth.
Yaakov runs a desert archery park just under Mizpe. So what is it?
Well, think of golf, but played with a bow & arrow, and you'll not
be far off. You basically get to have a bit of a walk through the
breath taking scenery of the desert while trying to hit (and in
my case, mostly failing) targets that are set up along the way.
Hèléne was scarily good!
And now I'm in Eilat!
Okay, I know it's a bit sketchy, but i want to sort through the pictures that I have, and let them tell the story!
The next installment.