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columns in the synagogue at Capernaum

Your Trip to Israel: 5 Christian sites in the Galilee

 Are you considering a trip to Israel? Certainly you should visit Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and perhaps Masada and Bethlehem. While I’m not a Christian, all religions are interesting to me in terms of their cultural and historical importance. In Israel, I’ve visited Muslim sites, of which the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is…

The falafel part of my first "bite" on my Bitemojo tour.

Bitemojo: A new twist on culinary tours

If you ever take a Bitemojo tour, make sure you start with an empty stomach, good walking shoes and plenty of time. You’ll need all three. Disclosure: I took a Bitemojo tour in Jerusalem because I could do it for free as a participant in a TBEX conference for travel bloggers. It’s not something that…

Khan al-Umdan, near the port in Akko old city, as seen through the closed-off entrance. Built in 1784, it included 40 columns made from stone brought from ancient Caesarea and Atlit. It seems to be abandoned now.

Akko Old City: Jerusalem without the politics

Two separate people in two separate parts of Israel gave me the same advice: “Go see Akko old city; it’s Jerusalem without the politics.” They were right. Akko, also called Acre, looks much like Jerusalem’s old city. It has the same narrow, winding, stone-paved streets. The market streets have ancient arched roofs and the sellers…

My room at Kibbutz Inbar, one of the ILH hostels in Israel

At my age? Staying in Hostels in Israel

I haven’t stayed in a hostel in years. In a post I wrote back in 2007, I blamed it on the shared shower, and described how awful they can be. It’s not just that, though. As I get older, I have more trouble sleeping. I wake up easily, and then I’m grumpy the next day…

The Tower of David, as seen from outside the Jaffa Gate. The tower you see, also sometimes called the Tower of David, is a minaret.

Going to Jerusalem? First Visit the Tower of David

As one of the first things visitors see on entering the Old City of Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate, the Tower of David makes an imposing impression, with its massive stone walls and towers topped with crenellations. The first thing your tour guide will say is that this citadel has nothing to do with King David from the…

Visiting the City of David: Siloam Pool

Visiting the City of David: Older than the Old City of Jerusalem

Those of us who are not religious often see the Bible as nothing more than a collection of myths. Yet archeologists have confirmed many elements of Bible stories. Visiting the City of David reintroduced me to the overwhelmingly long history of Jerusalem. There’s something awe-inspiring about its sheer length, covering thousands of years of human history….

A street in Yemin Moshe, a neighborhood just outside the old walls of Jerusalem

Tit for tat: the American version

But is it safe? or… There have been incidents lately. Please be careful! or… Are you sure you want to go there now? These are the sorts of comments I’ve received each time I’ve gone to Israel. The fact is that “incidents” do sometimes happen in Israel. Lately, it’s been a few stabbings on the…

Old Dubai: a quick visit

While I didn’t do any shopping in Dubai, I did manage a quick walk around the Bastakiya District: also known as Old Dubai. Dubai was originally a small port that made its living from pearl diving, fishing and trade, especially with Iran. Besides the nomadic Bedouins, who lived in tents, the populations who settled here…