If you said an African Grey Parrot, you’re spot on. They are sought-after pets due to their high level of intelligence and ability to mimic human speech. This fellow has a bird’s-eye view of the guests at the doorway of our hotel in Tiberias. Tiberias was established around 20AD, named after the second Roman Emperor and is one of the four holiest sites in Israel. Nestled on the gentle Western slopes of Galilee, it’s within easy striking distance of Capernaum, Nazareth, Mount
It’s huge - forty-two kilometres long and an average of eight kilometres wide. You might say it’s Israel’s answer to the Grand Canyon, but it’s not a canyon or crater, it’s a ‘maktesh’. A maktesh is formed over millions of years from ocean activity and has no entry, only an exit. A high mountain, formed by volcanic pressure in the ancient sea with a solid surface and soft centre, erodes and the result is spectacular. Another rich beauty in the Negev Desert at Mitzpe Ramon.
Over 2000 years according to carbon dating. It’s one of a number located in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. It’s almost certain this tree witnessed the agonising prayer of Jesus to His Father, the betrayal by Judas and the arrest by the soldiers. Sad it requires a protective screen to stop souvenir hunters. Yet, a sacred space that leaves me in awe and wonder.
What does Beersheba mean? Answer. In Hebrew - seven wells. It has significant meaning for Palestine. In 1917, Australian, British and New Zealand soldiers lost their lives in World War 1. Today we walked close to the Turkish trenches, and strolled in the beautiful park created by the Pratt family to commemorate the victory by General Allenby in the centre of Beersheba. The gardens and lawns are well maintained and children play on a variety of playground equipment. It’s a pla
Our guide and bus driver said, "I can't get you any closer to the Damascus Gate. You'll need to walk from here." We piled out into stationary traffic, the consequence of the unexpected road closure. It's Ramadan in Jerusalem. Muslims from around the world flock to their second most holiest site - Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, not far from our comfortable accommodation at Ecce Homo Convent on the Via Dolorosa. Hundreds of police are marshalling in an enclosure 300 metres
The Jews call it the Security Wall. The Palestinians, the Separation Wall. We approach Bethlehem and the main checkpoint is closed! Why? We reverse and take an alternate route past the controversial Jewish settlement of Har Homa. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, built over the stable is one of the two remaining ancient basilicas in the world. Nadal, our gentle Palestinian guide provides a helpful commentary. Back to Manger Square and see the summary of Palestinian pai
It’s my third visit to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and the impact is no less powerful than the first. The Holocaust Museum is set in a beautiful forest. Strangely, Auschwitz – Birkenau was ‘attractive’, surrounded by trees, but the stench was nauseous. The tragic timeline of events pile on me layer by layer, as I’m bombarded by videos and displays of Jewish isolation and persecution. Then Nazi Germany took the evil to its highest level – extermination. I walk over hundreds of sho
I call them my ‘sacred sandals.’ On two visits to Israel, they’ve walked where Jesus walked, climbed to the top the stony slopes of Mount Sinai, and wandered through ancient churches and cathedrals in Europe. However, within hours of planting my feet on Israeli soil, the fastener on my right sandal snapped. Obviously three times on this ancient earth was too much! I searched the gutters and footpaths for my repair material for days until, with great excitement I found it – a