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Posts tagged ‘Nazareth’

about Nazareth, Israel to Wadi Musa (Petra), Jordan…

Wadi Musaha.

trip: Nazareth to Wadi Musa
how: by Avis rental car or the Peugeot 206 master, shared taxi, and mini-bus.
miles total:  5458
days: 1

The trip from Nazareth to Jerusalem went fine. When we got to Jerusalem, went through the old-city souq to find some last minute gifts, then headed for the best falafel in Jerusalem. After this we headed to the bus (FYI the bus to the border is double the price of coming to Jerusalem, around 33 NIS). We reached the border and crossed through without any problems, then headed to Amman.

I knew going into this trip that my rights as a woman may not be as expansive as they are in Europe and the US. Actually, it was evident that I had lost many of my rights as a woman when I traveled through some of these countries in the Middle East. I had many experiences feeling already that made me feel much lower than the men around me. Just little things like never seeing women in the streets, cafes, shops during the day, never seeing them drive, smoke, talk to other men, having separate elevators for men and women, not being able to sit next to a man on a bus, boat, or train. These are just a few, but my most recognizable experience was in Amman when we were waiting for the bus to Petra.

After making it to Amman for around 3pm we were scared that we had missed the last bus down to Petra. However, at the Jordan border we met a nice Jordanian police officer who negotiated a price with the taxi driver and assured us that we would be there in time and not to let the ‘bastard taxi drivers’ charge us any more than what we settled on. We didn’t. We got to the mini-bus station in Amman and there were about four guys at the bus stop and they told us that there was one bus going to Petra in some minutes. After an hour and a half later we saw the bus arriving… but suddenly there was about 35 people that came from all over the bus station certain they were getting on this bus too. I was just as certain. I looked at G and gave him my bag and told him that there was no way we weren’t getting to Petra tonight. I gave him my bags and fought my way through the crowd of people pushing to get on the bus. When I got on there was one seat left with a bag on it, next to an Arab man. I didn’t even think twice before I looked at the man and asked to sit next to him. Without understanding me he gave me a blank stare and looked behind me at a man who started to look very angry. The situation unfolded something like this:

M: That is my seat ma’am.

ME: You just arrived here sir. I waited for an hour for this bus.

M: I’m sorry that is not my problem. Talk to the driver.

ME: Sir, I waited for this seat and this seat is mine.

M: My bag is on that seat (pointing) you see that it is mine.

ME: Sir, you put your bag through the window. It’s not fair.

M: I’m sorry, talk to the driver.

ME: No sir. This is my seat.

M: (very angry)

People started to talk to him and soon he started to argue with them. Everyone on the bus argued and eventually he got off. I didn’t know what happened until the bus stopped two hours later for a rest stop. At this point, the girl in front of me turned around and said, “I’m sorry you had to have that happen to you. But I am so happy that you stood up for your seat. He didn’t deserve it.” I said, “thank you”. She then continued to tell me that everyone on the bus agreed with me and started to tell him that it wasn’t fair what he did. My heart was still beating fast from the incident (especially because I knew this man had a gun) and I was quiet for the rest of the ride to Wadi Musa (Moses’ Valley, the closest town to Petra).

We stayed at the Valentine Hostel that night and had a lovely buffet dinner then had an early night to prepare for the next day in Petra and on to Wadi Rum.

Exhausted.

L

about Nazareth, Israel to Petra, Jordan and my rights as a woman….
The trip from nazareth to Jerusalem went fine. When we got to jerusalem we went through the old-city souq to find some last minute gifts then headed for the best falafel in Jerusalem then to the bus to the border. FYI, the bus to the border is double the price of coming to Jerusalem (around 33 NIS). We reached the border fine and crossed through without problems, then headed to Amman.
Intermission.
I knew going into this that my rights as a woman may not be as evident as they are in europe and the US. Actually, it was evident that I had lost many of my rights as w oman when I travel through some of these countries in the middle east. I had many experiences feeling a little lower than those men around me. Just little things like never seeing woman in the streets, cafes, shops during the day, never seeing them drive, smoke, talk to other men, having seperate elevators for men and women, not being able to sit next to a man on a bus, boat, or train. These are just a few, but my most recognizable experience was in Amman when we were waiting for the bus to Petra. After making it to Amman for around 3pm we were scared that we had missed the last bus down to Petra. However, at the Jordan border we met a nice Jordanian Police officer who negotiated a price with the taxi driver and assured us that we would be there in time and not to let the ‘bastard taxi drivers’ charge us any more than what we settled on. We didn’t. We got to the mini-bus station in Amman and the there was about 4 guys at the bus stop and they told us that there was one bus going to Petra in just some minutes. After one hour and a half later we saw the bus arriving…. but suddenly there was about 35 people that came from all over the bus station and people that just arrived and everyone was certain they were getting on this bus. I was just as certain too. I looked at G and gave him my bag and told him that there was no way we weren’t getting to Petra tonight. I gave him my bags and fought my way through the crowd of people pushing to get on the bus. When I got on there was one seat left with a bag on it, next to a man dressed in traditional clothing. I didn’t even think twice before I looked at the man and asked to sit next to him. Without understanding me he gave me a blank stare and looked behind me at a man that started to look very angry. The situation unfloded something like this:
that is my seat ma’am.
You just arrived here sir. I waited for an hour for this bus.
im sorry that is not my problem. talk to the driver.
sir, i waited for this seat and this seat is mine.
my bag is on that seat you see that it is mine.
sir you put your bag through the window. it’s not fair.
i’m sorry, talk to the driver.
No sir. This is my seat.
(man, held his gun on his waist)
People started to talk to him and soon he started to argue with them. Everyone one the bus argued and eventually he got off. I didn’t know what happened until the bus stopped two hours later for a rest stop. At this point, the girl in front of me turned around and said, “I’m sorry you had to have that happen to you. But I am so happy that you stood up for your seat. He didn’t deserve it.” I said ‘thank you”. She then continued to tell me that everyone on the bus agreed with me and started to tell him that it wasn’t fair what he did. My heart was still beating fast from the incident and I was quiet for the rest of the ride to Wadi Musa (Moses’ Valley, the closest town to Petra).
We stayed at the Valentine Hostal that night and had a lovely buffet dinner then had an early night to prepare for the next day in Petra and then finding our way to Wadi Rum.
Exhauste

about Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee and The Golan Heights…

Tel AvivTel Aviv Beach

Church of the AnnunciationFish and Bread Church

trip: Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv to Nazareth, Nazareth to Sea of Galilee, Back to Jerusalem
how: by Avis rental car or the Peugeot 206 master.
miles total:  5268
days: 3

We woke up the next morning and the four of us headed to Tel Aviv. We arrived shortly after 11am and we immediately went to the beach. It’s a beautiful beach… blue water, blue sky, soft sand, and WARM WARM water. We spent a few hours there, then tried to find a hostel for that night. No luck. It’s fairly expensive in Tel Aviv and we couldn’t find anything reasonable, so we decided to just sleep in the car that night, after all we did have the beach and a shower right in front of us.

Tel Aviv is nice, it’s a city. Western, urbanized, and away from a lot of then troubles you see in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel. However, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. It just means it’s not so evident. We walked around the old city, Jaffa, which in 1954, became part of the city of Tel Aviv. Together, they are known as Tel Aviv-Yafo. Then we went back to the beach and spent the late afternoon and evening there… swimming and watching the incredible sunset that night.

Meanwhile we had parked our car in a pain-parking area, but because of Shabbat, we didn’t have to pay. When we returned to the parking lot (after sunset) we were kindly welcomed (not) by an old man. He came over and insisted we pay for the full day of parking, 25 NIS. We told him that this parking was free because of Shabbat. Then he said that we should know nothing is free and we must pay. We again refused and said, we thought that it was free and nobody was controlling it when we came. D said that we weren’t aware of this policy and then he asked where we were from. D said Bulgaria. He then chose to respond with a completely unnecessary phrase, “oh, in Bulgaria you walk across the street and you get shot,  you should be lucky to be here and just pay 25 NIS”. The argument progressed and got ugly. He was throwing accusations right, left and center, saying he would charge us double because in Bulgaria they killed Jews, and that he hates tourists in Israel, continuing to say how much Israel didn’t need any help from anyone and he just wished we would go away. He then started laughing. I kindly asked him to show some respect and stop laughing.  His response, “I can do whatever I want, this is my land.” We got in the car, paid the 25 NIS and left.

We met with a really nice Israeli girl that night, who D knew from when they lived in London together. Had a chill night at the bar.

We left for Nazareth in the morning and got decided to stay at a old nunnery. It was fantastic. In the city center, very clean, hot water, and cheap. We were really excited about the hot shower. 🙂

There isn’t too much to see in Nazareth except for the Church of the Annunciation, which is quite magnificent. We saw this when we first arrived in the morning and then we headed to the Sea of Galilee. This is one of the great things of having a car, especially in this area where public transportation is rare and sometimes nonexistent. There is a lot to see around the Sea and the Golan Heights, biblically speaking. This is where Jesus performed many miracles including feeding fish and bread to 5000 people. It’s a really cool place to be and to visit. Besides the biblical side of things. the Golan Heights area has been subject to many terrorist attacks and fighting, but this time not between the Palestinians and Israelis, but the neighbors to the north, Syria and Lebanon.  The area has been pretty calm since the last outbreak in 2006. The main thing in dispute here is the land, where both Syria and Israel think it is theirs.  You do see some signs for land mines, but for the most part the area around the Sea is quiet for now.

The Golan Heights is a beautiful area, with meadows, hills, trees, and a fantastic view of nature that you don’t find very often in the Middle East. We spent the late afternoon swimming along the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Again, it was like bathwater, but refreshing nonetheless.

We headed back to Nazareth for some showers, rest, and falafel.

It was a quick trip around Israel and definitely I haven’t seen the last of this extraordinary and captivating country.

We are trying to make Nazareth to Petra tomorrow. We will see how that goes. The plan is to head out of Nazareth early in the morning, stop in Jerusalem to return the car, have a falafel close to Jaffa Gate and then catch the bus to the border, cross the border and head to Amman to get a bus down to Petra.

Whew!

L