In June, we went to Israel.
It’s a place a lot of people dream their whole lives of visiting, and of course that meant I never really wanted to go because of the hype.
But I have to say, Jerusalem is an amazing city, and it’s an amazing land. To see things I’d read about over the years a hundred times made them new and real. The arid land, the groves of olive trees, the shepherds on the hills, Zacchaeus’ sycamore tree, the hills and rocks.
It was also fascinating for me to finally begin to understand some of the political intricacies surrounding this divided land.
The religious tourists were disgusting to me, though. Huge hordes of busloads can be seen on almost every roadway, winding their ways to various religious shrines. Now, I totally understand why these people want to come and see the land, but the commercialization of it is disgusting.
We stayed in a tourist hotel (is there really another kind there?), but we rented a car and dig our own driving and walking, which made it feel more authentic.
I will admit, I’ve always wanted to swim in the Dead Sea, to see what it’s like. This is as close as I got, though.
Ah, well, next time.