Monday, October 12, 2009

The Road to Jerusalem

Typically, a bus ride is a necessary evil to get from point A to B. And to be perfectly honest, they aren't so bad - it's a big part of backpacking and a great way to see the country.

Yesterday, I wasn't expecting much on the 4.5-hour bus ride from Eilat to Jerusalem but it was especially noteworthy for the following reasons:

  • The Negev Desert: though it isn't a conventional tourist attraction, the vast, desolate expanse of the Negev is really quite beautiful. It stretches across a large amount of land in this tiny country and provide stunning vistas of gorges, canyons and rock formations.
  • The Dead Sea: impressive if not for its sheer size, but also its beautiful pastel hues and unique geographical features (it's one of the lowest points on the face of the earth).
  • The West Bank: I expected to be driving around the Palestinian territory but was surprised to realize that we were travelling right through it on an Israeli highway. My first hint of the route was when I saw a long line of flags marking the division (including the Canadian flag). Glimpsing the lights of the settlements I got the impression that Israel is still flexing its considerable muscle and that the area is far from existing as an independent and autonomous state.

If you are making this journey, I highly recommend it. Make sure you have your camera handy!

No comments:

Post a Comment