Subject: Israel/Jordan/Egypt; England/France/Italy
Hi Friends, I'm addressing you as friends because I feel I know a lot of you so well from your messages and the desire to travel is a strong bond. You have been very helpful, and I would like to thank you and to return the favor if I can. I've been a member of this group for a while, but this is my first posting and I will be brief. This is not a travelogue, but an outline of my recent trip so that if anyone has any questions I will be glad to answer them or provide any information. In February-March of this year, I worked on an archaeology dig near the Dead Sea in Israel for two weeks, spent some time in the Old City part of Jerusalem, used Egged Bus Tours to visit some of the other areas (eg. Gallilee, Acre, ) or travelled by bus myself or with friends made at the dig (eg. Bethlehem, Eilat); took a taxi to Israel/Jordan border, local Jordanian bus to Amman, taxi to Madaba and sites in area, taxi to Petra, bus to Aquaba, ferry to Sinai Peninsula, met by representative of Viking Travel and driven to St. Catherine's where I joined a group from Craig Tours Canada. We climbed Mt.Sinai in the early morning hours to view the sunrise, basked in the sun at a Red Sea resort, flew to Luxor for a few days and then a Nile cruise to Aswan, flew to Abu Simbel,and finally flew to Cairo for a week. It was a fabulous and long anticipated trip of a lifetime. I made most of my arrangements for the dig and the Egypt tour through searching the Internet, my airline tickets from my travel agent who got me a better deal than anything I could find on the Internet, my visas for Jordan and Egypt from their embassies before I left to avoid any hassles there, flew Air Canada to London and El Al (very strict security) to Tel Aviv (visa stamped at Tel Aviv airport on a sheet of paper rather than passport in case I wanted to go to Syria; for Egypt and Jordan, it doesn't matter), flew EgyptAir from Cairo to London and then Air Canada home. I spent a day in London since I had time between my flights. I paid 4 pounds for a day pass ( covers subway and buses) at the subway terminal, took the subway to central London (to Green Park near Buckingham Palace and Ritz), watched Changing of Guard, rode bus for a while, went to Trafalgar Square, visited National Portrait Gallery, etc, walked a little (it was sunny but not very warm and I have been in London several times, though not recently), ended up at the Royal Haymarket Theatre where I discoverd that one of my very favourite English actresses, Helen Mirren, was starring in a play there and a Saturday matinee was beginning in half an hour. There was plenty of time to catch the subway back to Heathrow after the play. For people who are interested in National Trust and other properties to rent in England, I just finished reading England As You Like It by Susan Allen Toth. You will find it is delightful and/or informative. Finally, I am planning to visit France and Italy in September-October and the plethora of information from all of you is just marvellous. Now if I could just find the time to put it all together, I could decide.... Thanks again for all your help. Dolores Mills St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada