Subject: Re: Israel, Egypt and Jordan
Hi Felice and Simon,

The reason for this very late reply to your posting is that I was traveling in Israel and Jordan at that time. I note that you have received several responses and some good suggestions. Since this is your first trip to the area, I tend to agree that you may be trying to cover too much. While Israel is a small country, there is so much of interest that your planned ten days there should be considered a minimum.

I was part of a group trip sponsored by the Ottawa branch of the Canada Israel Cultural Foundation. We started in Tel Aviv - which I find to be a lively and interesting city with much to see and do. I would strongly recommend a visit to the Palmach museum which is relatively new and an informative and moving experience. A visit to Jaffa is a must and while I was bussed there, it is walking distance from Tel Aviv and you can follow the beautiful boardwalk to get there. We visited the Ilana Goor Museum which is housed in a very old building and embodies old architecture and modern art. The Israeli Philharmonic is also a great experience if music is an interest.

I realize that I could go on and on as we travelled to Caesarea, Haifa, the Jezreel Valley, the Golan Heights and then down along the Sea of Galilee to Jordan and back to Israel to Eilat and then to Avdat, Rehovot and, finally, Jerusalem. Each site offered something special - insights into the Nabatean culture, the history of the German Templars in Israel and Jerusalem, of course, is a special city. They have now completed the tunnels under and along the Wall and they can be entered but I believe it is necessary to make arrangements well in advance. Jerusalem was a bit wild while we were there as Bill, Hilary and Chelsea were staying at the King David and Condaleeza was staying at our hotel, the David Citadel. Security was horrific.

We had a fantastic guide in Israel, Bonnie Shefa. She lives just outside of Jerusalem. If you're interested, you can email me for details. I felt very safe in Israel although I would avoid taking public buses in the big cities.

As others have noted, in Jordan Petra is a must. We didn't go to Jerash but, if time permitted, I would have liked to. We did visit Mt. Nebo, Madaba, and Wadi Rum - the land of Lawrence of Arabia.

There's much I've left out but I'll be happy to respond to your questions.

Regards, Judy in Toronto