I am about an hour away from leaving for the airport, for a flight to New York, where I will connect to an El Al flight to Tel Aviv. Of course, I am excited, though I usually wait until I arrive somewhere to get really pumped up about it. And while I obviously wouldn't be going to Israel unless I wanted to, it really isn't a place I've dreamed about going all my life. Though I am Jewish and proud of my heritage, I am not observant nor all that knowledgeable about Jewish or Israeli history.
But after having gone to several places in the U.S., Europe and even Australia, Israel just felt like the right place to go in my 40th year. And although many travelers to Israel, particularly Jews, don't go to Egypt, because my interest is more acutely photographic and historic than spiritual, I am really looking forward to my visit to Cairo as well.
A quick rundown of the itinerary and then I will try to post along the way:
Wednesday, I arrive in Israel and go first to Jerusalem. I stay there through Saturday, though on Friday will take a day-tour to Masada and the Dead Sea. Sunday, I take a bus down to Eilat, at Israel's southern tip, which serves as the gateway for a tour on Monday to Petra in Jordan. Getting back to Eilat, I then fly to Tel Aviv, where I stay for 3 days. I hope to get north to Akko, Safed & Haifa one day, and another will visit some cousins in Rehovot. Late at night on Thursday, April 2, I fly from Tel Aviv to Cairo, arriving at 1:40am. I have 3 days in Cairo, with my hotel literally across the street from the Great Pyramids. On Monday, I fly to London, where I have one night in town before flying home on Tuesday.
"The dogs on Main Street howl
'cause they understand
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man
And I believe in a promised land"