Bittersweet Endings in Israel

Israel is over. It's still sinking in. 

Like a sudden, if expected, breakup. 
Wait, you're leaving me? No no, I'm leaving you.
That I nearly reached a solid three months living in Israel is something I never expected myself to be able to say. It is one of many surprises I expect to encounter on this voyage of mine.

Staying in the less-than-desirable town of Eilat the almost whole time and nearly going crazy? Not so surprising.

Even so, my time was cut a bit short in that strange and sometimes forceful country, and I'll have to go back sometime to see the northern half.

Sometime when they're not toying with the idea of war.
Our friendly local bomb shelter
I will remember it as the only land whose people go out of their way to let you know that "you are not alone in Israel."

In no other country has a native gone out of his way to tell me, a foreigner, this comforting statement. Yet in Israel, it happened to John and me at least five times.

"You are not alone in Israel."

Makes me feel all warm and bubbly inside.
Goodbye, desert road...
Being as we had to remain out of Europe's Schengen Group due to visa requirements, our next stop was Turkey; the proximity was close and the price was right.

We left November 20th, which means....we had Thanksgiving in TURKEY.

But before we move on to our Turkish Thanksgiving coverage, I’ll end with a few photos of some of the things I’ll always remember about living in Eilat...

The Red Sea.
Sure the tankers marred the view a bit..but it was a view
That's Jordan across the way, if you were wondering.

Walking in the desert at night.
Sometimes this weirdo followed me
Getting amazing Bedouin lafa bread (like pita but flatter and bigger) made fresh for $1.
Here, we try to convince the Bedouin man to
make us some stuffed Lafa Bread
He consented.

Putting the Lafa dough on the hot
And a chocolate-filled Lafa is born

Hanging out and learning how to free dive (er, beginning to learn) at the Aqua-Sport beach where John worked.
John coming out of the water with his class
Bar dog, you're cool
The Bedouin area for smoking hookah or riding a fake camel
And oh, the sunsets...

Cheap, home-cooked meals that never failed to satisfy.
Classic roasted vegetables with an Israeli pita and cottage cheese twist.

The cats. Obviously the cats. They were everywhere.
cat on a dumpster
I've been spotted
cats in eilat
Four. And that's not even the bulk of 'em that walk this alley
evil eye cat
This one is casting a spell on John

cats in israel
Who doesn't love a good kitty dumpster dive?
(Yup, that's three sets of eyes you're seeing)

The cheese. Oh, the cheese. Who would have thought that Israel has the most amazing fresh cheeses maybe in the world? The cottage cheese here is a whole different animal. Rich, thick, and smooth, it beats the American stuff by a landslide. A landslide of cheese. What's more, most of their fresh cheeses come with at least three different options of fat content, usually ranging from 5-15%, but sometimes from 3-25%. Yeah variety.
israel cottage cheese
Top left: cottage cheese, then a pepper-studded semi-soft cheese, and finally a traditional cream cheese.

So, here we come, Turkey. Judging by the amazing smells that somehow waft from everywhere I've been so far in this country (that being an airport, two bus terminals, two buses, and a farm), I can tell we're going to enjoy the food here...

Stay tuned!


  1. Leaving a country is never easy... but at least you're on to new adventures! :)
    & by the way - the roasted veggies & lafa bread look drool-worthy.

  2. Roasted veggies is one of our is it that it's so amazing every time ??




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