A New Journey – Jordan and Israel

Jordan and Israel – together, the “Holy Land”. How will I,  without a sense of the “holy” receive this place? How will it receive me? Can I hold my peace and let those around me find their own comfort and wonder in their journey, or will I be a profane rationalist in a sacred place?…

‘Hump Day’ – a Return to Jordan

We were collected at 8.00 for the transfer to Amman. On the van with us for the journey was Evita from the Kimberly and her son ‘Huey the Gamer’.  On the way, we chatted about her life in remote Australia.  Here we were, on the other side of the world, discussing two alien worlds inside…

Desert of Tragic Battles

After several days of sometimes frustrating visits to pilgrimage places of dubious legitimacy, it was time to head out into the desert and discover the sites of some of the most tragic forks in the historical road of ancient times.

Jerusalem and Bethlehem

This was a day that was filled with new discoveries and experiences, but was strangely unsatisfying. Compromises are made when you’re on a tour and sometimes I pine for solo travel, at my own pace.

Galilee to Jerusalem

The Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter is a church on the shore of the Sea of Galilee that commemorates the episode in the Gospel of John where the disciples have returned to fishing and the resurrected Jesus appears on the shore and tells them how to catch a whole lot of fish. The…

The ‘City of David’ and Tel Aviv

The ‘City of David’ is a site that is both archaeological dig and tourist attraction. It is the site of the earliest habitation of Jerusalem, on top of a ridge to the south of the Old City. I was a bit ambivalent about the ‘City of David’, because it’s a site run by a settlers…

Overland from Amman to Jerusalem

Everything that I’d read online told me to expect a long day waiting in queues at each stage as we progressed across the border from Jordan to the Israeli border post, especially as this was a Saturday and the Israeli side closed at 3 in the afternoon for Shabbat. We rose at six. 

Living the High Life

The Highline was formerly an elevated railway through west Manhattan. Built in 1934, it operated until 1980. It’s hard to understand why elevated railways existed, because they’re extremely ugly and noisy infrastructure, but I guess they were cheaper than underground railways. Here’s what the Highline looked like soon after it opened: After the line closed,…

So long, Frank Lloyd Wright

A slight detour on our return journey from Niagara Falls took us to the nearby city of Buffalo. The once great and prosperous city on Lake Ontario probably deserves more time, but we were on a tight schedule, and there was only one place I allowed myself – the Martin Prairie House, designed by Frank…

Niagara Falls in Winter

The Niagara Falls area is a huge tourist attraction for Americans and Canadians and, as I discovered, people from all over the world. But that is in summertime. In winter it is freezing cold and much of the tourist hordes stay away. For good reason, we discovered – when we arrived there after a strenuous…

“Sad!”

​I am above the clouds, Houston to New York. It is two days after Donald Trump’s inauguration. It is unlikely that I will ever visit Houston again. To quote the Great Man’s favourite word: “Sad!”.  Houston indeed struck me as a sad place. A city of millions, it was virtually deserted. On the downtown streets,…