I am going to be in Israel from the 20th to the 28th of January. The plan is to be in Tel Aviv for two or three days from the 20th, then hopefully Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth, perhaps a little wine tourism in the Golan Heights, and Beersheba if I have time, which I may not. This will be my first trip and as always, there can be more visits. One of the purposes of a first trip to anywhere is to find out about the interesting things to do and see on subsequent visits.
The aim, as is the case with most of my travel, is to go, look round, and try to get some sense of the place. In Israel, the cultural and architectural magnificence of the place makes this particularly daunting. I am coming with the sense that Israel is one of the most egregiously missing places from my travels, but also with a certain amount of cultural baggage. I attended Anglican Sunday school as a child, of course, but was taught my biblical history in the sense that it felt that these were mythical places. That they were actually real took a more adult understanding.
Plus of course, there is the modern economy: every government in the world has seemingly released press releases stating how “We must create the Silicon Valley of (wherever)” (seemingly failing to understand that by government direction is not how you do it), but Israel seems to be virtually the only country in the world with a startup and tech economy scene that is actually worthy of such a description. My admiration for this is enormous, but my detailed knowledge of it is less than I would like it to be. If anyone wants to tell me more about this / show me how this has happened, I would be delighted to let them tell me and/or show me.
Several of my Jewish and Israeli friends have already offered me advice on what to see and do, of course, but further advice would be welcome, particularly from readers of this blog who may have some sense of my quirky sensibilities. Comments on this post are welcome, as is e-mail to michael.jennings at gmail.com. I promise to write about interesting things that I find on this blog.