A remarkable summer
It was June and I still didn’t have any summer plans. By choosing to travel to Israel I expected a different summer, near Europe but away from the typical touristic centres.I ended up in Nazareth, as I could have spent my august in Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem. I actually preferred those, but finally, the idea of getting to know something different away from the main cities called my attention. It was definitely a good choice, as the experiences lived here wouldn’t have been the same in another town.
Nazareth is a small city in the north of the country with an Arab majority population (which is something I discovered after deciding to spend there three weeks). This makes it very special and different from other cities or towns in Israel. Walking through the old city and talking to the people there, who are willing to speak about the history of the city was very interesting. Whenever you feel the need to talk to someone you can just sit at a cafe, drink some arabic cofee, have some delicious sweets (qatayef and knafe are my favorites) and start a conversation. Seeing the sunset from Mount Precipice or enjoying the atmosphere at the area of Mary’s Well is always a good plan in this city packed with history. The history of its people who live their lives as in any other country in the world, trying to get the best of them. Meeting some of Sami and Silke’s friends was a pleasure. Educated, knowledgeable and artistic people.
Those are my impressions on the city but I feel oblidged to share about the trips I made around the country. Going to one place or another felt so different: religious, hipster, cosmopolitan, more tense and more relaxed, ugly or beautiful cities. You can find plenty of different places and feelings travelling around. The contrasts are immense.
Finally, I would encourage anyone who visits this part of the world to go to the West Bank. That is mainly because you have a bunch of nice places to see that shouldn’t be taken from you by an irrational fear. Seeing the hills of Palestine through the sherut and visiting the city of Nablus was one of the most remarkable moments from my journey. Meeting the people there and wandering around on my own felt good. Again, talking to people was so much easier than in Europe. Common conversations, just like anywhere else: spots to see in Nablus and football mainly. Once I was back in Nazareth I was happy I had done it, even though the idea sounded a bit crazy the night before.
Thanks for everything Silke and Sami,