According to the biggest Israeli newspaper,Yedioth Ahronoth, who is quoting a highly ranked source in the Israeli foreign department, Norway is the most anti-Israeli country in the world… I wonder why….
After the usual “Werre have yoo biin in Izraeeel?” and the obligatory two hours with checking everything that’s in my baggage…. I am now waiting for my flight….
I was originally to fly from Tel-Aviv to Milano and then to Amsterdam, but for some reason they asked if it was okey if I go directly with KLM to Amsterdam instead of stopping over in Milano… HELL YEAH!!
That means I have a lot of time at Schipol airport, and hopefully I will be able to make a quick visit to the lovely city of Amsterdam
Problem is that it is 04:25 and I haven’t slept yet… Guess I’ll have to do that on the plane
Everything comes to an end… trips to the Middle East as well… Today I have been packing up my stuff and preparing to leave. I guess I’m about ready now. It is always sad to leave a place like this, but it will also be good to come home now… Hope it is raining and that the autumn storms has begun…
Last time for a while I will be able to sit in one of the towers of St Thomas home watching the sunset… I made a little video… I will miss this…
The rest of the day will contain some hours of waiting, taxi to Ben Gurion Airport, and a couple of hours with interrogation by the always funny zecurity… I have a vague idea on that they might ask me…. Then AlItalia will fly me safly home via Milano and Amsterdam, before landing in Oslo tomorrow night.. Inshallah…
Save the best part for last…. Today I finally got my ass over at the Dome of the Rock….
In a way I am very happy to just spend 2 hours in this city…. It reminds me a bit about Las Vegas…. Only not…. It really just sucks…. (Wonder if they ever regret giving the Sinai back to the egyptians…. It IS pretty crowded in wannabe-Las-Vegas )
Here is a little video:
After a really quick stop in Dahab I am on my way north towards Jerusalem…. Right now I am hanging out with more or less drunk jewish kids at the Beach in Eilat…. Little reminds you of the occupation a couple of hour further north…. But then again, war is not what Israelis seek when going to Israels own little Ibiza….
Rumors has it that it has been a large train accident in Egypt. Since I haven’t reached the land of the Pharaoes yet, there is no need to worry. I am, relatively, safe on a Egged Bus with bullet proof windows on the way from Jerusalem to Eilat. Just passed the Dead Sea, with all the Israeli Spa Hotels, and are now entering the Negev dessert. Attaching a picture of my new sunglasses…. Everyone else seem to think they are kinnda funny, while I find them classy…. (and cheap: $10)
Knowing that most people aren’t able to put neither Lebanon, Syria, Israel OR The West Bank on a map, I have made a little Google map with all the places where I have visited during the last month…
The Places under the map are clickable and will take you to the specific area where these places are found. It is also possible to use the slider to zoom and pan around in the map, and the red balloons can be clicked if you like more info about the place…
Quite exciting this Google Maps
Since I am about to leave for Egypt, some none-arabic food is what I need. Dont think sushi will be the easiest food to get the hold of in Cairo…. Then again…. Who knows
After one week in the holy city…. It is time for Ståle to return back to Norway. Thanks for visiting, see you soon.
Since this is Ståles last day on the occupied West Bank this time, we decided to go visit his old neighbours in Sawahreh and Abu Dis to say goodbye…
Abu Dis is a suburb to Jerusalem that is cut off from Jerusalem by The Apartheid Wall. Before the wall you could travel to Jerusalem in 10 minutes by car, now it takes 1 hour. The Palestinian Parliament Building is located in Abu Dis, but it has never been used, due to the fact that Abu Dis is completely cut of from Jerusalem. People living in Abu Dis has West Bank identification papers, and are therefor not allowed to visit Jerusalem. As you can see from the pictures we are not talking about another city, we are talking about their next door neighbours. On the picture above you can see The Dome of the Rock in center of the picture and Mount of Olives on the right… Pretty close in other words…
To get the best pictures of Abu Dis, Ståle came up with the idea of asking the workers on a construction site, if it was possible to get to the top of the 10 floor building they where working on. It turned out Ståle had been joking when he suggested this, but since I already asked the Foreman, and he allowed us, we found ourselves climbing the stairs of the highest building in Abu Dis…
Mr. Langørgen, equipped with quite a bit of Vertigo, had to admit that this “was one of the scariest things he had ever done on the West Bank…” (The last ladder to the top turned out to be the worst of the worst… )
I can’t think of any other place on this earth where it is possible to walk up to a construction site, say you are from Norway, and be allowed to enter the not yet finished 10 floor building… Amazing… Nothing less than amazing…
After a couple of hours in Abu Dis we headed for Sawahreh to visit an old beduin family that Ståle knew from before. The hospitality and kindness of Palestinians are hard to both imagine and describe as an European… Tea, Food, Fruit, Tea, Food and more Tea… Discussion in Eng-rabic about the Israelis, The Apartheid Wall, Kids, Marriage and you name what… It is way harder to leave such people, than it is to meet them and be accepted into the family.
After quite some day, we are chillin at Jerusalem hotel. Mixed grill, wine and The Usual Suspects: Ståle and Nora (Lady Di just left for the States with her jailkeeper)
Today’s journey went to the encircled city of Qalqilya on the occupied West Bank. Qalqilya is situated close to the Israeli border, and is completely surrounded by the Apartheid wall.
Getting in and out of Qalqilya can be a real hassle, you have to pass 2 permanent Israelli checkpoints, and there are often “flying-checkpoints” on the main roads. Causing long ques of cars and people. Today we where kind of lucky… on the way in to Qalqilya we where not stopped at any of the two checkpoints, and the journey took about 3.5 hour. Going by Sherut to Ramallah, and public bus and a private car!!! to Qalqilya.
Since today is Friday, all Muslim cities are very quiet… most of the shops are closed and the people are going to the Mosque for Friday praiers. Nevertheless we found both something to eat (delicious Hommous and Shis Kebab.. REALLY!!!) and The Apartheid Wall (The last of the two being the easiest to find.. )
On both to the North and the South side of Qalqilya, there are large Israeli settlements overlooking the enclosed city, and this is of course the official reason why there is an need for a wall… To walk along the the inside of the wall, and realize that the city is actually totally surrounded, is so bizarre it is hard to explain… This is nothing but a big outdoor prison… The Israelis controlling both who can enter the city and who can leave it…
It was a little surprising to find NORWEGIAN graffiti on the wall in Qalqilya, but it seems someone from the political party SV (Sosialistisk Venstreparti) have been here before us, and tagged the wall! Way to GO!!!
On the bus heading towards Qalqilya, we meet some guys who where very interested in where we were from, and what the hell we wanted to to in Qalqilya. After the usual 10 minutes of trying to explain, they were satisfied with us and welcomed us to Palestine (As they always do ) Then they showed us some videos on their mobile phones… Videos of what they do with spies (or collaborators) that are found guilty of working with the Israelis….
(Modern: (og alle andre mødre) Dere trenger ikke se på disse klippene… de er ganske drøye)
We also got the hold of some more from Al-Manar TV… this one also from the guys at the bus (who BTW claimed to be cops…)
These videos where handed us via Bluetooth from one mobile phone to another at a bus from Ramallah to Qalqilya in the occupied West Bank… Technology will never stop to amaze me….