early return from November 13 Israel/Jordan

Thanks to those who emailed, phoned or just worried about us in Israel and Jordan during the last ten days.

One note sympathized that events “had ruined” our trip.

Although it was very disappointing that we could not go to Jerusalem on our premature 80th and 75th birthday travel,the trip was hardly ruined. The four plus days in each country were without exception far better than we expected. [It seems unlikely that I will ever want to ride another camel, but that was the best way to climb back to the treasury in Petra in the mid-day sun.]

Here are some comments, mainly about the way violence altered the trip --rather than about the congenial company, exciting sites, very competent guides, good if excessive food,etc.

We never felt in real danger, heard only a few shots, watched a peaceful parade in Haifa supporting the Hamas. The excellent tour director --funny, extremely knowledgeable, caring, looked like Stubby Kaye, married to a Prof of philosophy at the U of Toronto—reassured us that we would not have to change the schedule, that this sort of thing happened so frequently that no travel would be possible if stopped because of such a scare. So we thought that night and Saturday morning –only to learn that all tours were leaving Israel as soon as they could before borders were closed.

Although Jerusalem was quiet Saturday [so emailed the good friends who were planning to show us on Sunday places the tour missed and then take us home to dinner. On Friday the Old City had been closed down for hours, we were told. So we spent a very pleasant morning and had a fine lunch in Akko, crossed the border after a delay of about 3 hours for unknown reasons. We had very good days seeing the same wonders that were four days later on our schedule. Until quite late Tuesday, we hoped to return to Jerusalem, All 28 stayed with the group, were eager to see Jerusalem, worried little apparently about explosions --just about red tape, and delays, especially at the border. Allegedly computer hackers were tryiong to shut down all crossings.

The cease fire started an hour before we left the hotel for the Annan airport.

Enough. It was good to get home on American Thanksgiving, pretty much at the scheduled time, just 4 days early.

The above is copied from an email to friends rather than designed for Tauck travel.
NOTE:
Tauck handled all superbly. They rebooked flights for all of us, most returning home, others changing to Cairo,Paris,Athens for the days missed in Jerusalem. The refund came by mid-day Friday, less than 24 hours after we arrived in Victoria.
NOTE: if anyone has comments and questions, you are welcome to send me email [email protected]
I will not often read the forums.

Apologies if this is even more incoherent and mistyped than usual. Excerpt for sleeping on planes [Annan-Frankfurt-Seattle-Victoria], I had not slept for 47 hours until about 9 Thursday night.

Cheers,
Herb

Herb
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