Monday, July 20, 2009


So, I am in Italy now and have been here for a week. Internet access for me has been very limited and most of it has been dedicated to my course selection for back at SFU, and searching for hostels and researching cities. I stayed in Florence for 5 nights at 2 different hostels, and then I went to a small town called Sora for 2 nights. I am in Florence now and it is really nice. I will try to see some museums tomorrow and I am usure where I shall go next. I will go to Berlin in 1 week to see friends, and then to Switzerland to see my family there. I have 3 more weeks in Europe before I return home, it has been really good here. I will writeout some stories soon if I can... or else I will just have to tell them all to you in person when I return home.

Friday, July 10, 2009


From Monday - Wednesday we enjoyed the sun by the Red Sea in Eilat. :) It was beautiful there and very hot. In the afternoon it was over 40 degrees! Eilat is at the South-Eastern tip of Israel on the Red Sea. The Red Sea is at the meeting point of four countries: Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. From Israel, the only country you can easily visite is Jordan where you can go on a day trip to Petra, but we did not have time to go this trip.

Instead, we spent the trip lazing around the pool of our hotel (Isrotel Riviera Club) and snorkeling at the coral reefs. The coral reefs in Eilat were amazing, we swam and were completely surrounded by fish. We spent a lot of time in the water and then went to Aroma Cafe for a nice salade and Ice Aroma.

We then went back to continue snorkeling and I cut my foot on the dock. I had the lifeguard get me a bandaid, and we were invited back up to the lifeguard area and were given popsicles and cold water. :)

Other events included shoping. I bought a nice dress from Mango, and a tank top from Top Shop. These are both stores that are not found in Vancouver (except I hear that Mango has a boutique at the Vancouver airport?). Eilat was the perfect place to buy them since Eilat is tax free!

In the evenings we went one evening to a place called Monkeys, which is very popular and had a live cover band. And the second evening we went to a lounge on the beach and watched the stars.

All in all, we had a great time in Eilat. If i went again I would try to participate in a water sport there. They have boats and water toys that can be rented. One of the most popular things there is Kite Boarding. I would also make time for a day trip to see Petra.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Israel, out and about

Since camping ended, Gloria and I have not stopped moving. We spent the next day in Tel Aviv going to the Carmel market, Nevetsedik (a cute road) for lunch and then to the Beach. We started near the Dolphinarium and made out way up. On the walk up, 2 guys who happened to be walking at the same pace as us as my friend in Hebrew where Gordon beach was. It is a well known beach, and this may or not have been a conversation starter. Anyhow, we ended up hanging out with them for the afternoon at the beach. The people in Israel are very friendly. :). I also found it very interesting to speak with them, as they were my age but due to the circumstances of their country, doing very different things than I am. At 21, an Israeli is generally finishing up their army service, while a Canadian is finishing up university. They have to put thier lives on hold to serve their country and after, most want to travel. Here in Israel military service is mandatory for males and females. So, when we were talking to people at the Clara that night (a beach club... sooooo nice), it was noted that really, we were not that unsafe in Israel as everyone there is a soldier. Also, it is interesting to think that everyone we meet, their mothers even had to serve in the Army.

The next day we woke up early and went to Ein Gedi, Masada (great view!!.. a hilltop village) and then to the Dead Sea. We decided to go to the Ein Gedi Spa, as having somewhere to wash off after the Sea is important. We started off by a quick dip in the pool and then to cover our bodies in mud. It was great, covering myself from head to toe in mud. I love mud. Anyhow, after we went into the Dead Sea. It is true that you actually float! I lifted my feet and they went straight to the surface! Flipping onto my stomach, I had a hard time putting them back down... took a lot of muscle! After the nice day, we drove back to Tel Aviv and went to my friend's sister's house to watch a movie.

Today, we just lazed around and went to the beach in Tel Aviv again. I got to go SURFING with her sister's husband. I managed to catch a couple waves but never to fully stand and stay up. I didn't do too badly for my first hour of surfing. Some people there were really great. Surfing is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Israel, but people here really love it and there are great waves. I had to stop after only and hour because my legs were raw from rubbing the board. So, Gloria and I played a paddle game that is very popular here.

So, I will update again in about 3 days with news from our trip down to Eilat. :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Camping in Northern Israel

From Tuesday to Thursday Gloria, her nephew, her mother and I went camping in Northern Israel. The day was off to a rough start when we stopped by her mother's house to pick her up. We stopped in front of the stairs that lead up to her house and I waited in the car with her nephew... double parked. After about 5 min a man wanted to leave his parking place so I had to move the car. I called her to get the code to unlock the door and slowely was able to pull forward (my first time driving since last August). Moments after I pulled forward a police officer came up to my window and started yelling at me in Hebrew. Eventually I was able to speak to say I did not speak Hebrew and then he repeated his speach in English. It was not that bad and luckily Gloria soon returned and was able to get the officer to offer to help her with her bags!

Finally we were off, driving north up to Ceasarea, an old city built by Harrod that had a splendid port which is now sunken into the sea. We spent most of the afternoon there and went swimming by the old aquaduct. Our next destination was Mogiddo (Armageddon) where we walked up the hill to see the valleys where it is written that that will take place. By this time it was getting late and we had no time to stop in Nazereth, so we just drove through it.

After a billion wrong turns (no roads in Israel are well marked) we arrived at our first nights camp ground. It looked very odd... basically there was no grass and no trees, just gravel covered by huge canopies. There were 3 other people at the site who invited us to dine with them. They also informed us of a yellow snake that they had just seen. Needless to say, we all just laughed nervously at the state of the site, the people, and the snake. We considered leaving but ended up staying since it was late. It ended up being a nice evening where we had a campfire together and the 4 of us slept in a tent.

The next morning we woke up all hot and sweaty from the heat. We made our was straight to Caperneum, which has one of the synagogues that Jesus preached at. It is also the small town that a number of the Apostles are from. Next came the Mt. of Beatitudes and then Tel Dan which was the major destination for the day. Tel Dan, where the tribe of Dan lived, became idol worshippers and were then cursed. It was a beautiful park to walk around though. The last stop of the day was Nimrod's Fortress which is near Mt. Hermon (the tallest mountain in Israel). Nimrod's Fortress was fun because it was built a bit more recently, in the early 13th century, and therefore was more intact so we could go climbing through it, down creepy staircases and sneak through secret passages. That night we slept near Tiberius at a B&B.

Our final day, we went to the Jordan river (where Jesus was baptized) and then to Beit She'an to see another archeological site. We wanted to see one last site and to get there a route was chosen that would take a main highway... through a Palestinian controlled area. So, we arrived at the border and not allowed through. So we asked the guards an alternative route; they were all very friendly. About 4 helped us, and another 5 were standing further away calling out "we speak English!". We were unable to see the site, and went straight back to Tel Aviv. A great 3 days of camping came to an end.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Just letting everyone know that I arrived safely in Israel Sunday morning... at about 4 am! I spent yesterday at the beach in Tel Aviv getting a bit of a suntan and relaxing. There were really large waves and lots of people surfing. I hope to get a chance to surf before I leave, but yesterday we just got beat up by the waves while walking through the water. The water is even saltier than in Vancouver. We then went to Jaffo. It is gorgeous here, and not too hot!

Today we are off to Jerusalem.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bye Parisian Student Life!

I leave for Israel tomorrow. My exams went well. I have no internet access at my place and no time here at a friends. The past week has been very crazy. Everynight a goodbye party, my final exams, packing, etc. I will miss Paris and everyone here a ton. I will (I promise) write about what has happened here in June as soon as I can. I have a ton of pictures and stories to share. Hope all is well! A bientot.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Today, is an intense study day waiting to happen. This morning I went to coffee with a friend from school, and then proceeded to have lunch with another. What occurs to me, is this is the last time I will have one-on-ones with these people, as I only have 9 days left here! I may see them in passing, but the days are so numbered!

I again bring little news... Last night there was a BBQ for all the people from Vancouver and all the Sciences-Po students going to Vancouver next year. It is neat that there will be at least a little continuity in the people I know. They all showed up late, but that is normal here. If you set a dinner for 6, don't expect people until 730, etc.

Continuing todays procrastination, I read other people's blogs... when I found this (click here) and recognized that I am NZ from Vancouver :P. It was fun hanging out with her. Her, being a girl from my Media and Politics class. However, do I actually ever talk like that? I honestly cannot believe I said "Blast", but I suppose it is possible.

I promised to put up picture, but that will be tomorrow. :)