This being the first weekend in Israel, our hosts were keen to offer us a good taste of the uniqueness of the country. They took us on an organised trip to Ein Gedi, Dead sea and Masada. I will put up the images now and come on in later with the details. Wonderful hospitality. Thank you guys.
Descent into the Dead sea region, the lowest point on the surface of earth 427 metres below sea level, literally into the bowels of the earth.
The beautiful Ein Gedi springs region. A good hours trek with lot of fresh waterfalls in between to cool off.
And a lot of young couples at the falls.
One of my favourite images from the trip with our guide, Elan (second from the left) pointing at the Dead sea in the background.
Dead sea beach.
Yours truly, doing what everyone else does in the Dead sea, chilling on buoyancy.
I think it’s time for the first post from Israel. Let me start with the usual conversation starters.
The sun is out from maybe early 530 am to a decently late 830 pm in the evening. With the desert in the vicinity, you can imagine the effect of the magnificent Sol in the temperatures here. Coming from Vellore , it is not as hot, but, I do mean really “but….”, tomorrow we are going to the Dead sea and the surrounding areas, and things should get pretty hot tomorrow.
Most of my day is spent inside in the a/c classrooms and hence I don’t feel the heat.
I haven’t had a chance to interact much with the local people here but whomever I have met in the student community (Israelis),they are wonderful hosts and really sweet people. They are mostly physically fit people and it is difficult to find scrawny human beings in the campus. I think that is the effect of the ecosystem in the campus and when I go to the community as part of my practicum, I shall be more knowledgeable and shall enlighten you folks. I shall soon shoot them and present them to you. It is holiday time here and there are many summer festivals here in the city. Families come in droves in the cool There was one yesterday that I attended and here are a few images.
They eat quite a lot (maybe got to do with their physical fitness levels) and there is a nice buffet canteen where I eat lunch mostly. A good hot meal of rice, different combinations of vegetables (boiled and as in salads) and a side of meat(chicken/beef/turkey/fish) costs about 24.5 Shekels. I shall post the images later. I haven’t tried hummus or falafel or shawarma here though. (I have eaten falafel in Rome and shawarma at home , let’s see how different things are)
It is hot and hence, let me put it this way, people don’t bother with clothes much. No offence meant but, both men and women, dress very casually (unless they are professors / executives / janitors /policemen). The “inner” in inner wear doesn’t hold true, for men and women. Coming from a country where it is hot everyone is covered top to bottom, it is a fresh breeze blowing here. Plus, women are really fashionable here , in the campus and outside, and you can see Zara/Gucci/Louis Votton/ etc, etc very often in the streets.
This may not appeal to many of the folks here but I do like to notice the cars in the places I go. I wanted to write about Srilankan cars but never got about to it and hence I shall fulfil my wishes here. BMW, Audi, Hyundai, Mazda, Ford, Subaru, Nissan, Volvo, Toyota and surprise, surprise The Suzuki Alto (and a Ritz model called Splash) rule the roads here. Most are sleek and modern and have a fluidic design.
Anything else you want me to add?
I am going to Israel for a month for a short course in Global Health in the Ben Gurion university of the Negev.
I hope to put up photos of that great nation , pretty regularly.
If any of my readers know anyone in Israel, do let me know.
As you might know, work and studies have brought me back to my old Vellore. Here’s a slice of it. It is sumer here and it is best enjoyed with mangoes.
If you somehow happen to think that this is just another placid lake in Srilanka, you are wrong. This is the Lake Placid of Srilanka.. (haha,, a very corny line, but I just couldn’t resist it)
Well, folks, this is actually the Lake Placid in Trincomalee known as Muthalakkulam (means “crocodile lake”) . I can’t recollect the exact story behind this but a short google search should take you there. I am feeling a little lazy to put in the link.
Someone actually left a few crocs in this lake and now it is infested with the reptiles.
When we saw this guy while passing by, we were like, “Oh my! Shouldn’t we warn him or something?”, but it so happened, the old fisherman was a regular there and knows the schedule of the crocodiles . Apparently, they go across the lake in the mornings and come back in the evenings.
This is Mr Santhosh (aka Aashavan), who was our guide and driver for the journey. He was explaining the lifestyle of the crocodiles. Apparently, if you come to this place in the night, you can see elephants too.
I shall disappear for a few days as my work is getting hectic. See you soon!
Either I must keep apologising for my regularly irregular absences from here, or I should leave from here altogether. Dear friends, I have gotten into training for a postgraduate degree in Pediatrics in my alma mater (Christian Medical College, Vellore) at which my life is going to be shaped in the next three years (for the rest of my life too). Coming back to the blog post at hand, sometimes, life throws faces at you which you cannot forget. I am not talking about “The Afghan girl” type impact but, you know, somehow ordinary people who leave an indelible impression on us. Here is one that of a child and his father, both fisherfolk, from the harbour area of Trincomalee.
Sometimes travelling makes you feel silly. Fascinated by the descriptions and photos, you pack your bags, take a long trip and arrive at a destination just to find out that it was almost like your neighborhood. Just kidding. No two travellers visit the same place. (more…)