A Travellerspoint blog

These Piggies are not Terrorists: Israel Part II

It was hard for the piggies to leave Palestine. Part of them really wanted to just stay there for their remaining three days. But they also thought Haifa might be interesting.

Haifa was okay. The highlights being the Baha'i gardens:

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And a small town called Akko to the north of Haifa:

Akko seaside

Akko seaside


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Where the piggies visited the historic prison
creepy statues

creepy statues


creepier statues

creepier statues

What made the trip the best was staying with three Arab-Israelis in Haifa (a historically Arab community). Everyone spoke Arabic all the time. It was beautiful.

Then, the piggies favorite part of Israel out of the entire two weeks was flying home. Unlike the first visit to the airport, the guards check your passport upon arrival and this time they definitely saw the Lebanese stamps and Moroccan stamps (the Tunisian ones were okay though?) and asked a lot of questions about what the piggies were doing there, why the piggies speak Arabic, who they met and hung out with, etc.... Then a female officer came over and asked more questions, some the same and some about what I was doing and where I was in Israel and Palestine.

Then she put a barcode on their passport(s) and luggage. The barcode started with a 6. As already posted on facebook, israeli security uses this to quickly separate people. 1&2 is for Israelis. These are very good numbers. 2 is also for diplomats. 3 is for foreigners posing no threat. Such as Christian tourists on vacation or nice Italian couples who stayed in Tel Aviv and don't speak Arabic. 4 and 5 are for foreigners posing some threat. Tourists with an Iraqi great grandfather or who went to Palestine at all. 6 is the worst and means you are very dangerous.

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The piggies went through a special security line reserved for people with numbers 5 and 6. Their bag was checked a number of times, tested for explosives about 7, strip searched in a closet, had their hair searched, phone calls were made about them while they were stared down by guards, etc....

First time anyone ever thought 3 cute little piggies looked suspicious!!
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Posted by gabell 04:42 Archived in Israel Comments (1)

Palestinian Piggies

The piggies spent most of their time in Ramallah and made day trips out.

This little piggie went to market (Nablus)
markets in Nablus

markets in Nablus

The knafeh maker: Knafeh is a famous Middle Eastern dessert

The knafeh maker: Knafeh is a famous Middle Eastern dessert

This little piggie visited Bethlehem
Banksy artwork in Bethlehem

Banksy artwork in Bethlehem

Jesus' birth cave

Jesus' birth cave


scaffolding in the church built on Jesus's birthplace

scaffolding in the church built on Jesus's birthplace

This little piggie got political and probably isn't allowed back in Israel after posting this....
Protest at Bil'in

Protest at Bil'in


Protest at Bil'in

Protest at Bil'in

Israelis shooting tear gas across the wall

Israelis shooting tear gas across the wall

This little piggies says tear gas hurts a lot.

Posted by gabell 23:44 Archived in State of Palestine Comments (1)

A Holy Pigrimage

From Cyprus, the pigs headed to Israel. Many questioned why they would go to an active war zone...those were perfectly valid questions...

Luckily for the piggies, a ceasefire began around the time the piggies flew to Tel Aviv, August 12th. They were worried about having Lebanese stamps in their little piggie passports. It seemed the normal consensus from the other crazy farm animals who voluntarily went to Lebanon before Israel said this would probably result in a 1-4 hour questioning session by the Israeli police at the boarder.

Luckily for the piggies, they arrived at 6:30am. The hypothesis is that the woman in charge of looking at their passports was really tired from the end of a night shift and didn't see the stamps because she waved the piggies through all too easily. Luckily, upon leaving, they had a whole different fiasco.

So, the piggies stayed in Tel Aviv at the house of two very nice Israeli twins.

They spent most of their time with them and hanging out on the beach. One afternoon they walked down to Jaffa, a historically Arabic community with one of the oldest active ports in the world.
Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Jaffa

Jaffa


View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa

View of Tel Aviv from Jaffa

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From Tel Aviv, the piggies moved on to Jerusalem with their hosts for a traditional Shabbot dinner. However, the one twin was moving and the other went to Berlin so they moved into a hostel....

The piggies then had a very religious weekend....
One little piggie turned Jewish
Wailing Wall

Wailing Wall


One little piggie was already Muslim
Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem

Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem


And the party piggie decided to be extra Christian for the weekend but will probably go nuts once he gets away from the religious inspiration.
Inside Mary's tomb

Inside Mary's tomb


Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus' body was laid

Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus' body was laid

Despite the three religions, the piggies live in harmony unlike the rest of the world.

They also spent an afternoon at the Dead Sea which is just as good as everyone makes it out to be.
Dead Sea

Dead Sea

Dead Sea

Dead Sea

Posted by gabell 06:57 Archived in Israel Comments (1)

The piggies apologizing for traveling too much

And their long overdo silence

Where 'O Where are the pigs?

Currently doing a summer filled with adventures that some might deem "too dangerous." But rest assured, the news definitely makes things look worse than they are!!

The pigs spent two months in Lebanon (though unfortunately, it seems the piggies felt they were getting a bit porky and were self conscious and didn't take many photos of themselves....)

Their reason: take a seven week intensive Arabic course (7 hours a day) at American University of Beirut
Result: Utter exhaustion but the ability to impress cab drivers (talking pigs??)

traditional sweets

traditional sweets


typical dinners

typical dinners


Sidon, crusader castle

Sidon, crusader castle


Sidon

Sidon


animals like monkeys, birds, and dogs, are typically kept in cages and sold on the roadside

animals like monkeys, birds, and dogs, are typically kept in cages and sold on the roadside


Roman Hippodrome in Tyr/Sur

Roman Hippodrome in Tyr/Sur

Climbing the ancient Phoenician temple, pretty much the only remaining in the word, definitely not renovated, definitely the most dangerous thing the piggies did in Lebanon

Climbing the ancient Phoenician temple, pretty much the only remaining in the word, definitely not renovated, definitely the most dangerous thing the piggies did in Lebanon

no trip is complete without shooting some guns!

no trip is complete without shooting some guns!

volunteering with refugees

volunteering with refugees

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Waterfall (without water), the third most dangerous thing the piggies did in Lebanon besides getting in any taxi anywhere, ever

Waterfall (without water), the third most dangerous thing the piggies did in Lebanon besides getting in any taxi anywhere, ever


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Piggies celebrated the victory of the German world cup final

Piggies celebrated the victory of the German world cup final

of course, they were subject to a very intense and exhausting course of tricky Arabic puzzles. This says in Arabic, "What is it?"

of course, they were subject to a very intense and exhausting course of tricky Arabic puzzles. This says in Arabic, "What is it?"

So many photos were taken in Lebanon, most of which were already posted on facebook....but Lebanon Part II might come soon as well

Next up: Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, and Jordan....!!!

Posted by gabell 01:35 Archived in Lebanon Comments (1)

Running around Boarders: Cyprus

The boarder between Lebanon and Israel is closed. This means, despite seeing Israel from Lebanon twice, no one is allowed to cross between the countries directly by land, air, or sea. Essentially, they pretend the other doesn't exist. Fair enough after all the war between the two. In fact, if the Lebanese can prove you have ever been to Israel, they can (and will) deny you entry (with maybe a few exceptions like specialists from the country or celebrities or something).

Luckily, its quite easy to go to Israel without proof. So the piggies decided to fly to Cyprus after Lebanon and connect from there. But of course, why go and not see the area?

Two days in Larnaca. They stayed with a man who was interesting to say the least, but that's a different story entirely.
He drove them around the island quite a bit to some very lovely looking sites:
Laranca is very much a resort city

Laranca is very much a resort city


really amazing views and cliffs

really amazing views and cliffs


rocks

rocks


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the man's three legged dog who hobbled around with us

the man's three legged dog who hobbled around with us


and a kitten companion to match

and a kitten companion to match


more amazing views

more amazing views


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the only interesting photo from a monastery

the only interesting photo from a monastery


this man was the highlight of the trip. He owns a restaurant in Cyprus in the mountains and showed me all the antiques decorating the walls from his grandmother. This was one of his favorites.

this man was the highlight of the trip. He owns a restaurant in Cyprus in the mountains and showed me all the antiques decorating the walls from his grandmother. This was one of his favorites.

Cyprus is nice. But it's very much a "vacation," "holiday" destination. Good for families, groups of friends, or couples. For solo-traveling pigs, other destinations seemed more interesting. Such a active war zones!! Israel during the war next up!!

Posted by gabell 01:23 Archived in Cyprus Comments (0)

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