Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mitzpe Ramon, and a big hole in the ground

I'm pretty well up to my eyeballs here at work, which is to be expected after taking two weeks off. Regardless, I'm going to try to put up additional pictures and tell a few stories in multiple posts. I know that some people aren't too fond of the thousand word diatribes that I've been known to produce.

I'll come back to the initial trip over and the backstory. For now I'll skip to the fourth day in Israel, when I was given a tour through the Negev Desert of the south. Earlier in the day we visited the gravesite of David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, and the ancient Nabatean city of Avdat. We ended the day at the Ramon Crater. It is the world's largest erosion cirque and an unparalleled sight. Here is a picture of the Crater from the overlook at Mitzpe Ramon:We first drove down into the Crater and hiked a brief trail called the Carpentry along the Crater floor up a small hill. Here's a view looking back toward Mitze Ramon and the visitors center:As we were driving down the road to the Crater floor, a group of wild Nubian Ibex came down the slope and up to the car in front of us. They are apparently quite tame, because they came right up to this car and the man inside rolled down his window and fed one!As we made our way back from the overlook at Mitzpe Ramon I saw a couple of hikers sitting on ledges of the cliff face below the visitors center - both braver souls than I can claim to be.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sunshine and Warm Weather

I know it has been a whole month, but I actually do have a valid excuse. I took a two-week vacation! For someone whose idea of time off is an extended weekend, this was a huge step. The best part about this was the destination: Israel. Here's a picture of Kibbutz Urim where I stayed with my friend Natan and his parents.

I've got plenty of stories to tell and pictures to share. But right now I'm jet-lagged and I've got to pick up two weeks of mail at the post office.