via Athens and Porto Rafti
21.09.2019 - 22.09.2019 24 °C
Corinth to Nablus
Taxi ride via the Corinth canal to the station. A canal was proposed as early as 7BC the idea was abandoned in favour of a portage road, the Diolkos, where the boats were hauled overland for about 8Km. The Romans then had ago but it wasn’t finished until 1881 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corinth_Canal.
The train took us to Athens airport and a taxi transfer to the hotel. We were planning a swim in the sea but it was far too windy. The journey’s entertainment was trying to organise a rendezvous with Clare a friend of Val’s from school days , who just happened to be sailing in the area. They had been moored in the bay a few days before but we missed each other by a whisker and it was too windy for them to “retrace their tacks”!
The next morning we flew out of Athens and arrived in Tel Aviv by 9:30. Superfast entry to Israel with no questions asked. We took the Sherut ( shared taxi in Hebrew, it is a minibus and does not operate to a timetable, leaving when all seats are taken) to The Damascus gate in Jerusalem. A quick stop for refreshment and for Val to change into more modest clothing ( you know how immodest I usually am!) and we were in the queue ( crush! ) for the bus (18) to Ramallah, actually we joined 3 crushes before getting a seat but we were lucky as we managed a seat on an air conditioned coach.
We passed the familiar sites and it felt good to be there; Garden Tomb, St Georges Cathedral,
American Colony, Hellen Keller school for the blind. Soon were at the checkpoint, no searches for us but the delays to traffic are huge ,its chaotic.
A change of bus in Ramallah and onto Nablus. A windy road through the Olive clad mountains,
a glimpse of some shepherds ( by chance this photo snap shows him praying, I think).
The illegal settlements have become more established since I was here in 2014 and the road closures are having a huge impact on the ability of the locals to travel from city to city within the West Bank.
Roads are closed to Palestinians allowing the settlers to travel with ease, so our journey of 41 miles took us just over 4 hours. Our journey of 33 miles from the airport to Jerusalem (Israel not Palestinian territory) was approximately 40 mins.
Alighting from the bus we were immediately welcomed by a passing local who ensured we knew the way to our guest house, a short walk int the Old City, past the Kanafeh shop and the soap factory and we arrived at the lovely Soufan Guest House. https://www.booking.com/hotel/ps/soufan-guest-house.html