In order to get to Bethlehem, visitors must travel through the West Bank. For tourists, passing through the Israeli check point is generally problem free, but it is best to carry identification in case of a search.LET’S GO!
I wish there were a way to sum up the history of Jerusalem in a paragraph or two, but its 3,000 years of complicated history requires a detailed write up that I will leave to historians. Just the list of top places to visit in Jerusalem is extensive enough!FIND OUT MORE!
Misfat Al Abriyyin is a mountain village located just up the road from Al Hamra. It is one of the few old villages that actively welcomes tourists, though the signs posted at the parking area of the village entrance remind visitors to act respectfully. We stayed here after hiking the Balcony Walk in the Grand Canyon of Oman and really loved our authentic experience.FIND OUT MORE!
Nizwa is one of the oldest cities in Oman, and it was the country’s capital in the 5th and 6th centuries. Located at the base of the Western Hajar Mountains, it is strategically located at the crossroads of routes linking the interior of Oman to Muscat and Dhofar.VISIT NIZWA
After touring Muscat and exploring and camping in the Wadis of Oman for a few nights, we continued our week-long adventure with KE Adventures in the Sharqiya Sands, formerly named Wahiba Sands. After a welcome bed and shower at Oriental Nights Rest House, a perfect overnight for hiking Wadi Bani Khalid, our first stop was at a touristy Bedouin camp in this Arabian Desert. Book Here at Hotels.comDO THE DESERT!
There are several wadis in Oman and in my opinion are also the prettiest places in the country to visit. A few are conveniently located within two hours southeast of Muscat, providing for an optional day trip for those short on time while visiting Oman.
They are better visited, however, by staying in the nearby area. While there is only one hotel in the closest town, Tiwi (population 1,950), there is nearby camping on the popular Fins Beach, as well as a handful of options in the larger City of Sur (population 71,150) farther south.GET OUTSIDE!
Dating as far back as 5,000 BC Oman was the center of the frankincense trade. Before the 7th century, during pre-Islamic times, it prospered through the trade of copper. Later, Oman came under the leadership of the Bani Nabhan Dynasty which lasted 500 years where it suffered many civil wars between the tribal factions and the Sultan’s forces.EXPLORE MUSCAT!
After four weeks of island hopping in the South Pacific, I met my friends, Julie and Dustin, in the Solomon Islands. Because I had planned so much of my first four weeks in American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu, I relied heavily on Julie and Dustin for planning in the Solomons. As a result, I knew very little about the country which gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1978.
The sovereign state includes six major islands and over 900 smaller ones. During our visit to the Solomon Islands, we began in its capital, Honiara, and traveled west through the Central Province to the Western Province with the Taka dive boat. Ultimately, we ended our journey in Munda.EXPLORE
Getting to Santo
Continuing my journey around the South Pacific, I visited another island in Vanuatu, Epiritu Santo (better known as Santo to islanders). I arrived in Santo after taking a connecting flight from Tanna through Port Vila. Once again, the flight left 30 minutes early after the headcount was taken and all expected passengers were on board.
I was now aware of Air Vanuatu’s strict guidelines for electronic devices and didn’t turn on my phone during take off or landing. Additionally, I made sure and every item was substantially under the forward seat for the drill sergeant flight attendants.LET’S GO
After two weeks of no cell service and one week of no WiFi while in the Solomon Islands, I’m back online to post about my previous adventures in Vanuatu. What a wonderful place! The archipelago, which gained independence from France in 1980, comprises 82 islands, of which 65 are inhabited.
Vanuatu is a very poor South Pacific Nation whose mainstays are agriculture, tourism, offshore financial services, and cattle raising. Citizenship may be purchased for $150,000, and many Chinese have been moving onto the islands.
The National language is Bislama, similar to Pidgin English, and the official languages are French, English and Bislama. It’s amazing these islanders that have so little are at least tri-lingual and maybe more as many have a tribal dialect too. I’d just like to be bilingual which I’m working on with my next trip to Panama in a Spanish submersion school.LET’S GO