There is no perfect time for travel. I know this now. As long as I possess the energy, a valid passport and have the appropriate transport, then travelling will always be something I will have to do. My most recent trip abroad consisted of alternating cold and hot climates which resulted in my carrying two suitcases - albeit small ones - but that there is a lesson and quite possibly, another blog post.
I am a big fan or archaeology, and decided to add Israel on my itinerary this trip. Having not been there before, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, I have to admit, a couple of days in, I fell in love with it. My stay in Israel was essentially two weeks of sun-soaked, peaceful days wandering and exploring flea markets, Old Cities, driving around the countryside and seeing stunning landscapes, ancient city ruins, eating delicious food and meeting lovely people.
Stunning landscapes and historical sites have always held a fascination for me. Since way back in the day, as a student of history and art to now, as an adult and a jewellery designer, they still have the same allure. I made the trip out to the Dead Sea and Masada one day, on one of my driving jaunts. Wheeling past banana farms, long stretches of desert roads, date plantations and even a pack of gazelles, I arrived at my destination around lunchtime. Once there, I had to forego the pleasure of hiking up to the top (no appropriate attire, you see) so hopped aboard the waiting cablecar instead. I was not disappointed. Wandering around the ruins of the fortress reminded me just how fortunate I am to be able to do this. For me, this place is mysterious and stark. Seriously, if I was asked to pitch a tent there and stay a while, I would have done so, no question (well, ok, maybe I would ask for a generator, a well stocked bar fridge plus some gorgeous cushions and pashminas!) I observed the raptors that circled overhead and plummeted to some unsuspecting prey in the valley below. More closely, small dark starlings flitted amongst the stony ruins at the Byzantine Gate and took off once I got too close. I also took the opportunity to photograph some of my jewellery there. The light was fantastic at that hour in the afternoon - gold on gold but with definition. The Greco-Roman-inspired styles of my handcrafts lend themselves perfectly with the backdrop of the fortress ruins and ancient mosaics. It wasn't at all difficult to imagine that these necklaces could have been worn in that era by ladies bedecked in flowing stola, elegant palas and ringleted up-dos.