Middle East 2013

Our trip to the Middle East, 2013

We had planned to go back to Egypt eventually. Additionally, we wanted to get to some places we had missed in 2012 due to lack of time – specifically Turkey and the Holy Land. In a way this was a last minute decision. It looked like a good time to revisit Egypt – tourism was still down, so it would be good for us and good business for the locals if we returned.

Planning the trip 2013-
As we planned the trip and weighed our options, we also watched the prices for different travel options – should we fly in and out of Cairo? Istanbul? Tel Aviv? If so, what were our options for reaching the other destinations?

We had planned that maybe we would drive to Eilat and walk across the border, catch a bus to Jerusalem. But this seemed tricky and would eat up much of a precious day. In the end, we decided to add Istanbul to the mix, something we had thought about.

We flew into Egypt (to Cairo) to spend 10 days touring the country, then took a very early flight from Sharm el Sheik to Istanbul. We had two day and part of the third in Istanbul before we flew to Ben Gurion airport outside Tel Aviv. From there we took a sherut (shared taxi) to Jerusalem, arriving at our hotel after 1AM. We had 4 days in Israel before flying back to Canada from there.

Egypt: See out trip to Egypt.

Istanbul:

Israel:

A note – we were lucky to miss the turmoil that happened in Egypt and Turkey. While we were there we saw no problems, no riots, no threats to our safety. As long as you stay away from the problem areas, which are usually away from the tourist areas anyway, you will be safe. If necessary, have a local guide along. They are best able to judge the mood of an area and whether it is safe.

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