A Travellerspoint blog

The Holy Land

The Real Deal, not the American Version...

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A few months ago I visited Israel. It felt really inspiring for me, as initially I didn't even have that great a desire to go. Once there, some of the places visited felt almost surreal, as though I were on a movie set. Don't get me wrong it was an authentic experience, no Holy Land Experience (http://www.holylandexperience.com/), but some of the sites had this Hollywood feel for a few reasons I think. First of all, based on the subject matter it would be hard for a lot of these places not to seem other-worldly, and secondly because of the number of tourists it felt at times like you were just part of a massive tourist group coming to visit these exploited sacred sites. However, the most interesting part is that no matter the number of people everyone still had a unique experience, and almost everyone I went with at some point had some kind of a spiritual epiphany. Perhaps it's because you're walking on land where people you've learned about had walked thousands of years before, or maybe it's because of the daily threat that looms over the land- either way, it's a powerful experience.
At times, the more people the more strongly the feelings were felt, like at the Kotel for example. Being there on a Friday night was a truly amazing experience. Even aside from the fact that we lost half the group, so we were scrambling to find each other, it was pretty crazy.
It's one of the few trips where I bothered to write down the details of every day's journey. I felt like, if I didn't I would not only be negligent, but really regretful in the future. The people I met and the places I visited were incredible, but some of the conversations just had such a high level of comfort, that I loved it.
The whole experience wasn't flawless, and neither is the country, but this is definitely a place with a lot of character- and a strong desire to share it.

Posted by madrugada 08:24 Archived in Israel

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