Well, here I am on the final day of the Murray Fromson AABGU media mission – hard to believe it’s over. Fortunately, I still have several more days here in Israel – though they will likely not be any less hectic, given how many friends, relatives and professional contacts I have to see before leaving. To be clear – visiting Israel is no vacation for me. But don’t get me wrong – I am thrilled to be here again after being away for close to four years.
Whereas I did my best to be clever in the past few days to find an organizing concept for my blog posts/travel log, at this point the best I can do is play with the phrase “wrapping it up” (or variations thereof) – which is basically what we are doing today. Can I really use the phrase in relation to everything we did today? You bet. Just watch me.
First, we visited the new Beresheet Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon, an incredibly high-end eco-friendly luxury resort seemingly in the middle of the Negev desert. Isrotel, which is developing the resort is banking on an increasing interest in ecotourism in the region. The marketing manager claims that the hotel, which only officially opens (and it is going to be a soft opening) in a few weeks to accommodate Passover break guests, is already fully booked and has a waiting list. The buildings of the resort wrap around the lip of the majestic Ramon Crater.
Next, we had an archeological tour with BGU professor Hendrik J. Bruins of the Avdat historical site. Lucky us, the temperature started climbing today – just as we were standing out on a high plateau in the desert with the sun beating down on our heads. At least we weren’t doing this in the middle of the summer. That would have been punishing, while today’s conditions were merely uncomfortable. We all learned a lot about the Nabateans and the Byzantine Romans by examining the ruins which not only sat atop the mountain, but also wrapped around it in spots.
Camel rides and a lunch in a Bedouin tent followed. Many thought that this was the best meal of the trip (it was a hard call, though, since we were fed VERY well all along). I especially enjoyed wrapping the Bedouin pita (different from the usual pita everyone is familiar with) around the salads and hummus.
We wrapped it all up with a relaxing visit to the Neve Midbar spa in the Ramat Negev Regional Council area, where we could wrap ourselves in robes for a massage or in a towel at the pool.
And with that, I am going to wrap this up.
© Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.