Israel: The worshipped land

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Depending on one’s political orientation, Israel, or Palestine, is among the oldest travel destinations in the world, with almost every prominent personality, be it Moses or Mark Twain, dreaming of visiting. Although prophets are hard to come by these days, and the crusaders seem to have found nobler professions, there are still many tourists who constantly visit the mystical lands in search of god. However, Israel is much more than just a spiritual haven for tourists, and the same is evident on the surprised faces of the tourists who arrive here to find that the country they see is much more than the one they hoped to find. The country has as much variation in landscape as one would want, with mountains, deserts and beaches to suit everybody’s taste. Also, one can enjoy surfing, skiing, horse riding, clubbing and savouring fine wines alongside watching splendid theatre performances.

Akko: The city is certainly not the first place one should visit en route to Israel, as once a person sees the vast treasures that have been preserved in form of the city of stone, every other kind of historic landmark across Israel would seem like just another supplement to the real deal! Situated on a narrow piece of land adjoining the sea, Akko is home to a multitude of geographical variety in the form of secret passageways, subterranean vaults, narrow alleys and tall minarets. However, unlike other towns that are in the habit of packaging themselves to attract more tourists, Akko follows a more subtle approach, so to speak. It is the Acre of the Crusaders, besides being the capital and port of the Latinate Kingdom of Palestine. St Francis of Assisi and Marco Polo are among the few distinguished guests who have dined in the knights’ halls. And even though many decades have passed by since that time, some of the magic still remains, and can be experienced by tourists travelling through the streets. However, there is a drastic shortage of accommodation, and that is precisely the reason that tourists only come here for a day, although Akko gets really romantic at midnight.

Haifa: Sitting adjacent to Mt Carmel and offering spectacular views of the sea, Haifa is home to the famous twisted roads and one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Further, its rich cultural lineage has earned it a unique image in the Middle east, even though the co-existence of Jews and Arabs in the same city is also an amazing reality considering the volatile conditions in the rest of Israel. In all its essence, Haifa is a blue-collar city that has developed tremendously in the recent years, resulting in a dynamic economy that has made its mark on the global platform. However, the recent past has also seen it improving the art and culture communities via museums and similar establishments, much to the delight of tourists and locals alike.

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