We were officially in Palestine now. Although "officially" might not be the right word, since officially Palestine is not recognized as a sovereign state by the UN. It has its own flag, its own license plates, but it doesn't have its own currency (anymore). The Israeli controlled checkpoints everywhere make it clear however that we crossed into Palestinian territory.
From the bus station on the west side of Jerusalem we walked along the Old Yaffa road. A modern street, lined with clothing shops and split in the middle by a tram line. Things slowly started to look different from here, hinting at the ongoing dispute between the Israel and Palestine. Everywhere soldiers were walking around with big machine guns, guarding every street corner. It was a strange sight!
The following articles are a series about Israel and Palestine. It's a bit different from other posts because it wasn't really about travelling around and going to nice tourist attractions. It was rather an exploration and a lesson in current and historical events and politics.
To relax and to give ourselves a treat after Mount Kilimanjaro my brother and I went on a wild life safari with some people we met during the hike. We opted on going on a one day safari to Tarangire National Park.
Since I'm so much behind on my stories, and this has been a special week for me, I'll skip a few (actually many) stories and write about my hike on Mount Kilimanjaro!
After our intense time in Israel and Palestine -- I will write about this later -- Tomas and I went back to Istanbul. It was the time for us to relax a little bit and let our experiences sink in!
On my birthday, I was supposed to hitchhike from Plovdiv, Bulgaria to Istanbul, Turkey. I planned to get up really early, have breakfast at 6 am and have a whole day of hitchhiking, so I could definitely get to Istanbul in one day. I had to because the next day I had booked a flight from Istanbul to Tel Aviv, with a good friend of mine.
During the Communist era, the communist party in Bulgaria decided to build a meeting place on top of a mountain in Buzludzha. It's a circular building, which floats a bit off of the ground. Therefore, it's nicknamed the UFO-building.
Musala comes from "Musalla", meaning "close to god". It is the highest peak in the Rila mountain range and the highest in the entire Balkans. From the top the view is supposed to be amazing, offering a view over the whole mountain range. I climbed up and down in two days, but this time I was not that lucky with the weather.