Us Brits aren’t the most adventurous of souls. As a nation we are conservative, risk adverse, and have a huge fear of change. The fact that once upon a time our empire controlled a quarter of the globe is baffling considering that most of us wouldn’t even visit a restaurant unless half a dozen of our friends had tested the waters first.
Consequently, me choosing to spend the last day of 2019 in The West Bank was step forward that I was proud of, albeit a step that came in the guise of a day tour from our base in Jerusalem.
It’s been almost a year now since we visited Israel & The Palestinian Territories and I’m still struggling to get through my blogs on it. Mainly because this was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to and I feel I’ll struggle to do it justice.
But press-on I shall. Plus, it’ll keep Jimmy off my back for a few weeks and as it’s his birthday today, why send a card when instead I can give him a shout out on a blog that features distinguished readers in Uganda, Colombia and Armenia?
2018 was a busy old year. After starting it with four months travelling around South East Asia, we then managed to make our way to Europe for the end of summer, spending a great month or two in the Balkans before settling down in our new home in London.
Before the year was out though there was still time for one more trip; a whistle-stop nine day adventure through Israel & The Palestinian territories, starting with a few days in Jerusalem.
Despite being surrounded by the well-trodden Balkan countries, Albania is missed off the majority of the backpacking itineraries of this region for some reason. I can only presume that this is because people have watched too many Liam Neeson films.
Whilst it is still one of the final frontiers of Europe, the landscape is beautiful, getting around is easy, and the people are friendly and welcoming. With a rapidly expanding tourism sector and a potential EU membership on the horizon, Albania is now very much open for business.