This road from here leads up to the Syrian border and this area is under UN control because it is "disputed" territory. The road is gravel and not very wide, driving along it I met several UN convoys coming from the opposite direction. These convoys comprised of armoured cars and troop carriers moving very fast so that they are a difficult target. Problem is that the road is only one vehicle wide so I had to continually pull off the road to let these convoys past. I did make it to the border but rather than track the Syrian border up to Lebanon as I planned - I decided to turn back - unusual for me to retreat but when all the other vehicles on the road are armoured and driving fast, and when one is in a tiny Hyundai with "Budget Rent a Car" stickers on it, even I know it is time to turn back!
There are lots of minefields in the Golan Heights left over from the many wars. This was taken driving up to the Syrian border. I drove up to the point shown on the map below, I did not take pictures in that region though as things are pretty volatile with a Syrian military build up on the other side of the border and ISIS attacks on UN troops in the area. My travel interest is not the current conflict, but exploring the older history of this region up to the Yom Yippur War.
Just over a week ago in Jerusalem's Old City I was walking to the Damascus Gate when there was trouble the other side; in the initial incident one person was shot dead and three police officers injured. Apparently this was followed by a riot or crowd issue, you can hear what sounds to me like a Kinetic or CS Gas round being fired on the other side of the gate in the video.
Was in Berlin a few days ago and now in Israel and traveled to the West Bank - from one wall to another - but this one is still active. Will post photos as I can but in the mean time will leave the photoblog posting recent pics of other places automatically.
Last week I visited Suvla Bay, 100 years after my grandfather landed there in WWI. In August 1915 he and tens of thousands of other fresh British troops sprang unannounced out of the turquoise Aegean in an offensive designed to undo the stalemate of the WWI Gallipoli Campaign. The Bay is still remote and hard to get to, but quieter now than it was in his day, back then over 150,000 allied troops were on the beach shown in this video, and along the 15-20 miles of surrounding hills and coast over 3/4 of a million soldiers battled in one of the most bloody conflicts of WWI, and in what many regard as one of the greatest disasters of British military history. The stalemate was not undone - the allies left in December 1915 - my grandfather was one of the few lucky to survive until that end. I went there to remember my grandfather and the long life he had after that campaign, and to think of the many who did not get that chance.
Visited Ephesus this week, where like me, everyone has cameras. But just down the street from here a blind man was being led by his son. I watched how the son would tell the man what building or street they were at, the man would stand for a while taking in that place, and then move on to another place. I began to wonder how much I miss understanding about the world because I am so visual. So I sat for a while not looking but just listening and feeling, and I heard Herostratus, Alexander the Great, Mark Anthony, Cleopatra, the Roman Emperors Trajan, Hadrian, Mary, the Apostle's John and Paul, and Elton John go by! And at some at some point in the history of this street all of them did just that, they all walked by this very spot.