First time back in Israel in ... 40 years, and the trip was (great and) action packed. (Alas, no Marriott stays on this trip....) I was lucky enough to be able to shoot the opening ceremonies and three games in the World Lacrosse Championships (in both the exquisite Netanya Stadium and the Wingate Olympic complex). Link here: 2018 FIL WORLD LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP [Was thinking of your travels, razorbackfan!]
In addition, I squeezed in tours of Jerusalem and another of the Judean Hills, a sunrise hike up to Masada, a bike trip, a swim in the Dead Sea (and another in the Mediterranean), a gorgeous hike through a nature reserve [the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve - https://en.parks.org.il/ParksAndReserves/engedi - definitely worth a visit: the waterfalls were gorgeous, and the animals were interesting too], market shopping, goat cheese tasting, wine and grape tasting, train rides, and plenty of good eating! ... And I may have taken a few photos, too. (Yup, iahflyr, I checked serious luggage so I could bring lots of lenses, a tripod, and a monopod....)
Here's some of my favorites:
Setting sun (top right) over Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Alas, it was all but impossible to stabilize the tripod as the wind really picked up ... but you can't have everything.
Israel Team Captain, Jake Silberlicht, here during the Opening Night game against Jamaica in Netanya Stadium.
Looking down on Jerusalem's massive and historic Mount of Olive's Jewish Cemetery, active for 3,000 years, and containing more than 70,000 graves.
The subtle, yet appropriate and moving, Anne Frank Memorial within the JNF Holocaust Martyrs Forest in the Jerusalem Hills. Beginning in 1951, JNF (in conjunction with B'Nai Brith) planted 6 million trees on both sides of the Kesalon River - today the forest is a majestic, popular hiking destination. In 1960, Anne Frank's father, Otto, planned the first tree in the memorial park. A gift of the Dutch JNF, the Anne Frank memorial/sculpture (inaugurated in 2011) draws upon Anne Frank's diary's lament that, from her hiding place, she could not "view nature."
Best footwear at the Opening Ceremonies. Chapeau to Team Netherlands!
Sun rising over the Dead Sea (just before 6:00 am) from the Watch Tower atop Masada. We began our hike up the Snake Path just after 5:00 am, having boarded a bus in Tel Aviv at 2:00 am - but the entire experience was well worth it.
Fun (albeit a wee bit hot) bike trip from Netanya up to the beach at Michmoret (coming out of the Hefer Forest, having cycled along the Alexander) ... and back, of course, with Jeremy Lange of KEF Bikes. (Alas, only a mobile phone pic.) Link here: Kef Bike | Netanya | Customized Bike Trips
Of all things, Malbec grapes at a family-owned winery in the Judean Hills. (We ate the grapes - they were delicious - but the winery isn't yet producing Malbec - they're still experimenting!) Link here: Flam winery - a boutique winery located at the Jerusalem Hills
In Jerusalem, looking over the Wailing Wall (or ... the Western Wall, Kotel, or Al Buraq) at the Dome of the Rock.
Hilltop Independence War Memorial at Rabin Park, along Jerusalem Road, Route #1.
We had a blast (and really enjoyed the goat cheese tasting experience) at Tzaban Farm-Aziza Dairy, not far from from Beit Shemesh. http://izapzizadairy.com/
For lacrosse aficionados, it was really exciting to see two of the conventional power-house teams: USA versus the Iroquois Nation. Ultimately, in the Finals, USA would defeat Canada (9-8, with time expiring) to finish the tournament undefeated; the Iroquois Nation defeated Australia (14-12) to finish third.
I was also lucky enough to shoot the Latvia-Mexico game - over at the Olympic Village. Latvia finished 18th overall, Mexico finished 38th.
OK, one more shot from the Israel-Jamaica game. Team Israel finished 7th overall; Jamaica finished 13th.
Sunset over the beach in Netanya, which was my primary base of operation (and the site of the World Lacrosse Championships).