Monday, September 16, 2013

The West Bank

When we left Jerusalem, we had very little planned. Our plan was to head to Jordan for that evening via Bethlehem, but with dwindling financial resources and a lack of Jordanian visas made our plan seem more like wishful thinking. These are the types of adventures I live for!

After we arrived in Bethlehem, a cab driver offered not only to drive us to the Church of the Nativity but also to see Banksy's art in town. In street art, Banksy is a legend! From "Stonehenge" made from portable toilets to "Murdered Phone Booth" made from a deformed phone booth, Banksy is known worldwide for his work. What stuck me was how randomly placed some of his art was. One piece was on the wall dividing Isreal from the West Bank and another on a random garage. Nevertheless, the art was unique and thought provoking. Be sure to check out Banksy's documentary below!

After tapping into infrequently occurring WiFi in the area, we found a Jordanian Liaison Office in Ramallah, so we decided it was West Bank Road Trip Time! Here I would like to clear up a major misconception in North America. At no point in time was my well being in danger! Numerous people have asked me whether I felt scared during my time in the West Bank. The most reasonable response I could give was "of what?" Random people would stop working to welcome us to their city. When asking for directions, people would go out of their way to ensure we knew where we were going. Even when we wandered off the beaten path, people would not treat us any differently. I felt welcome! I challenge all my North American friends, if the opportunity presents itself, to visit the West Bank and get to know the people.

Reaching the end of our West Bank adventure, we were fairly irritated because of the steep amount of currency we had to pay to get a Jordanian visa and to pay the Israeli exit tax (around $130CAD altogether). After very little sleep, passing numerous unmanned checkpoints and having our bus ditch us, we were preparing ourselves to sleep on a bench on the border at sundown. Huge thank you to My and Gerogie for helping us out!

That's it for my Austria Adventure blog! Thanks for tuning in folks!

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