Thursday 6/4 to Wednesday 19/4: The land of (their) milk and (my sweet) honey

Gontran resigned from Societe Generale at the end of March, a few days after having accepted an offer from Lehman Brothers. We took a break to enjoy some sun and each other, before he would start his new job.

If ever you were wondering if travel agents were useful, just try to find a two week vacation package for immediate departure, right before Easter break, when you need great weather and scenery but can't travel far because of young babies. Basically, we had the choice neither of the place nor of the days and flights. We were chosen for two weeks in Israel starting on the immediate Thursday 6 AM. And we'd better not miss our return flight. Any other plane was booked solid for one month! But here we are at the airport, ready to discover a new country, and what a famous one! The flight brings us to Tel-Aviv Airport, from where a taxi brings us to Jerusalem.

Israel is the Jewish State, but it is also a mekka for the christians (Catholics, Protestants, Armenians, Orthodox...) and for the Muslims. All these guys have their own holy places, which gave us quite a few places to visit. They are quite close to each other fortunately, enabling us to walk from one to the other usually, pushing the kids in our double stroller (two single strollers that can connect together).

In three days, we walked back and forth in the Old City and its surrounding, bringing us to the Wailing Wall at the beginning of Shabbat ("no camera, no camera" said the guy from the shabbat-control police team), to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Madeline cried, Theo snorred), to the Golgotha (or rather the GolgothaS as several religions pretend to have the only one), to the Mount of Olives (a cemetary), to the Dome of the Rock (enter through the non-muslim door please), To St Anne's Church (the French one, Monsieur), to the Souk (don't get lost), to the Christ's Tomb (can't get lost), to the via dolorosa (so many monks, so many pilgrims, so many crosses), to the gettho of the ultra-orthodox jews (they stone whoever has a camera; we took some good pictures) and finally to the Mahane Yehuda Commercial Market (not a religious place, although you may wonder). Damn, it's sunny and hot. The differences betwen the four district of the Old Jerusalem are astonishing. The Arabic part is a busy dirty and poor market place, while the renovated Jewish district is clear-cut, wealthy and squicky clean. Guess who is in charge here.

We then enjoyed the following ten days in Eilat, the Red Sea resort at the very south of the country. We were chosen for the most expensive hotel in town. And it was nice. We appreciated the amenities as well as the service (especially hot water at any time of the night). The swimming pool was our usual staying place during the day, although we went around for diving, dolphin meeting, free falling, shopping or just walking. We spent one day in Jordan to visit Petra, the city carved in the mountains. It was an adventure to handle the kids in a city which can only be reached by walking two miles on a dirt road.

Photo shoot by the pool. She could hardly sit!

We are ready to go.

I'm not scared of water anymore.

We all agreed the rest of the night would much more quiet
if Madeline was to sleep in the bathtub.

All smiling in the sun.

The trio in Israel

In the Baby Bjorns once in the old Petra

Get out of my picture, all of you.