Via Dolorosa: a somewhat crowded pilgrimage

Just in time for Holy Week, here comes an account of my last day in Jerusalem, encompassing visits to Rachel’s Tomb, the Mount of Olives, and the Via Dolorosa. Among the lanes in Jerusalems Old City, the Via Dolorosa marks the last steps of Jesus Christ prior to his crucification, and is a scantily marked, mostly pedestrian street that winds through the Muslim Quarter into the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where Jesus Christ was crucified and buried. While the Church...

Taking the Waters in Budapest

Is a winter trip to Budapest a good idea? It can be pretty cold, and due to its easterly location it gets dark early.  But flights to Budapest and hotels cost a lot less, than in the summer, restaurants and attractions are open all year, and this is the perfect time to wallow in the city’s many thermal baths! Winter hadn’t even started properly, I was unemployed and going back and forth to my home town visiting my sick grandmother, sitting on local trains for about six hours...

Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh… gifts to bring back from Israel

Compared to most countries in Europe, including my native Germany, Israel is a rather expensive country. Ryanair hand luggage limitations and an already full apartment aside, my shopping sprees where somewhat limited by my 500 EURO budget for the entire trip, including flights, accommodation, food and local transport. Did I manage? Yes – but I ate nothing but hummus and falafel all week and I skipped those pretty gifts like silver mezuzah cases  and Roman coin earrings. So, please read on if you’re  interested in frugal but nice...