Thank you so much for all your time, humor, knowledge and wisdom.
We had a wonderfull visit, thanks to you!
Jessica and Steve Carroll
Once again, many thanks for your expert guidance this past week. We all learned a great deal from your informative commentary and enjoyed your sense of humor. You were also very patient and understanding of my children’s many sensitive political questions, which I appreciated.
Again, many thanks for making our family vacation very special indeed.
Thanks so much for the best week of my life so far. In retrospect, the effect of the trip has not diminished and in fact has grown. Your work was exceptional and admirable on so many levels. Thanks for the little extras like the visit with your brother and the family history. It brought everything to life.
Please keep in touch and let me know if I can provide testimony to your love of your work. Your clients are very fortunate.
Best regards and please do keep in touch and let us know if you visit South Florida so we can reciprocate with our own hospitality.
Corporate Director of Purchasing and Business Development
Avante Group Inc.
From: Barry Everts
Date: Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 1:43 AM
Subject: hello from Canada from Barry and Grace
To: Philip Kool
Hello Philip: Just thought I would write and let you know how things resulted after our flight back to Canada. Is it wacky to say “we miss Israel”?. It kind of got into “our blood” and we still get very excited when anyone asks how our trip was. We are thankful that we had such an informative tour guide. It made all the difference. If only we could remember all the information you told us.
There were so many highlights; one of my personal favourties was Caesarea and the area uncovered in 1998 that formerly held the chariot races. – (the hippodome)The Dead sea was also really neat to experience. Massada was very interesting. We would have liked to have spent more time there, but it always happens like that. There is only so much time for each stop. It seems like a dream now. Anyway all the best to you Philip. We had an amazing experience in Israel and will never forget what we saw and learned – so much more than what we had expected.
We also appreciated the balanced way you explained political things to us. It does give a different view of Israel once we are back home. Articles in the paper concerning Israel are read with better understanding. Reading our bibles daily we seem to understand many things in a different way. We were surprised at all the stones – our farm has many stones to pick each year and we all grumble – never did we expect Israel to have so many stones..Well, I could go on and on about our trip and all the enjoyments of it.
All the best and with very fond memories.
Barry and Grace Everts
SINAI trek with a family
I have sent the article below into one of our daily newspapers to see if they will print it in their Saturday travel section.
They publish one each week so I’m not sure mine will get in, but I’ll let you know! I had a limit of 500 words.
Unfortunately I’m not allowed to advertise you in it but you could put your email address with the U-tube camel!!
The holiday was confirmed. All I had to do was check that John and our 4 ‘young adults’ had packed the essentials- sleeping bag, warm clothes for night time, toilet paper, sunhats, sun cream and comfortable shoes.
Following a distant view of a green oasis, and the wonders of St Katherine’s monastery, we set off up the slopes of Mount Sinai. The view from the summit was worth every step; seemingly endless mountains silhouetted dusky blue against the azure sky. We proudly took photos of each other as Philip (our Dutch/Israeli guide) pointed out the direction of our trek through the Sinai desert for the next 3 days.
We were up at dawn and excited to meet the rest of our party. Swalen introduced us to his camels, Zarahal and Rosella, who we were to depend on for much of our luggage, and also for carrying us aloft in turns. Sabry and Ashraf were our multi-tasking Egyptian guides, entertainers, chefs and camp builders.
The next 3 days were magical. We felt removed from the rest of the world, trekking across immense expanses of sand, marvelling at the sandstone splendour and distant vistas, stunned by the colours of yellow ochre, terracotta pinks, purples and oranges that ran through the rock forms. We saw mountains with holes eroded through them large enough for us to crawl through, we were humbled by inscriptions on rocks which dated back to Biblical times and we delighted in descending the highest sand dune in the Western Sinai with shrieks of laughter.
Lunch time siestas and evenings around the camp fire were a joy. Stories were told, riddles were solved and Philip was a font of knowledge about the history, geology and life of the Sinai region.
My favourite memories will be watching Rosie playing games in the sand with Sabry using small stones and dried camel droppings, Megan being pulled down the last slopes of the sand dune by her feet, Alex thumb fighting with Sabry, and Hetty rolling down the dune in her sleeping bag in the middle of the night still wearing her Bedouin turban.
Evenings lasted until the last embers of the fire died away. We chose the best spot for our mattresses and sleeping bags and fell asleep star gazing and counting shooting stars.
Breakfasts were an eye-opener; freshly made campfire baked flat breads filled to overflowing with eggs, accompanied by sweet coffee or hibiscus tea. The camels tucked into their cardboard boxes (see ‘carton eating camel’ on U-tube if you don’t believe me!)
Our last morning was a pensive one; we had all had a wonderful experience away from the trappings of our modern lives, and it was a wrench to leave the desert landscape and the tranquillity.
We had 3 days on the shores of the Red Sea to reminisce and miss our new-found friends, before returning home still with grains of sand in all our clothes!’
Hope you are well; as you can see the holiday is still very fresh in my mind.
Hetty showed me a piece of descriptive writing she did on her return about the desert; it is really lovely. She has also painted a fantastic picture of Sabry, which I’m going to frame.
Fingers crossed I get into print…!