Due to the corona crisis, there will be little travel in 2020, with the result that little new material will become available for the website. That is why we decided to publish one or more documentaries every month about beautiful places that may not be visited with the camper so quickly. These places are located in the Middle East. Wim worked for the United Nations for one year in 2006 and therefore he had the opportunity to explore the area. Many kilometers he has traveled on foot, by mountain bike or by car in a unique environment. All documentaries are commented and provide a lot of background information (subtitles in English are available). The newsletters also contain information about the UN mission itself and Wim's experiences.
The old city of Jerusalem is completely surrounded by a city wall. Various gates provide access to the city and all these gates have their own story. Walking over this wall you get a wonderful insight into life inside and outside these city walls!
Mount Masada on the Dead Sea has special significance for the Jews. After the destruction of Jerusalem, about 1000 Jewish insurgents hid here to commit suicide after a long siege by the Romans. All soldiers of the Israeli army (IDF) take the oath on this mountain, which is special for the Jews.
Jaffa and Akko
In the south just below Tel Aviv, and in the north just above Haifa, there are two pearls of places. Although they were once truly Arabic, Jaffa in particular is no longer. Fortunately, Akko has managed to maintain her Arab appearance.
Fondness for Romans
Herod the Great was a pheasant king of the Romans and ruled Judea. His fondness for the Romans is evident from the many structures he had erected during his reign. However, this predilection did not make him loved by the Jews. Herodion was visited together with colleagues from the UNTSO staff. But also Caesarea, Masada and various other places contain remains of these buildings after Roman example.
Israel has many streams of faith that may or may not lay claim to certain parts of the country. The third largest stream of faith in the world has its international world center in Haifa. There they maintain the Bahai'i Gardens, a terrace garden full of splendor.
The Judean Mountains are home to many gorges. One of them, the Wadi Al Qelt, cools the visitors on summer days. And in the gorge is a beautiful monastery that can be visited after a long hike.
Near Bethlehem is the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Saba which is one of the oldest inhabited monasteries in the world. When I visited it in 2006, only 15 monks were still alive. There were once thousands of them.
In this documentary we are taken by guides to the most famous places of the old city of Jerusalem. We hear the stories of the Al Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, the Wailing Wall, the Via Dolerosa and the Sacred Heart Church.
Judean Mountains (part 1)
The mountain range that crosses Israel from north to south has many faces. In these Judean Mountains you can visit all kinds of special places by car, by bicycle or on foot. In part 1 we drive through the Begin Park, we walk at Wadi Qumran and Wadi Oetalav and we cycle at Manhat.
Judean Mountains (part 2)
In part 2 we cycle at Sataf, we drive through Yehuda Desert, we hike at Fawwar and use the four-wheel drive at Sodom.
Damascus (part 1)
In 2006, Syria was not yet engaged in civil war and the capital Damascus could be visited. We visit the Suq Al-Hamadiye and walk through the old town where craftsmen practice their trade.
Damascus (part 2)
In part 2 of our visit to Damascus we take a look at the Omayyad Mosque, the Al Azem Palace and Saladin's mausoleum. We conclude our visit with a look at a beautiful hotel that is very modern in contrast to the city.
Hidden in the wasteland in Jordan is a city that was completely carved out of the rock. Petra was the Roman name for this Nabataean capital. The abandoned city was rediscovered in 1812 and has been a World Heritage Site since 1985.
With the UN's 4Runner we cross the famous Wadi Rum in Jordan. The accompanying guide shows us the most important places and tells the stories about Lawrence of Arabia.
Living and working in Israel for a whole year does not mean that you have seen everything of the country. But fortunately they also have a kind of Madurodam there. In that Mini-Israel you can see the whole country in half a day.
Once a year, the Palestinian employees of UNTSO are happy to introduce their colleagues to Palestinian culture. Music, dance and culinary refreshments are presented on this Palestinian Day.
The mission is over and there are two options to get the private car taken back into the Netherlands. Driving from the Middle East was not possible because no other Dutch people could travel with them at that time. So the car is shipped and Wim is allowed to travel on the roll-on-roll-off ship. And hundreds of Fiat Doblo's are loaded along the way.
A way of traveling that will also appeal to many motor home owners because the long distance to the destination country does not have to be traveled by road!
On our website we show beautiful places that we have visited or beautiful routes that we have traveled with the camper, with the motorcycle or on the bicycle. In the Christmas period 2019, we presented a special place, which unfortunately cannot be visited. There is no camper place. There are terraces, but they are too small for us. Curious what that place looks like? Watch the movie below!
You will also find a follow-up film in which another special nativity scene is presented!
This place is nowhere to be found in the atlases. Kribbendorp houses a sawmill, a bakery, a dairy and other special buildings. All built on a scale of about 1 to 15. The builder has given all buildings a theme and added the necessary details. All handmade.
In this growth movie we show the newest nativity scenes. In 2020, this will be a home of ardent carnival celebrants who are preparing for the carnival parade in Heerlen.
Tot stand koming
Hoe dit dorp tot stand kwam
"Would you like to make a nativity scene for us" was the question from his wife Anny to my brother Jo a few years ago. And that was the start of a new hobby. After an unsatisfactory attempt to build a model railway, he found a new challenge in the (re) building of houses that can serve as a nativity scene. All in a scale of about 1 to 15 and with details that you can marvel at. Neighbors and friends were so enthusiastic that they also got a stable. And the family was not forgotten either. Often with a funny link to the profession or hobby of the recipient. All the houses were brought together again especially for the realization of this film. And at the last minute, the result of the last project, the chapel, could also be added to the film. And speaking of details: there is also a nativity scene in this chapel!
All houses are built to serve as a nativity scene. And everything has been executed in miniature by my brother Jo with great care and precision. Pay special attention to all the details. Shrubs and trees are made as you see in model railways. Wood is worked in such a way that it looks old. He made the gravel tiles himself from stones that he found during the holidays. Be amazed by the miniature pastries and sandwiches in the bakery, see the candlesticks in the church soldered with nails and see what uses there are for acorn caps. And what about a miniature nativity scene in a nativity scene?