13 June, Friday: Jerusalem Ramparts and flew home midday
Had a 2nd Jerusalem Bagel with Hyssop.
Drove in taxi down, down, down from Jerusalem high country towards sea level at Tel Aviv.
Plants seen during our whole trip:
- mango, banana, avocado, fig, olive, papaya, carob, pomegranate, date palm trees (50% of Medjool dates in world from Israel).
- Ceylon trees (red flower)
- amaryllis farm
- "salt plant" - can lick leaves to get salt
- caper plant, purple flower
- Christ-thorn tree
- Sodom apple plant - poisonous
- Acacia tree
- mongoose scurrying across the road
- Bedouin sheep and goat herds
- ibex (male and female)
- desert gazelle
- Desert Bee-eater on a palm tree
- White-breasted Kingfisher
- Myna bird
- Tristam's Starling "a species of starling native to Israel, Jordan, northeastern Egypt, western Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman, nesting mainly on rocky cliff faces." (e.g. Masada!)
- Desert partridges
- Nun flycatcher
Some Things I didn't know before my visit to Israel:
- Arabic is an official language of Israel, along with Hebrew. School children are additionally required to learn English.
- Israel is 21% Muslim. Or it may actually just be 21% Arab, most of which are Muslim, but some of which are Christians, and some of which are Druze. (Israel is the only country in the world where a majority of citizens are Jewish.)
- There are about 20,000 Messianic Jews in Israel, and about 300,000 around the world.
- The center of the Bahai religion is also in Israel (Haifa).
- Israel is one of the world's major exporters of military equipment, accounting for 10% of the world total in 2007.