We’re spending tonight camped in Ben Gurion airport. It isn’t the end of the world – really, I’m not just saying that; I can guarantee it because we visited there earlier today.
We left Akko in the shinning sun and drove South to Tel Meggido. Meggido has layers of history going back an awe-inspiring 7000 years. It’s probably the oldest place we’ve visited on our trip so far, so old that it became deserted 3000 years ago. As a result it requires some imagination to understand what you are seeing. Most of what’s left can be safely described as various piles of rubble. There are some walls; the remains of a set of stables; a wonderful grain silo with double spiral steps leading to its bottom; and an evocative secret tunnel used to access the city’s water source in times of siege.
In some ways the ruins and rubble piles are perfect. The place looks like a bomb has hit it and that’s peculiarly appropriate to a place that was popularised in the Bible as Armageddon the site of the final battle between good and evil at the end of the world.
Driving further South to Tel Aviv we were lucky enough to follow the sunny weather and avoid the forecast rain. We spent a couple of hours in a fabulous park with an enormous adventure playground for the kids to run around in before heading into central Tel Aviv to meet our friend Marta for dinner. Once we had negotiated the mosh pit that it central TA parking, we quickly found Marta and spent a delightful couple of hours with her. Callum was thrilled to show off the t-shirt he had purchased with her gift of money and a meal of pasta and waffles ensured both boys were in seventh heaven.
Then on out to the airport for what we always knew was going to be an ugly episode. Our flight to Warsaw leaves at 6am. That would have meant getting to the airport at 3am and realistically there was no point in getting a hotel for half the night. So we’re camped out in the departures hall, listening to announcements that really belong in a science-fiction movie. Imagine a deep and gentle female voice from Bladerunner central-casting saying “Carrying weapons is prohibited in all the terminal halls. Thank you.”
But no apocalyptic science-fiction movie can phase us after a trip to Armageddon. We’ve seen the end of the world and driven off into the sunshine.