Since the moment I first stepped into Utrech from the back of the train station, I felt ‘something different’ hovering in the crisp winter air. It was something I haven’t ever experienced in Amsterdam, something tangible in the streets and – yet – seemingly impossible to pinpoint.
Slovenia has no more secrets for me. Ha. However, I knew the rural area of Bela Krajina lesser than other regions. Except for a few times when I drove across it heading to Zagreb, I hadn’t been in Novo Mesto and its surroundings since Rock Otočec 2008. And even if I still hang on truly, madly, dearly to the memories of that crazy weekend, nine years later I’m trading mud wrestling for the charm of a landscape resort –Big Berry– nestled into this unspoilt corner of Slovenia.
After the never-sleeping Tel Aviv and the amazingly chaotic Jerusalem, I completely relaxed my body, mind and soul in Mitzpe Ramon, a small urban settlement at the heart of the Negev desert. Here, I stayed at the Ibex Desert Inn, a colourful boutique hotel with an artistic vibe.
Run by the lovely Aviva, this seven-room boutique hotel is homey and welcoming. It provided a peaceful place where I could finally relax and breathe in all the beautiful emotions of my two-week trip around Israel.
When Banksy opened The Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem, everybody had a strong (and often negative) opinion about it. They said he sold out, they said he is making a profit from other people’s misery, they said he betrayed ‘the street’. They said these and many other things, although none of these people had actually been on the corner between Caritas Street and the infamous wall.
Well, I was at Banksy’s controversial hotel in Bethlehem, and I liked it.