12-16-2008, 08:36 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/12/16/israel.bus.crash/index.html At least 24 Russian tourists died when their tour bus went off the road into a ravine in Israel. Very sad.
12-16-2008, 08:57 PM
These were Russian travel agents participating on a FAM trip
I driven down that road. It can be very dangerous if you speed, and many tour buses do just that, to keep to their less than generous schedule. More and more, tour companies now allow for a reasonable amount of time to traverse the route. We've never taken those tour buses after seeing them on the road. Some of them go on it as if it's the NJ Turnpike and they're going from Philadelphia to NYC.
Mitzpe Ramon is about 120km south of Jerusalem, and about 75km south of Beer-Sheva. Eilat is the most southerly town in Israel, situated at the northern tip of the Red Sea. It's about 105km south of Mitzpe Ramon or 225km south of Jerusalem.
Eilat is a major Israeli port and a big resort, with a wonderful main beach. (Of course there's no shortage of sand in Israel.)
The Eilat border crossing, Wadi Araba, goes to Aqaba, Jordan. If you want to go from Israel to Petra in Jordan, this is the best border crossing to take. It's about 2½ hours, plus about a 15-20 minutes at the border to get from Eilat to Petra. Petra is spectacular and well worth the effort. We've been there and plan to go back when we next return to Israel.
If you've never heard of Petra, but are an Indiana Jones fans, you actually are a little familiar with Petra. At the entrance to the ancient city is what Indy called the Temple of the Crescent Moon.
It's actually considered the "Treasury" at Petra.