Garfinkel was a font of information on Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Roman influences on what today is a very modern State of Israel. His willingness to deviate from the “beaten path” added to the Israel experience. It was obvious that he is held in high regard by other guides given the numerous greetings and hearty acknowledgements he received. He even managed to get us close enough to the Dome of the Rock to take some great pictures. His patience with our extended shopping sprees for Yemenite jewelry and a visit to acquaintances of ours in Haifa was the mark of a professional.
Essam and Yousef were equally informative about the Nabetean culture in the region and their petroglyphs at Wadi Rum and Petra. Both exhibited the essence of Arab hospitality as did the Bedouins we met and ate with. Since Jordan is also call the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, it is by definition the Kingdom of the Bedouins. Essam and Yousef were also highly respected by their Jordanian counterparts which, by extension, flowed to us.
All in all, it was the trip of a lifetime. Perfectly orchestrated by Susan Weissberg. Flawless execution, including expedited service through Israeli and Jordanian passport control and customs. The accommodations (Dan, Tel Aviv; Scotts Hotel, Tiberius; Mamilla, Jerusalem; and Movenpik, Petra) and meals were all first class. The food was absolutely outstanding in all venues. The only caution we would add is if your first name is Ken. “ken” is also the Hebrew word for “yes”, so whiplash is a distinct possibility.