The Taybeh Beer Festival in early October was a great day trip to a small Christian village near Ramallah. It was my first and sadly only time in an Orthodox Christian church. We also toured around the school courtyard where the festival was held (complete with drinking contests and awesome local bands). Ancient ceremonial ruins were being enjoyed and revered by slightly buzzed internationals, the overwhelming majority, throughout the night.
The Arab Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem on a Friday was a completely crazy place! It was also my first time going through through the Israeli checkpoint at Calandia, an experience (not in the film) that is more memorable than the Wailing Wall, Dome of the Rock, and Holy Sepulchre combined.
(Not filmed): Yaffa
(Not filmed): Haifa
(Not filmed): The Dead Sea is in the top 3 of the most incredible experiences of my life. TIP: Go at night! We left around 9 pm from Ramallah. That night gave us a full moon, too. With the eerie echoes from our own voices, the air devoid of all other sound, and water like glass that doesn't cause wrinkly skin, I could have slept there all night. A Palestinian friend accompanied us so we had to negotiate with Israeli soldiers for a 2 hour dip in the sea near a checkpoint. I'll never forget those friendships.
(Not filmed): Hebron
(Not filmed): Bethlehem is a beautiful city, especially Beit Sahour (the old city). I met lovely people after the final night of the World Education Forum who invited me to the desert to sleep in a Bedouin tent. It was a beautiful, starry night with plenty of arak and sheesha.
(Not filmed): Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv was my last point before leaving. And although it wasn't really a part of my touring trips, it was memorable. Screened up and down, backwards and forwards from beginning to end, I went through security for four hours and barely made my flight. Searched in the back room, interrogated, and denied the privilege of taking my laptop on the plane with me, I was surely appalled at the Israeli surveillance measures. All of my business cards were scanned and my pamphlets, books, and papers thoroughly read and documented.