Aboard EasyJet 1525 to Tel Aviv

We cross the snow-topped Alps into Italy and Mediterranean coast with casino-loving celebs down there somewhere still asleep, ourselves unclasping our hands after a take-off prayer for safety on this extra-early getaway.

In a land where dress matters, Rev Andy, our Lutheran in charge is wearing his dog-collar but he's at the back of the plane, no doubt finalising details of pilgrimage to places that were once holy.
Jewish men in their prayer shawls with black stripes bind phylacteries onto amulets and headpieces and gather in front of the plane reading their book while I finish reading mine - The Olive Grove. It's a poignant story of a Palestinian family dating back to the beginning of the last century. Here we see a public demonstration of the religious sentiment behind Zionism, while the man next to me sings Senzeni Na - in Xhosa (what have we done?) And I too wonder as the city high-rises stretch up to greet us. It's a land that has been host to many over centuries, and now to us for the next ten days.