July 2019 - Hummersknott Badminton Club Mediterranean Tour

Friday 12th Jul 2019

A small group of University age students based at HBC left for 6 nights in Paphos, 2 in Jordan and 7 nights in Israel. The Cyprus location provided 6 matches and lots of sightseeing in Troodos mountains, Mount Olympus beaches, Aphrodite's Rock, Kurion and Nicosia, The latter being the only divided capital in the world following the Turkish invasion of the North in 1974. A day tour of the Northern area was met with similarly warm hospitality as in the Greek area, and included an "out of this world" patisserie in Famagusta and time on the beach near that town. Evening time we had a match in North Nicosia. As so often on these trips thestudents realised the willingness young people there have to share friendship with those in the other part of Cyprus.

In Israel, the historical and Biblical sites were included, based in Jerusalem and the North (Galilee etc.). A day tour of Bethlehem, Jericho and the Dead Sea took in the Palestinian Authority, and brought us face to face with the barrier which has been built as a result of the disagreements between the israelis and Palestinians. Again the people on both sides of the divide were equally warm in their hospitality and welcome to us. In two tours this year HBC players have come face to face with the Brexit issue, Turkish-Greek disagreement on Cyprus, and the Palestine- used on our prHatzorevious visit in 2010Israeli conflict.

We reached Ashdod and the sports hall used on a previous visit in 2010 has since had to evacuate occasionally due to Hamas rockets from Gaza. This year's badminton was played at a sports hall in Hatzor where we stayed in a kibbutz.

The Jordan experience was taken as an organised tour and was a superb time at Jerash, Mount Nebo, Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba which included a glass bottom boat and Snorkelling.

Plans are being made for further adventures in 2020.

Report by Philip Boyle.

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