The great frustration for me as a TV producer is to condense everything I'd like to say into 30 minutes and about 3,300 words. This week in Israel could have easily filled two episodes -- but we'll design it into one powerful viewing experience.
We like to start our shows with a montage, which we carefully craft as we travel and shoot. Now that we're wrapping up our week of filming, here's how we'll start our episode on "The Best of Israel":
"Israel is filled with fascinating sights -- from the holy spirit of Jerusalem to the cosmopolitan spirit of Tel Aviv, with its in-love-with-life Mediterranean beaches. Visitors ponder the fortress of Masada, and pilgrims find inspiration at the Biblical sights around the Sea of Galilee. You can bob like a cork in the super-salty Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth. And you can dive into thriving modern cities like Haifa, where both Jewish and Arab Israelis stoke the economy with a youthful and well-trained workforce. While lively multicultural café scenes seem to offer a promise of peace in Israel, any visit includes reminders of this country's ongoing challenges. Israel is a land of tension and controversy -- with protective walls, disputed settlements, and high-profile security. A thoughtful visit here is both poignant and enlightening."
I'll continue this Holy Land series until November 21st. Then, to celebrate my homecoming, I'll give a live, free slideshow lecture on Thursday, November 21st at 7 p.m. PST in Edmonds, WA. You can attend in person (registration required)...or watch the live webcast from anywhere in the world (no registration required). Learn more at Rick Steves - Holy Land - Israelis and Palestinians Today.