Group tours: are they worth it?

Are group tours worth it?

I’ve been on a few group tours in my day. During this most recent little jaunt from Thailand to Europe I went on three of these outings.

The first was with Abraham Tours in Israel where we experienced Hebron and learned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The second and third were with Roundabout Tours in Slovenia where, on two separate tours, we explored the Karst region (including the magnificent Škocjan Cave) and Piran on the Adriatic, and then the other a tiny slice of the Alpine region which included the beautiful Vintgar Gorge and stops at Lakes Bled and Bohinj.

Here’s my thing about group tours: I love them. And I don’t. At the same time.

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The battle for hope in Hebron: the dual narrative tour

A loud bang permeates the air, reverberating through the empty spaces in the crowded desert city.

Hebron 2 in Hebron

We jump, but not too much.

A few hours earlier, our group of 13 had been warned in the afternoons that Palestinian protestors often take to the streets, and, in response, the Israeli army will fire something which emits a loud noise (our guide calls it a “sound grenade”) to back them off.

When the noise pierces the air, it doesn’t phase us; but it does phase our tour guide, Lena, who is Palestinian.

“OK, now I am scared, so we are going to leave and get you back over to the other side,” she says, hurrying us out of the heart of Hebron, one of the holiest cities in Middle East, through a gate, and back into the deserted Al-Shuhada Street.

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