Traveling in Bible lands

Are you a fan of travelogues? The Bible? In the Steps of St. Paul by H.V. Morton is a gem. Not only is it a good introduction to the travels of St. Paul, but also a modern (1936) travel journey complete with humor and wonderful scenes of interaction between the author and the people that he meets.

The author is visiting the Turkish city of Konya and has found a modest-looking hotel owned by Russians:

At dinner that night a smiling, collarless waiter placed before me a roughly-hewn scrap of meat and potatoes which had been painfully cut into thin slices and then subjected, before a slight heating, to a bath in one of the more revolting oils. From the expression of eager expectancy on the faces of waiter, proprietor and proprietor's wife, I gathered that this was either a speciality or a death verdict. Sawing off a portion, I took an apprehensive mouthful, whereupon the waiter bowed, grinning all over his face, and the proprietor came forward and, also bowing, pointed to my plate, and said with some difficulty:

'Beef-roast!'

Then I realized that in this far-off place the pathetic sweetness of the human heart, that transcends all barriers of race, had devised a little compliment to England. I rose and told them in sign language that the meat was superb. They laughed and bowed with delight. And when the room was empty for a moment, a little hungry dog that had slipped beneath the table was a friend in need and -- indeed!

Bruce Feiler's Walking the Bible is an interesting contrast to the very British attitudes of H. V. Morton. Pair that with David Suchet's film account of tracing St. Paul's steps to get another perspective.