"Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. The hills are barren, they are dull of color, they are unpicturesque in shape. The valleys are unsightly deserts fringed with a feeble vegetation that has an expression about it of being sorrowful and despondent.
Palestine is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition -it is dream-land."
Mark Twain Innocents Abroad 1869