Israel

Rusty and I had talked about going on a trip to Israel for a while, this is how we got on and what we got up to.

Israel and Palestine October 2018

Here are links to each day of the trip: –


Day One – Journey to Jerusalem
Day Two – Exploring Jerusalem
Day Three – Trip to the West Bank – Bethlehem and Hebron
Day Four – The Dead Sea
Day Five – Exploring Tel Aviv
Day Six – Exploring Tel AViv
Day Seven – A little Tel Aviv before the journey home

Day One. Sunday 14/10/2018

After little to no sleep I got up, put my luggage in the car and left to pick up Rusty. At 3am we set off for Luton Airport. We parked at the Airparks car park and missed a shuttle bus by a few seconds. It wasn’t long before we were through security and eating breakfast.

Once on the plane the pilot said there would be a slight delay before we took off, the wait wasn’t too long and soon we were in the air. The 5 hour flight seemed to pass fairly quickly.

Off to Israel #plane #clouds #flying #easyJet

A post shared by Alex George (@leaderofourboat) on

We had purchased sim cards from Simtoisrael because EE only offered a “travel data pass”, 150MB a day for £6, I would use that up in a couple of minutes.

We removed our UK sim cards and inserted our Israeli ones. 30GB of data for a week! They cost approximately £57 for the two but £18 of that was for express delivery, delivery could have been free I had discovered them earlier. Also you can get them delivered to your hotel for free but as we were staying in an apartment I didn’t think it was worth the risk.

Soon enough we landed at Ben Gurion Airport.

It was quite a long drive on a bus from the plane to the terminal.

I had received an email from the apartment owner asking what time we would arrive, I didn’t have a clue so didn’t respond until we worked out how we were going to get to Jerusalem.

The passport control queue was long and slow. In fact our queue seemed slower than all the others. Eventually we were at the front. Rusty stepped forward and he waved me forward too. The man in the booth asked us all manner of questions and not in a friendly way. Individually he asked questions about the other person and luckily we knew enough. Not really the best first impression of Israel. Eventually he printed out our entry cards and let us through.

After doing a bit of research before the trip, there seemed to be a couple of ways to get to Jerusalem from the airport. The bus would take around 1.5 hours but there was possibly a high speed rail link which would only take about 25 minutes. Possibly because the information online was not conclusive. It looked as if it had opened a couple of weeks earlier so we were hopeful.

After enquiring at the information desk in the airport they pointed us in the direction of the trains. We joined the queue for the ticket machines but asked a staff member for help who showed us which ones to buy.

Ben Gurion Airport to Jerusalem train ticket

We headed for the platform; a train had just pulled in. There was a barrier blocking off the access to the train with a staff member standing next to it. There was a crowd around it but nobody was moving. It was confusing. No signage, the train didn’t look that new so I assumed it wasn’t the high speed one. If it wasn’t for someone asking us where we were going we would have never known it was the train we needed!!

A guy on the train told us how much he was enjoying the new line as it made it so much easier and quicker for him and apparently it was free of charge until December (if you boarded in Jerusalem).

Within no time we were pulling in to Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon station.

The platforms are deep underground; we had to get a lift to the surface level of the station.

Jerusalem Yitzhak Navon Railway Station

Outside the station was a tram stop. Using google maps we tried to work out if it went anywhere near where we were staying. Google said we would have to change trams so it seemed over complicated when we just wanted to get to our apartment and relax. The walk was under 30 mins. (Later we discovered that the tram went directly to a stop right near where we were staying).

The apartment owner and his friend were waiting for us and were friendly and helpful. We exchanged phone numbers and he said to call him with any problems or advice about the local area.

The apartment was nice. There was one bedroom and a sofa bed in the living area.

After a day of travelling we were pretty hungry so on the apartment owner’s recommendation we headed to the Jaffa Street area. It should have been a short walk but following google maps it took us to the far end of Jaffa Street.

I had a quick look online to see what was nearby and served local cuisine. We went to Blue Hall Music. I attempted to order sea bass but they had run out so offered me some local fish instead. Rusty had a lamb dish. My food was really good and Rusty enjoyed his too.

Meal at Blue Hall Music

The waitress gave us a free shot of a local spirit that tasted like Ouzo.

We had a bit of a wander round exploring the streets before calling it a night.



Day One – Journey to Jerusalem
Day Two – Exploring Jerusalem
Day Three – Trip to the West Bank – Bethlehem and Hebron
Day Four – The Dead Sea
Day Five – Exploring Tel Aviv
Day Six – Exploring Tel AViv
Day Seven – A little Tel Aviv before the journey home

Day Two. Monday 15/10/2018

The plan for Monday was to explore the old city of Jerusalem. We headed for one of the closest gates (New Gate) to where we were staying but we couldn’t get through because it was blocked off by builders. So we headed to Damascus gate.

Damascus Gate

There were shops and stalls lining the narrow lanes. A miniature tractor drove past us; I was surprised it was small enough to fit down the streets.

Tractor

The streets smelt strong of incense.

Spices

At the end of the street we were on was a security gate and bag scanner, we made a left turn down a different street and headed towards the Western Wall, there was another security check point. This time we went through it. The Western Wall was now in front of us.

Skull caps were available to borrow, covering your head is required if you want to get a closer look.

Various things were happening, praying, reading, nodding and boys carrying large gold urns. I will have to research more about Jewish customs.

Western/Wailing Wall Western/Wailing Wall Western/Wailing Wall Western/Wailing Wall Western/Wailing Wall

After the wall we walked out of the old city via Dung Gate. Outside there was a lively Jewish gathering with music.

We took a wander around the outside of the old city and spotted some interesting sights and views.

Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery
Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery

There were a couple of camels near to the Tomb of Benei Hezir and Tomb of Zechariah.

Tomb of Benei Hezir and Tomb of Zechariah
Tomb of Benei Hezir and Tomb of Zechariah
Inside one of the tombs
Inside one of the tombs

Back in the old city we wanted to visit the Dome of the Rock. There is only one entrance for non-Muslims. We had no idea about this and the signage as far as we could tell was pretty rubbish. So after going down two different streets and being told by guards that it was closed we decided to have a bit of a google.

The only way for non-Muslims is to go over the wooden walkway located near the Western Wall. It is very confusing because there are no entry signs above where you need to get through to get back out to the wooden walkway (if that makes sense), but other people we going through so we followed. There was a sign on the walkway stating the next time it was open to tourists. We had about 45 mins so went and picked up a drink and joined the queue.

There was some entertainment while we were waiting in the form of some Jewish guys playing music and dancing with a boy, maybe it was his bar mitzvah or birthday. Then there was some kind of Jewish preacher, a lady in front of us in the queue took offence to what he was saying and argued with him.

He gave us leaflets. A security guard advised us to dispose of the before enter the Muslim area.

From the wooden walkway there was a good view of the Western Wall.

Western/Wailing Wall

As soon as we entered the temple mount we were directed to the put a skirt on to cover our legs.

Dome of the Rock. I think I kind of suit a skirt. #jerusalem #tourist

A post shared by Alex George (@leaderofourboat) on

Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount
Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount
Jewish Quarter

In the Jewish quarter we met a soldier selling Israeli propaganda posters.

He seemed really nice and explained what the posters were depicting.

Menorah

Next we visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Christian quarter. It was pretty busy inside especially upstairs. The church supposedly contains two of the holiest sites for Christians: the site of Jesus’s crucifixion and the tomb where he was buried and resurrected. The queue for the tomb of Jesus was far too long; we decided to give it a miss.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Church of the Holy Sepulchre

We continued into the Armenian quarter.

The hustle…

We carried on our wander around the old city, where we came across the Tower of David, an ancient citadel where it looked like we might be able to get a good view of the city from the top.

There were a few men sitting near the entrance who told us it was closed, one said if you want a good view of the city I can show you somewhere.

I was about to say thanks but we’re ok when Rusty said yes that would be good! I had a bad feeling about it.

The man led us down an alley and the said before I show you the view I want to show my shop! So he unlocked his little shop, sat us down and made us coffee. He asked what sort of things we were interesting in buying. Rusty said he could do with a new rug so the man un rolled a few of his carpets in the street for Rusty to look at. Rusty nearly spat out his coffee when the man told him the price!!

He was asking for about £500, Rusty was thinking more like £20 like his last one from Amazon! Rusty told him he couldn’t afford it so the man quickly dropped the price numerous times until it was around £100. It was still far too much for Rusty. Not to mention the fact he would have no easy way to get it back home!

Now it was my turn. The man tried to pressure me in to buying something, giving the classic sob story about his family and people don’t visit his shop because it’s off the beaten path.

I couldn’t see an easy way out without buying something. He showed me a few pieces of jewellery; I thought I could get my Mum a bracelet. The price was a bit steep but I just wanted to get out of there. I think I spent about £40 on the bracelet. The bracelet was made from green-blue Eilat Stone beads. Eilat Stone being the national stone of Israel.

Even after that the man was trying to get us to buy more. We thanked him and left, he never took us to his not existent viewing point.

We went to a shop to grab some drinks, snacks and something for the next days breakfast.

It was Rustys turn to choose somewhere to eat, we both love pizza so it was a no brainer really.

The day time temperature was around 23 degrees but it got a bit chilly in the evenings.

They seem to like to over complicate things in Israel.

Apparently according to the waitress it was better to get a large pizza, half and half than two personal ones. So that’s what we ordered.

The pizza arrived but the waitress said the chef had messed it up so it was all Rustys! I would have eaten it but it had goats cheese on which I can’t stand.

She said they were making me a personal one of the topping I ordered. So now I was going to have a tiny pizza, the opposite to what she recommended!!!

Rusty took it as a challenge; he would try and eat the whole thing. We worked it out to be about 16”.

Rusty and his massive pizza

Eventually my pizza arrived and it was tiny. Also it was very average.

To compensate they gave us a couple of shots.

Rusty was doing well on the pizza. He was down to two slices but just couldn’t force anymore in!

In Putin Pub we discussed and researched how we would get to Bethlehem/ Palestine the next day.

Opposite the pub there was a piano in the street, people were gathered around while one guy played, he was pretty good, as we were walking away he was playing Sean Paul and Anne Marie – Rockabye.

On the walk back we came across some incredibly realistic concrete cushions!

Concrete cushions! #concrete #cushions

A post shared by Alex George (@leaderofourboat) on


Day One – Journey to Jerusalem
Day Two – Exploring Jerusalem
Day Three – Trip to the West Bank – Bethlehem and Hebron
Day Four – The Dead Sea
Day Five – Exploring Tel Aviv
Day Six – Exploring Tel AViv
Day Seven – A little Tel Aviv before the journey home

Day Three. Tuesday 16/10/2018

For breakfast I was about to eat the pain au chocolats I that purchased the previous evening when I noticed there were ants crawling all over them!!  Probably should have put them in the fridge. Rusty had bought breakfast cereal and milk. The milk was absolutely foul.

Most of Rustys tshirts have slogans or logos on them. He didn’t want to wear one that was ‘too American’ to go to Palestine as he thought It may not go down too well. He realised a lot of what he had with him was American related, the Coca Cola tshirt was rejected in favour of a tshirt with a star on it. I asked him what the hell he was doing wearing a Captain America tshirt!! He was shocked! He had bought it because he liked the design and didn’t realise!!!

Even though it was going to be quite warm, we decided it would be better to wear trousers in case some places were funny about letting you in with shorts on.

We worked out that we could get the Palestinian bus (no 21) to Bethlehem and its stop was very close to our apartment.

After re-buying breakfast! We found the bus, boarded and paid. The ticket price was very reasonable; it was only 6.80₪ NIS, about £1.50 each way.

Jerusalem to Bethlehem bus ticket

The bus set off and drove out of Jerusalem. I can’t remember how long it took but I think it was under an hour.

It wasn’t long before we were at the Israel Palestine West Bank border. The bus drove straight through. The separation barrier came in to view. I think I read that its 8 metres tall.

The bus pulled up at the side of busy road, it was the last stop, still a little way from the centre of Bethlehem. We had literally just stepped off the bus when we got approached by a taxi driver. He tried to convince us it was a best to get a taxi rather than walk.

He said that his driver could take us to see the wall, the Banksy graffiti, the refugee camp and the church of the Holy Nativity. We had a quick google and saw that it would be a hell of a walk to get from place to place so after finding out the price we decided to go for it. I was little dubious after getting conned in the shop the day before but this seemed legit.

The taxi drivers English was ok, we couldn’t quite grasp everything he was telling us but got the gist of it! He said he was having trouble understanding our accents! He found Americans easier to understand.

He drove us to a part of the wall where it was charred and burnt. The wall is covered in murals, graffiti and artwork.

Israeli West Bank Separation Barrier

Spanning the road was the Key Of Return – the symbol of the Palestinian right of return.

In the same area as the key was the Aida refugee camp. I read on somewhere that it houses 5000 refugees, the taxi driver was trying to give us facts but we could really grasp what he was saying a lot of the time unfortunately.

We stopped at a few spots to look at some of the art work including some by Banksy. We also stopped so the driver could show us some significant parts of the wall. He showed us a part where the wall had to be built around a property where, I think the residents would not leave.

Israeli West Bank Separation Barrier Israeli West Bank Separation Barrier Israeli West Bank Separation Barrier

Another section had cut the Palestinians off from their farm land or orchard.

Israeli West Bank Separation Barrier

He showed us where the wall had been built straight over a main road. If I heard the driver correctly he said the Israelis have to allow access along the road once a year, I think at Ramadan.

Israeli West Bank Separation Barrier

We stopped a souvenir shop before carrying on to the church of the nativity. The taxi driver was trying to convince us to carry on the trip after the church. He wanted to take us to Hebron. We weren’t too sure, he wouldn’t set a price either, he said you pay what you like! Yeah right.

He explained that it would be more of an insight in to the real Palestine and we could make our own minds up about have we felt about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. After a quick discussion we decided to go for it.

At the Church of the Nativity we were approached by a tour guide. He said he could give us a quick tour and queue jump. We had seen the queues in Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem the day before so decided it was a good idea as it wasn’t too costly. I think it worked out around £10 for both of us.

There was a long queue to see the spot where Jesus was supposedly born. The tour guide pointed out a few things then pulled opened a rope barrier and let us through to the area near the front of the queue where he preceded to pretend to talk to us about the items on display but really he was waiting for an opportunity to cut us in to the front of the queue.

He told us to quickly jump into the queue behind a Russian family.

We were now queuing on the stairs down to the grotto.

It was so busy, not really an opportunity to get a decent photo. Some people were very emotional.

Church of the Nativity

An old woman fell over on the stairs; our guide went to her aid and got her up and out of the way.

Our driver was waiting for us around the corner. I would have liked to have a bit more of a wander around Bethlehem but we were limited for time, getting to see more of the real Palestine was more important so we got back in the car and set off for Hebron.

He parked the car and led us through the narrow streets of Hebron. It didn’t smell too pleasant; apparently lots of the people keep animals inside their houses. We were on the way to the tomb of Abraham.

Because Abraham is important to Muslims and Jews the building is divided into two with both sides being able to view Abraham’s tomb.

The Israelis have installed checkpoints on both the Muslim entrance and Jewish entrance. Our driver took us into the Muslim side where he begrudgingly showed them his ID.

Inside the mosque we had to take our shoes off. The driver walked us round. We saw the tomb of Abraham through a window.

The driver told us how the whole building used to be a mosque until the Israelis divided it in two.

Some Palestinian girls asked us where we were and tried to teach us a couple of words in Arabic which I struggled with.

The taxi driver was very passionate about his frustration with the Israelis. He led us to the Jewish entrance but said he couldn’t go any further and would wait for us in a café.

The Israelis had definitely picked the more attractive entrance, you can actually see the exterior of the building and you walk through a garden.


Cave of the Patriarchs/Sanctuary of Abraham/Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron – Israeli side

The driver said we could walk down the occupied road towards Hebron’s Israeli settlement. We were stopped at checkpoint but let straight through.

Occupied Hebron
Occupied Hebron
Israeli Settlement

According to our taxi driver, Hebron was going to be a popular tourist spot until the Israelis came in, now it’s pretty dead. He also said that the Israelis go to random people’s houses in the night, raid them and arrest the residents.

Palestinian Hebron
Palestinian Hebron

The driver led us back to the car where a traffic warden was about to ticket his car! He hadn’t parked in the car park to avoid having to pay and was parked on the street.

After a long debate between the two men it seemed to be sorted, a young boy got in the back of the car and sat next to Rusty. Our driver had agreed with the other man to drive the boy somewhere.

He dropped the boy off and drove us back to the bus stop, we had a lots to think about and digest.

We asked him how much money he wanted and again he said you pay what you think it was worth. So we went in with quite a low amount which he wasn’t very impressed by so told us what he really wanted 500₪ NIS (about £106).

The bus journey was a little strange, instead of driving straight through the border the bus stopped. All the Palestinian passengers got off the bus, we stayed on.

A couple of Israeli soldiers got on to the bus, we showed them our passports and they left. Soon everybody else got back on and we were on our way again.

I collect flags from every country I go to put on the bar I have in my dining room, I needed a Palestinian one so we headed back into the Jerusalem old city and traipsed round for ages, almost ready to give up when I found a magnet, it was pretty much what I was after so I bought it.

I chose the evenings food, wanted something local again so chose Ben Sira Hummus. It was really tasty.

Mushroom Hummus at Ben Sira Hummus

Day One – Journey to Jerusalem
Day Two – Exploring Jerusalem
Day Three – Trip to the West Bank – Bethlehem and Hebron
Day Four – The Dead Sea
Day Five – Exploring Tel Aviv
Day Six – Exploring Tel AViv
Day Seven – A little Tel Aviv before the journey home

Day Four. Wednesday 17/10/2018

Although we were due to check out, I had contacted the apartment owner who kindly said we could leave our luggage in the apartment all day.

Today we planned to go to the Dead Sea. To get there we needed to get the bus. We got a tram to the bus station which is opposite the railway station.

After purchasing tickets (it was about £16 return) we headed to the stop, after a short wait we were on the bus and on the way. The bus journey was pretty long; there were numerous stops along the way.

Jerusalem to Dead Sea bus ticket

Finally we arrived, it was a little walk from the bus stop to the public beach, we probably should have stayed on the bus a little longer but didn’t want to risk the possibility there were no more stops.

The first thing I noticed is that it was considerably hotter than Jerusalem.

Dead Sea

It is such a strange sensation, you really do float! I could almost do sit ups!

I got water in my eye and it was pretty painful!

The sea water was so sticky. It was incredibly difficult to take photos on my phone, the screen was too sticky!

We bought some Dead Sea mineral mud from the shop, covered ourselves in it then let it dry in the sun, this didn’t take long as it was about 34 degrees!

Dead Sea Mineral Mud

Dead Sea Mineral Mud! #deadsea #salty #mud

A post shared by Alex George (@leaderofourboat) on

There was a closer bus stop, as we waited we kept getting approached by taxis, finally a bus turned up and we were headed back to Jerusalem.

We got a tram back to apartment to get our luggage, thanked the apartment owner before getting back on tram to the railway station.

Jerusalem Tram Ticket

You would think it would be simple to buy a ticket and get on a train but you would be very wrong. We arrived at Jerusalem station, the signage was poor, there wasn’t anywhere to buy tickets as far as we could see. The only thing we could see was a security guard along with bag scanner. So we asked how we get a ticket. They said that the train is free at the moment but you need a travel card to get through the barrier.

My case almost had to be searched but after they had put it through the machine a couple of times they let us go.

The travel cards were not expensive; they had to top them up with the free journey.

Rusty managed to get though the barrier but my card wouldn’t work. I asked a staff member and they checked the card on the on the ticket machine. It said it had already been used. So they just opened the barrier for me. We made our way towards the platform where a train was about to depart.

Finally we were on the way to Tel Aviv.

During the journey we looked up the hotel and realised it had a lot of bad reviews!! I don’t know how we missed them when we booked it.

We got off at Hashalom station; it looked closet to where we were staying. We couldn’t work out how to get off the platform! The barrier didn’t have anywhere obvious to scan the card. Luckily a young soldier, who was waiting for a train, saw us struggling. He showed us how to scan the card to get out but Rusty’s wouldn’t work, he said it says that you’ve already used it. What a nightmare! There didn’t seem to be any staff members around. The soldier scanned his card and opened the barrier for us.

It looked like we could probably walk to the hotel but we really didn’t fancy it so I used Uber.

We checked in to the hotel. The room was ok. A bit shabby and the air con was noisy but we didn’t plan on spending a lot of time there so we weren’t too bothered.

It was definitely warmer in evening than in Jerusalem, about 26 degrees.

It was getting on and we were hungry and decided pizza would be a good plan. We found a pizza place (Domino Pizza Frishman) with good reviews and headed there. It was sort of half takeaway half restaurant.

A lady heard us ordering and commented on our accents and said “you can’t beat the Kings English”. We sat outside.

Domino Pizza Frishman

After dinner we took a bit of a wander round exploring the local area before calling it a night.

Volleyball on the beach

Day One – Journey to Jerusalem
Day Two – Exploring Jerusalem
Day Three – Trip to the West Bank – Bethlehem and Hebron
Day Four – The Dead Sea
Day Five – Exploring Tel Aviv
Day Six – Exploring Tel AViv
Day Seven – A little Tel Aviv before the journey home

Day Five. Thurday 18/10/2018

The hotel breakfast was what a lot of the negative reviews were directed at and we found out why for ourselves.

There was a bag of bread, a few jams, some cereal and some juice which was foul. Oh there was coffee too. There was a microwave so for the next morning I could buy a pain au chocolat or something.

The plan for the day was to hire bikes and go exploring. We finally worked out how to get the bikes out after mastering the very confusing interface on the machine; we even showed somebody else who was struggling!

Tel Aviv
Ha-Etzel Museum

I had plotted a few things on the map so we set off to check out Old Jaffa, which was a short cycle ride along the sea front.

Old Jaffa

We explored the area including the flea market and the port. Luckily there are plenty of places to drop off the bikes.

Cycling was thirsty work in the 26 degree plus heat.

Jaffa Clock Tower
Fishermen
Old Jaffa
Jaffa Flea Market

We carried on our cycle ride to some of the other places I had pinned on the map.

Bialik Square and the Old Town Hall of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv City Hall
Tel Aviv City Hall

Rusty had been looking for somewhere to get a view over the city and thought he’d found the perfect place – the Azrieli Observatory located at the Azrieli Center, a set of 3 sky scrapers, one circular, one square and one triangular with a shopping mall at the bottom.

After a grabbing a jacket potato in the food court of the mall we headed for the view point. We got to the bottom of the tower and a lady sitting at a desk said it was closed. Their website did not say it was closed but after looking on Tripadvisor it seemed like a lot of people have had this problem.

Jacket potato with cheese, onions and olives!!

It was Rusty’s turn to pick where to go for food. He picked Shakshukia, they served Shakshouka, a dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce. It was really nice.

Shakshukia

We decided to go for a few drinks so headed to a fairly lively bar. It’s another country where they choose where you sit and have table service. When it came to paying we got the bill, tried to pay and the waitress got a bit arsy with us, we didn’t realise you had to give at least 10 percent tip. I got a annoyed after that but in the end accepted that it’s just their way of doing things it just would have been nice to know before an awkward interaction like that.

We ended up smoking shisha at a bar on the beach.

Shisha

Before heading back to the apartment we went in search of a bakery so I could grab something for breakfast.


Day One – Journey to Jerusalem
Day Two – Exploring Jerusalem
Day Three – Trip to the West Bank – Bethlehem and Hebron
Day Four – The Dead Sea
Day Five – Exploring Tel Aviv
Day Six – Exploring Tel AViv
Day Seven – A little Tel Aviv before the journey home

Day Six. Friday 19/10/2018

There were a couple of places still on my map that I wanted to see so off we went again on the bikes even though we ached, cycling seemed to be a lot more effort this time.

Tunnel

A post shared by Alex George (@leaderofourboat) on

Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The Jaffa railway station was the first railway station in the Middle East.

HaTachana, Tel Aviv’s Old Railway Station
HaTachana, Tel Aviv’s Old Railway Station

I’ve never seen so many people zooming around of motorised electric scooters, they were everywhere, I think we should have hired them instead of the bikes!!

We’d had enough of the bikes and needed to chill out so headed for the beach.

I chose the restaurant for the evening, I decided on curry.

Random vegetarian kebab curry!

Afterwards we went to a couple of bars and ended up at another beach bar. The service (for us) was terrible. The service was great for the big group of Chinese lads who seemed to be very good customers, getting bottles of beer brought to the table every few minutes.


Day One – Journey to Jerusalem
Day Two – Exploring Jerusalem
Day Three – Trip to the West Bank – Bethlehem and Hebron
Day Four – The Dead Sea
Day Five – Exploring Tel Aviv
Day Six – Exploring Tel AViv
Day Seven – A little Tel Aviv before the journey home

Day Seven. Saturday 20/10/2018

Not realising that on the Sabbath even less stuff is open than on a Sunday in the UK, we headed off to try and find somewhere else to get a view of the city from above. We got there and it was closed!

We walked back to the beach and chilled out before heading back to the apartment to collect our luggage.

The most hassle free way to get to the airport would be by Uber. The taxi dropped us outside the terminal.

Our flight wasn’t from the main terminal, d’oh, we had forgotten about the long bus journey from the plane to the terminal.

To get to our terminal we had to get a bus. I was a little concerned that we might miss the flight! Luckily it all worked out ok eventually.

We were constantly asked to show our passports, must have had to show them at least 6 times. Security control was a nightmare; normally in my experience they only want laptops or tablets out of your luggage, cameras are usually ok to stay in. They wanted my camera out. After my case had gone through the scanner they asked if I had anymore electronics in there. Basically I had to take my hair dryer, extension lead, phone chargers out. They put it back thorough the scanner and still weren’t satisfied so had a rummage through.

It had been a nightmare to pack and stuff everything in as it was and now I had to do it again, I got pretty stressed out. Finally we were in the departure lounge.

David Ben-Gurion

The food options were pretty crap. There were no sandwiches without meat so I think I just had wedges, Rusty had a hotdog that he wasn’t too impressed by. In general I found Israel really good for vegetarians.

So that concludes our adventure in Israel and Palestine.

Flying home yesterday #sunset #easyJet #planewindow

A post shared by Alex George (@leaderofourboat) on

Conclusion

It was a really interesting trip. Laid back Tel Aviv seems a million miles from Jerusalem’s mega religious old city.

The signage in Israel could be improved!

Hearing the Palestinian point of view from a local and seeing how the people of Hebron live was pretty eye opening.

We met really nice people in Israel and in the West Bank. A bit of a cliché but it goes to show that you can’t judge all of the people by the reputation of the country/ nation or the actions of that nation.


Day One – Journey to Jerusalem
Day Two – Exploring Jerusalem
Day Three – Trip to the West Bank – Bethlehem and Hebron
Day Four – The Dead Sea
Day Five – Exploring Tel Aviv
Day Six – Exploring Tel AViv
Day Seven – A little Tel Aviv before the journey home

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *