The Holy Land

Spring break in Israel. It was a long trek from Idaho to Israel. We arrived on a sunny morning in Tel Aviv. We headed straight to our seaside hotel and allowed for a shower and some sleep time, but with the caveat that the sleep could NOT continue past a certain hour. Then, we had to get active so that we could get on the local time zone as soon as possible. We toured Jaffa on the Mediterranean Sea. On day 2, we took the train to Jerusalem. The train ride was nice and scenic. We arrived at the final destination and no taxi would pick us up. The taxi stand was nothing more than a nice sign? Taxis were dropping people off at the local shopping center, but would not take us to town. We were getting hot, angry, and desperate. Finally, we got a taxi and he was a great trustworthy guy. We felt very grateful to get to our hotel. There is a real language barrier there. Luckily, English is an option, but understanding anything was a real issue. We arrived as they were preparing for Passover. As a person who spends a lot of hours in church per week, I had an understanding of Passover, but not really how it would look in Israel. I still don’t, but we know a bit about how it affected us. The hotel told us that everything had to be cleaned in the restaurant. That meant EVERY single surface!!! If we hadn’t been told that we wouldn’t have known or cared what was going on at other restaurants in town that were closed. Also, it meant that the quality and service of food in the hotel restaurant would be drastically reduced and NO bread. I understand the no leavened bread part, but the total lack of abundance of all other food?? It was unique. McDonald’s was closed for cleaning. We didn’t know if it would reopen. The next day, it did and the FOOD which was then Passover approved was inedible. We did enjoy some local grub that was really good and some that was really weird, but which we ate cause we were famished at the time. The weather was nice. It was not too hot, but even quite cold one morning after a storm. We had planned on going to the Dead Sea, but we decided we did NOT want to drive there so we chucked our car rental and stayed in the city on foot. We walked a lot. We were in close proximity to the Old City and we spent a lot of time there. We saw a lot of stuff, but we missed a lot too due to being on foot and opting to forego public transportation in the event that we didn’t understand where to go or how to return. There are a lot of souvenir shops and by a lot, I mean too many. The problem is that I didn’t see one high-quality place to buy something nice. I paid too much for a couple of t-shirts, but only bought them cause I really wanted to. Prices are negotiable and I don’t really want to deal with that so largely opted to keep my shekels. At the end of the week, our tired feet had barely added a dent to their old stone streets, but we had seen for the first time the center of the universe.

 

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The Western Wall

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Spices for sale

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Walled city. One day we walked around the tower as far as we could. It required a fee.

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Rare smile by the teen who would rather a “normal” spring break.

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Jerusalem

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Armenian Quarter in the Old City

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Tour groups

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View of the Dome of the Rock from a residential spot.

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Old City of Jaffa

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Jaffa

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Street of Jaffa 

 

 

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