Ahhh yes, Israel! This was my graduation gift from my mother, it was hands down such an amazing trip. I will warn you from NYC to Tel Aviv, it is a 11-13 hour flight, depending if you fly direct or have a stop.
Our hotel Crown Plaza Beach as you see in the image above was right in-front of the beach. It was refreshing to have this view every morning, knowing that I was steps away from tanning.
Tel Aviv is a easy city to get around in, you can walk or rent a bike. Where our hotel was located was on the strip with bars and restaurants, markets and the marina were 20 minutes away.
Old Jaffa is the old city of Tel Aviv, the streets, churches and homes have not been remodeled. It’s important to be mindful of what you’re wearing in certain locations, showing a sign of respect to their religion.
We booked a private bus for our tour to Jerusalem and Dead Sea, the tour lasted10 hours. The drive to Jerusalem is an hour away from Tel Aviv and two hours from the Dead Sea back to Tel Aviv.
We visited the Whispering Wall/Western Wall, where men and women are separated to pray. You are then given a piece of paper to jot down your wishes/prayers, you then place the piece of paper in the gaps of the wall.
The most fascinating part of being in Jerusalem was to walk the same streets where Jesus carried the cross before he was crucified. We stopped by each of the 14 stations and were educated on what it is exactly that happened. In certain area’s it was necessary for women to cover their heads.
In the picture above, you see the Jesus on the cross, it is said that this is the exact spot where it occurred. They created this temple to preserve the artifacts.
From Jerusalem we drove an hour to the Dead Sea, the waters salt concentration ranges from 30-35%. This means you aren’t able to swim, you’re body will automatically begin to float due to the salt concentration.
People tend to take the mud from the ground and do a mud bath for 10 minutes and rinse it off with clean water. It is recommended to not stay in the Dead Sea water for more than 30 minutes. Your body will start getting dehydrated since you’re in the lowest point of the earth, with high salt concentration and surrounded by the desert.
In Israel they still practice Shabbat, a holy day which begins on Friday at sunset and ends on the following day at night. Restaurants, bakeries and businesses are closed, but if you’re in the city of Tel aviv some locations might be open.
The beaches in Israel by far are one of the best I’ve been to, the water is green and see through although it doesn’t quite look like this in these pictures. The temperature of the water was warm so you didn’t have to worry about quickly diving into freezing cold water.
The Carmel Market Place was 20-25 minutes away from our hotel, I took a map and find my way around. They have any and everything you can possibly think of in think of in these markets, note to self, make sure you negotiate prices they are always willing to bargain.
The next picture is a typical falafel, it is very filling, it has tons of things in the bottom that you get to pick, you end up with a mixture of different seasonings and flavors.
Last but not least, for $10 we rode on a camel while when we were on Mount Olives in Jerusalem. The view was spectacular, being on a camel felt so weird but it was a memorable experience.
We had such a great experience in Israel, that we plan to return and explore other places and bring more people. One thing is to be told, another thing is to see for yourself.