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Bein Harim Tourism Services - Worst experience ever!!!

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Bein Harim Tourism Services "Tour Jerusalem - Old and New"
with guide Ron Lev (Tel: +972-3-619-4284, +972-52-545-4664; Email: menash79@gmail.com)
Description of the tour: www.beinharimtours.com/tour_prinnt_ver.php?t=9
Real experience:
1. We were picked up at our hotel and transferred to another hotel where we waited for an hour before tour started.
2. Had just two short stops for views while driving to Old City - didn't visit any places except of Old City.
3. An hour of circling Old City and looking for parking spot with tourists in the bus.
4. Didn't go to Armenian Quarter, didn't "walk along the Byzantine Cardo", as it was listed in the tour description, visited only Western Wall.
5. Didn't go to each Stations of the Cross because tour guide said "nothing to see there".
6. Visited Church of the Holy Sepulchre for 5 mins and we were sent to the shop to buy souvenirs to make it sacred. After that guide Ron Lev asked if we want go back to the Church(?!). He "allowed" to return to the church for another 10 mins and waited us outside (!).
7. Run through a street in Muslim Quarter with a stop to buy juice and souvenirs.
8. Transfer to Yad VaShem.
Guide Ron Lev gave us just one hour (!) for the museum, said he will not go inside and we can buy audio guide if want. On the request to give us more time the guide said if anyone will be 5 mins late they should take a taxi back to the city. When we returned back from the museum the bus was late and we said to wait another half hour.
9. The guide was rude on all our complaints, I called the company office and was assured that they will contact me the next day but that's never happened.

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    WOW--All I can say is I am sorry that you had this experience. I have on occasion, seen other negative reports on Ben Harim-

    HOWEVER...

    Some of what you expected--it is NOT part of the description. Part of the problem for your understandable disappointment is you didn't read the description very very carefully.

    BUT I'll comment on your complaints

    1. picking up and transferring of passengers is common. Good planning should mean this is done quickly and efficiently

    2. The only part of the New city you go to, according to the tour description is Yad V'shem. The name of the tour is misleading.

    3. Was the guide also driving?--There is no excuse for tourists circling looking for parking THE guide and group should be dropped off and parking is the driver's problem. I know many guides who will NOT drive in the city of Jerusalem for this reason. It is not fair to their clients.

    4. The itinerary says you "pass" the Armenian Quarter--you did- when you enter the Zion gate you are IN the Armenian Quarter ( for a couple of minutes) You then pass into the Jewish Quarter. You also walked by the Byzantine Cardo. It is impossible to get to the Western Wall without doing so. Obviously it wasn't pointed out--or you blinked and missed it.

    5.It says walking along the Via Delarosa JOINING pilgrims doing the stations of the Cross--this type of tour is never going to go to each Station--you need a Christian tour for that. I will grant you that the wording is misleading.

    6. No comment about the Church , I do not know what he said.

    7. Re: the Moslim quarter, the itinerary said, "short stroll"

    8. I do not know if he was supposed to guide in the museum or not. The description of the tour was sketchy

    9. NO excuse for rude--never is rude allowed.


    NOW--some of your complaints are valid and others are that you fell victim to not reading the brochure with educated eyes. Words like drive by, pass, view--mean exactly that. They do not mean there will be explanation and there does not necessarily have to be time for you to explore. Please understand, I am NOT condoning this type of brochure. I think it is terrible. I DO think you should complain to the company AND the Ministry of Tourism. It is a lead on and not proper. I DID write the 9 points showing how the company did more than you realize in terms of keeping to the description so others will hopefully be more careful when they pick tours.

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