greetings from Tel Aviv

Jul 22nd, 2010, 05:19 AM
  #1  
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greetings from Tel Aviv

Spending my last day of a 71/3 day trip to Israel in Tel Aviv today. It's my first visit and I had an interesting time. Best thing I did was to be brave enough to hire a car. I am travelling solo and my husband usually does all the driving, so I was nervous, but I am glad I did. Rented from Budget the night before I picked it up after spending 4 nights in Jerusalem. It's not difficult to get to the Dead Sea. Literally from Budget which is next to King David Hotel, one quick right turn to the main David road, stick to the middle lane and stay on for 18 lights according to the pleasant budget lady. I lost count after the 4th light but trusted her and when I thought I had overshot, I saw the huge central police station on the right, and soon after the Male Adinuum sign. I drove for 818 km as far south as Ein Boreq (but stayed at Ein Gedi) and northwards to Qazrin to visit the Golan hts winery which unfortunately was closed for a public holiday. But the drive down south towards the Sea of Galilee on Route 70 was like driving into an infinity pool. The drive around the Sea of Galilee is one of the most scenic drives I have done.
tangwah is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 11:15 AM
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How far is Sea of Galilee from Tel Aviv.

It seems you were able to drive easily on the trp. Would love to hear more details.

have a safe journey.
ileen is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 01:30 PM
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It sounds like you're having a fun and exciting trip, tangwah!

I'm a little confused with the kilometrage and directions--from Jerusalem to Ein Boqeq (Bokek) is about 100 km. 818 is more than the whole length of Israel
Now that I'm re-reading it, sounds like you're talking about the total distance you drove so far in all of Israel?

ileen, google maps works pretty well for estimating driving distance in Israel. Look at results carefully because they may or may not involve driving on routes through the territories (which isn't allowed with Israeli rental cars anyway) or using the one toll road, road #6 (which could be worth it, or could get expensive)
AlexA is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2010, 08:40 PM
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Good morning. I am cutting and pasting this from facebook.
I flew into Tel Aviv Airport last Thursday pm, went straight to Jerusalem by public shared van/taxi where I stayed 4 nights at Christchurch guest house, wonderful location, but don't eat there. Picked up a car on Monday morning with great trepidation, but it was a breeze to drive to the Dead Sea where I spent a night. Left Youth hostel (got the double room with a view for $70) at 420 am to drive to Masada to catch the sunrise, went down in time to drive to the Ein Gedi Reserve to open at 8am to hike to King David's waterfall where he composed poems (psalms) and hid from Saul. Then drove to Sea of Galilee. Spent 2 nights in that area then back towards the Meditarranean coast. I would highly recommend travelling with a small group of friends (4 to a car) than follow a big tour group. I saw the historical sites mostly empty since I was the first to arrive in most places.

Yes, I that was the mileage after returning the car. I did get lost quite often but since I didn't prebook any accommodations except in jerusalem and the night in Ein Gedi (didn't have to it turned out), I didn't feel stressed about time. And I had a car and am open to staying even in youth hostel dorms I was fine.

I didn't drive from Galilee to Tel Aviv. I was in Nazareth where I had planned to stay the night, but didn't like it, so left after seeing the church. I drove to Haifa to see Mt Carmel instead, but the hotel I went into was full, and the youth hotel by Carmel beach was full too. So I thot I would head towards Tel Aviv and drove to Netanya along the coast and stayed there for one night. Then drove into Tel Aviv early morning to return the car by 10am, a day earlier than planned. I was not going to visit at all Tel Aviv originally but to return the car at the airport today. I am glad I did get to see Tel Aviv for a day. It's been a tiring but fruitful trip. I fly back to florida at noon.

The roads mostly are wideish and it is easy to be overtaken (which happens often since I only go at the most 10km/hour over the speed limit, but usually stick to the speed limits) or to safely overtake.
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:22 AM
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I thot my flight was 11.55 am , but instead it is 11.55 PM. I discovered this while at the airport at 10am this morning. I had just missed a train to airport, and had a heart attack when the girl in uniform told me the next train was in an hour. It normally runs every 20 or 30 mins 9depending on who you talk to) , but for Fridays. Tt was 8.45am. But she assured me that I would be fine even tho my flight left at noon. I disagreed with her, then she said don't worry I am a security officer and I will personally take you thru the security to US Airways. She's in her mid twenties, attending law school but working part time. so at least I had an interesting conversation with with a local.

The hotel people (Hotel Adiv, great location opposite Budget car drop off, small but nicely upgraded rooms) were so nice and sympathetic. Even gave me a key to the staff changing room to change out of my travel clothes, and welcomed me to use the free internet computer. I just went for a walk and stumbled upon a twice weekly arts and craft and food market which had an impressive array of handmade stuff to sale at Allenby and Hacarmel street.

For anyone who has to return their car to Budget, the drop off is not in front of their office. But turn into the street on the right immediately before the budget office and park in front of whitehall steakhouse on the right. And if you need to fill the tank, the closest gas station is on the street that runs south along the beach on the left. It is in the basement of a covered parking lot between KD hotel and Park hotel.

And it is cheap and easy to take the public bus and train to airport. 6 sheckels for bus (they give change) and 14 shekels for train. a taxi runs between 100 and 120 sheckels I was told. I will know tonight since the bus and train will stop running by 2pm or 4pm (depending on who you ask) as it is Friday.
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 04:36 AM
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I needed to get cash and went to the ATM at leumi(sp?). No English option but I overconfidently guessed and pressed 300. sigh, instead of shekels I got 300 Euros!!! sigh again. but at the food market I bought 65 euros of spices (they can be so persuasive) and received 160 shekels of change which should be enough for taxi fare tonight.
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 08:02 AM
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tangwah, ask your hotel to call a taxi company and check on the fare to the airport. SInce you are traveling on Friday, the rate is higher than usual, and 160 NIS might just cover it. Fortunately tipping taxi drivers in Isarel is NOT expected, so when you get a fare quote (you could also go on the meter) you should be OK
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 09:23 AM
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Thanks, AlexA. The info was from the hotel staff (120) and the local who helped (100). I just now booked a taxi with the hotel and it's 140 shekels because it's Friday evening.
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Jul 23rd, 2010, 10:16 AM
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I'm glad that you checked the price!
Now you have a few shekels for a soft drink or some chocolates at the airport. Have a safe flight.
AlexA is offline  
Jul 28th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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Thanks AlexaA, made it back fine.
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