Israel Trip Report

Reply

Feb 3rd, 2013, 02:53 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 207
Israel Trip Report

January 2013 - One short week - 3 nights Tel Aviv, 2 in Eilat, 1.5 in Jerusalem.

This was my 7th trip to Israel and I lived there for a year way back in 1998. I've already seen most of the sights, so I didn't do much sightseeing, just lots of walking - through Jaffa and Neve Tzedek, along the new Tel Aviv promenade up to Ramat Aviv, along the coast of Eilat down to the Egyptian border, the old city, Mahane Yehuda and the parks around the Knesset - lots of eating, visiting friends and plenty of beach time. The weather was perfect, sunny and unseasonably warm every day. The water is a bit chilly, but not much different from what it is in New york in early summer.

A few impressions:

This is the most relaxed I've ever seen Israel. There is much less security than in previous years and what does exist is rather lax. I never had to open a bag and when I beeped a couple of times going through metal detectors, no one seemed to care. Whether that is good or bad is another question. There are plenty of Jewish people walking through the Arab quarter of the old city, which they used to stay away from and even some soldiers eating in the restaurants there. There are also quite a lot of Israeli and East Jerusalem Arabs in the malls of West Jerusalem and on the light rail, and even vacationing in Eilat, which you never used to see. Everyone seems to be coexisting, at least on the surface.

Service has gotten more polite, but you still have to push a bit to get what you want. Taxi drivers, always a rough bunch, have gotten nicer and more honest.

While smoking becomes less common around the world, it is still everywhere in Israel. They still allow it enclosed sidewalk areas at restaurants and even where its's not allowed, it is still there, such as on the non-smoking floors of hotels, where you can smell it everywhere.

Eilat - I vowed in 2007 never to return, but after a foot injury interfered with my hiking plans, I decided to try again. It was January, so less crowded, and away from the promenade it is much more pleasant. And the mountains and sea are still beautiful.

Interesting experience - Had to sit on the floor of the bus from Eilat to Jerusalem, along with a bunch of other people, since it was sold out. And there was no room underneath for my backpack so that was on the floor with me, and the rifle of the soldier laying down behind me was in my back. Luckily, one guy got off at the Dead Sea so I was able to grab his seat. And, surprisingly, the bus has free wifi.
trebex is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 4th, 2013, 11:06 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,009
Wow, a nice update from when I traveled there a few years ago. Back then I did a trip to Egypt, Jordan and then Israel staying in the Old Jerusalem.

In Israel was the place I felt less safe. Riding a crowded bus was a scary experience that I only did once.

It sure would be nice if things continue to improve there
DMBTraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 10th, 2013, 08:05 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,737
Nice reporting. We go to Israel in April.
dgunbug is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:45 AM.