Jordan and Israel in 11 - 14 days

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Feb 17th, 2012, 11:18 AM
  #1
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Jordan and Israel in 11 - 14 days

I was on a Red Sea cruise in January which stopped for 2 days an Aquaba, I visited Wadi Rum and Petra and fell in love with Jordan. Unfortunately the ship did not stop in Israel which would have made the holiday ideal for me.

I got an e mail from Easyjet and find out they operate from London to both Amman and Tel Aviv, so I am trying to create an itinerary flying into Amman and out of Tel Aviv and would welcome your help/

Jordan:
Fly London Gatwick to Amman and taxi to hotel in downtown Amman - Jordan Tower or Farah Hotel (I am on a budget) for 4 nights. These hotels offer tours where you join other people and reduce cost (I an travelling Solo).

1 Day: Jerash, Ajlun, Umm Qais.
1 day: Madada, Mount Nebo, Bethaney, Dead Sea.
1 Day Amman on my own.

Isreal:

Transfer from Jordan to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem - 2 nights.

I was brought up Anglican and went to Sunday School as a child so remember all the biblical stories, however, I am now Agnostic and I am not really interested in visiting Biblical sites, unless they are historical fact., I am very interested in visiting sites about the Holocaust and the Jewish Diaspora.

My no 1 spot for Jerusalem is Yad Vashem, followed by the Israel Museum and the Old City. The Mount of Olives would appear to be a must but I am unsure about it. Can I do this in 1 1/2 days and what have I left out that I should visit in Jerusalem?

Dead Sea and Masada - 1 night

Take bus to Dead Sea and visit Masada. Stay overnight in either a Kibbutz or Hostal in the area.

Tel Aviv:

Bus from Dead Sea to Tel Aviv and spend 4-5 nights here.

Visit Jaffa, Holocaust History Museum and have a least 3 days of R&R on a sunbed with a good book. Please don,t tell me that I am wasting time lying on a beach. I am well travelled and understand my body, this is necessary at the end of a hectic sight seeing tour. I can however extend my trip by a few days if necessary.

I would welcome any comments in particular the amount of time spent in Jordan and Jerusalem.

Thanks
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Feb 17th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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Well, I shall be the first to reply. You are now an agnostic and not interested in biblical sites unless historical fact? That may reveal something about your understanding of these sites, many of which aren't really historical fact but more traditional. So Church of Holy Sepulchre, e.g., is on the huge site presumed to encompass where Jesus was crucified and buried but not proven as authentic. Same with Upper Room, Jacob's Well, birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem. Face it, much in Israel does have special religious meaning to Christians and Jews and Muslims.

What speaks to me are places like Garden of Gethsemane, actual Palm Sunday road (not paved one), Sea of Galilee, much as they once were. Of course Petra is a must. Yad Vashem of course, Masada maybe. For holocaust sites go to Auschwitz...everyone should.

Bill in Boston
Warning! am a retired minister (who won't go to Israel due to policies)
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Feb 17th, 2012, 02:11 PM
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Thank you Bill, my main interest in Israel is post WW2 but the Sea of Galilee is now on my itinerary.

BTW, I have been to Auschwitz, the Jewish sites in Hungry, Czech Rep,Imperial War Museum and many more places in Europe.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 09:28 PM
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Bill in Boston:
So you won't visit Israel "because of its policies" but you frequent the Israel forum ? Do you also prowl the US forum to discourage people from visiting America because of its "policies" or do you confine your lofty moral principles to Jews only ? It would be interesting to hear what principled countries you visit on your vacations.
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Feb 17th, 2012, 09:55 PM
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Hi -
And now for some relevant commentary on your itinerary:
The itinerary is good but I would definitely drop one one or two days from Tel-Aviv and add them to Jerusalem (or lengthen your visit). Yad Vashem and the Israel Museum can each take up the better part of a day and you should budget at least a day for the Old City.

A good idea for an introductory and orientation tour of the Old City is the Sandeman's free walking tour:
http://www.newjerusalemtours.com/dai...free-tour.html
No doubt you will want to enter many of the Old City sites and explore them in depth.

Dead Sea: If you explore the logistics of going to the Dead Sea by bus, I think you will find it simpler to take a one-day tour to Massada and thus gain a day to see other sites. Look at the EggedTours or United Tours websites for details.

Tel-Aviv:
You don't give the dates you are flying so I can't comment on the weather for your beach vacation. Tel-Aviv has a lot to offer for the tourist so you will not be bored. There are several free walking tours provided by the city:
http://www.visit-tlv.com/?CategoryID=191
The Saturday morning Bauhaus tour is very good.

It is not clear which "Holocaust History Museum" in Tel-Aviv you are referring to. As far as I know there are only two holocaust related museums other than Yad VaShem: the Massuah Institute at Kibbutz Tel-Yithak and the one at Lohamei HaGeta'ot near Nahariya.
http://www.gfh.org.il/Eng/
You could visit this museum along with a tour of the Crusader City in Akko: take an early train from Te-Aviv to Akko, tour the city then take a taxi to Lohamei HaGeta'ot. Return to Tel-Aviv by train.

Information on Akko:
http://www.akko.org.il/english/Visit...er/default.asp
Train schedules:
http://www.rail.co.il/EN/Pages/HomePage.aspx
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Feb 18th, 2012, 12:37 AM
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Thank you mbgg,

Looks like I will need to add 2 days to Jerusalem. A day trip to Massada makes sense as I won't have to pack up and change hotels which takes up a lot of time. The walking tours of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are now on my list, thank you.

I will be travelling in June and assume the weather will be hot.

Looking at my notes it is the Jewish Diaspora museum and not Holocaust museum that I am interested in. I understand it is at the University and that area of Tel Aviv is very nice to wander around and stop for coffee etc. is this correct?

When in Tel Aviv I am now considering taking a day tour to the Sea of Galilee however, Akko looks like the sort of place I would find very interesting. Can I do both the Sea of Galilee and Akko in one day from Tel Aviv?

Thanks for your help my itinerary is starting to take shape.
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Feb 18th, 2012, 03:55 AM
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The weather is hot in June, but still not as hot as July-August. The beach will be fine but you should avoid the strong sun between 11AM and 4PM. Bring a good hat, suntan lotion and drink a lot all day (even when you aren't thirsty). The highs in Tel-Aviv will be about 80-85F.

Yes, the Diaspora Museum is on the University grounds. It is a nice residential neighbourhood but you should concentrate your 'wandering' to more picturesque and historical neighbouhoods such as Rothschild Blvd (the Bauhaus area), Neve Zedek, Old Jaffa and the beachfront promenade. There are three other museums in the proximity of the Diaspora Museum: Eretz Israel Museum, the Palmach Museum and the Rabin Museum. You can find links to their websites here:
http://ilmuseums.com/
No, you can't do Akko and Tiberius in one day. Akko has a lot to see and you could then go on to Tiberius by bus and stay there overnight. There is not a lot to see in Tiberius itself and although there is much to see in the surrounding area and the Upper Galilee, it is very difficult to get to these scattered sites by public transport. The best solution is to rent a car for two-three days to explore the Galilee and Golan; other than that you can try a two-day organised tour to the north.

The National Parks website lists many of the attractions up north (and in the rest of the country). Note their "Money-saving ticket" offer:
http://www.parks.org.il/BuildaGate5/...php?mc=378~All
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Feb 18th, 2012, 06:48 AM
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A taxi from London Gatwick will cost you a fortune and it will be a very long ride. Please look into Southern Trains or the Gatwick Express into central London, then from the train station you can taxi to your hotel.
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Feb 18th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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P_M, I am travelling from London Gatwick to Amman, Jordan and taking a taxi from the airport in Amman to my Hotel ( I live in the UK), I think you mis-read my post?

mbgg, thank you, I posted the same question on Tripadvisor and notice you answered it also - than you.

My revised itinerary is a follows:

Jordan: 4 days and no amendments the moment

Israel: Amendments.
Stay in Jerusalem 5 days in Abraham Hostel www.abraham-hostel-jerusalem.com They offer a free visit to Masads, Ein Gedi and Dead Sea if staying 5 nights. They also have various tours and being solo this is an advantage. I don't care where I sleep as long as it is clean, has a bed and is en suite. their sing rooms fit this criteria and it has very good reviews on tripadvisor.

I also want to do their West Bank Tour and either their Caesarea, Haifa and Acre, or Galilee Tour. I don't have time to do both, which would you recommend? I feel a little better about Religious tours as prior to coming here I assumed Religious Tours were like a Sunday School trip ( I have a work colleague who wanted to go to Israel and booked a tour with a local church, he told me the trip was a a religious trip of prayer to all the various sites). Looking at the itinerary of above tours this is not the case but the Caesarea trip is at the moment, my favourite.

Bus to Tel Aviv:

I love cities and looking forward to my 5 days here.

1 day Akko
1 day, Diaspora Museum and free walk in Tel Aviv.
1 day, walk to Jaffa
2 days, do nothing.

Evenings spend the time seeing the White buildings and walking,bussing around TelAviv.

What do you think?
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Feb 18th, 2012, 11:27 AM
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The Caesarea & Acco tour looks good. Note that Akko and Acco are the same place so you won't have to do your one day trip to Akko by yourself if you take the tour.

Jaffa can take the better part of a day and you should go on a weekday. There is a visitors centre in the main square in Old Jaffa. The highlights are the flea market, Old Jaffa, the Port - and you must eat at Dr. Shakshuka and buy pita at Abulafia Bakery You can also walk south from the port along the beach promenade to see the gentrified Ajami neighbourhood. The Neve Zedek neighbourhood just north of Jaffa is definitely worth a visit.

The interesting free walk is the Saturday Bauhaus tour which in addition to the architecture also covers the history of the city. Note that the Diaspora Museum is closed on Saturday so you will have to go there on a different day.

On Tuesdays and Fridays there is an Arts & Crafts market on Nahlat Binyamin St, just off Allenby, adjacent to the Carmel market.

Another option is to rent a bike and travel around the city, particularly along the beach promenade. The city now offers daily bike rentals at 150 stations:
https://www.tel-o-fun.co.il/en/

"Time Out" Tel-Aviv magazine has a lot of good information on events, museums, restaurants and entertainment:
http://digital.timeout.co.il/english/
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Feb 18th, 2012, 11:40 AM
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mbgg, you are a gem, thank you.

Now I have to work out the logistics. Getting from Jordan to Jerusalem, to Tel Aviv and flights but as I now have days and times of tours etc I think I will be able to come up with a workable itinerary.

Thank you.
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Feb 18th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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cambe, sorry for the mix-up.
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