Saturday In Jerusalem

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Jan 6th, 2005, 09:35 PM
  #1
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Saturday In Jerusalem

We will be arriving in Jerusalem on a Thursday evening, and must be in Tel Aviv from Wednesday to Sunday. On Monday we would like to leave for a few days in Eilat, including a one day tour in Petra.

We are planning to stay in Jerusalem Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, then travel to Caesaria, Haifa, Acco, Rosh Hanikra and Tzippori on Monday,and go on to Tiberias, Beit She'an, Mediggo and Netanya, arriving in Tel Aviv Tuesday night.

1)What can we see or do in Jerusalem on Saturday? Is everything closed on Shabat?

2)Should we reverse the Monday/Tuesday routes?

3)Where should we stay overnight on Monday?

4)Is there much of interest to see or do in Tel Aviv, or are there interesting day trips accessible from Tel Aviv?

5)How long is the bus trip from Tel Aviv to Petra? (I have heard everyting from 4 to 7 hours.) Should we fly?

Thank you in advance for any advice you give me.
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Jan 7th, 2005, 05:44 AM
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sandi
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Jerusalem is very quiet on Saturday, a day to rest... there will be some restaurants open, but little if any public transport. You can cetainly walk into the Old City if your hotel is closeby... by JER is so small, you can walk most anywhere. A good guidebook and/or hotel conceierge can advise what is open.

As to Petra, it's easiest done from Eilat, which has an easier border crossing (be sure you have 2-passport size photos for the crossing paperwork). This tour can be arranged through your hotel*. It is a full day tour.
*See below.

From your posting it seems you'll be arriving JER for 3-days, then traveling towards TLV to head north via Caesaria, Haifa Acco, Rosh Hanikra and Tzippori on Monday - you might consider an overnight in Safed; then neading back going west to Tiberias, Beit Sha'en, east towards Megiddo, south via Netanya to TLV by Tuesday evening, staying here thru Sunday. I gather you will be renting your own car, or arranging for a guide/driver with his own vehicle?

Then doing Eilat the second week. I would fly to Eilat - there are packaged air and hotel deals, and you can even arrange for your Petra trip when scheduling this portion of your itinerary.
 
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Jan 7th, 2005, 08:33 PM
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Sandi is right on. It is best to do Israel in a circle. Go north from the airport to Caesarea, then Megiddo etc on the way to Sea of Galilee(Tiberias). There is a reasonable Sheraton to stay at there.
Then to the Dead Sea and Jerusalem.
Tel Aviv is a nice new city. Depends on what you want to do whether it is worth a visit. There are many historical sites in Joppa (couple miles S of TA).
I would definately fly to Eilat.
There are good tours from Eilat to Petra. We had not issues crossing the border... but they do ask lots of question.

I have spent several Saturdays in Israel. It is best to visit sites that day that are not observant. You can visit Christian sites on Sat in JER - like the Garden Tomb. Then you can visit Jewish sites on Sunday.
The old city will be open on Saturday in the Christian and Arab sections. The Jewish sites will be closed.
We prefer not to be in JER after 3pm on Friday and Saturday. The city becomes very quiet then. As you are aware Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday. So depending on the time of year you visit, sites can close very early on Fri too.
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Jan 16th, 2005, 05:49 AM
  #4
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Thank you so much for the replies.

Sorry, I didn't mean to ask about flying or busing from Tel Aviv to Petra - I meant from Tel Aviv to Eilat. I know that the trip to Petra is from Eilat.

How long is that bus ride from Tel Aviv to Eilat? Is there anything worth seeing on the way, or is it better to fly?

How difficult is the Petra Trip? My 80 year old sister-in-law is coming with us, and my husband (late 70's) will have had knee replacement surgery 2 months prior to the trip.

Since Jerusalem is pretty well closed down Friday afternoon and Saturday, should we go to Eilat and Petra first?

We arrive in Tel Aviv 6PM Thursday.

We must be back in Tel Aviv the following Wednesday (late aftenoon) for a series of dinners leading up to our son's wedding on that Sunday.

We are then available to tour from Monday until our flight home midnight Thursday.

It seems logical to visit Eilat and Petra after the wedding, but if we will lose a day and a half in Jerusalem for Shabat at the front end of the trip, perhaps we should reverse our plans and visit Eilat first? Any thoughts?

That would have us arriving in Tel Aviv and either transferring to Eilat, or overnighting in Tel Aviv and going the next morning (Fri.) Is there a day trip to Petra on Saturday?

This does seem an awkward way to do it, but Wednesday evening to Monday morning in Tel Aviv is a given.

We will hire a car and driver, so we can be flexible.

Any advice?
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Jan 16th, 2005, 12:34 PM
  #5
sandi
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A visit to Petra consists of a lot of walking. At one time you could take donkeys thru the Siq (1-km road surrounded by high rocks) to the Treasury building... the first building one sees upon arriving at the actual site - they no longer allow this. You can either take the donkey or walk to the entrance, then walk the balance. Then once inside it's quite a bit walking with many inclines. However, we did notice when we visited they there were a few coaches with elderly people who were taken to and thru the Siq to the Treasury building. Though we didn't stay around to see where these folks went, later on we noticed another coach with other elderly visitors traversing the areas further within the site. However, we saw as many elderly peole (and I can't say whether they were in their 50s, 80s, or just unable to traverse the distance).

So unless things have changed, there seems to be an accommodation made in these situations. However, to be certain, I would suggest you contact the site directly or the Jordanian Tourist office for specifics: do they still provide the service, when, what is the cost, etc. At the same time, I would check whether there is a Saturday tour from the Eilat and while checking with the Jordanian side of the border... check with the Israelis for what goes on their side of the border - it might be closed on Saturday! Based on the information you obtain would determine whether you head for Eilat upon your arrival in Israel.
 
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Mar 4th, 2005, 02:13 PM
  #6
 
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So you can't go into Petra by donkey anymore? Many years ago I recall my wife being a bit anxious about this. I would say it would be quite a walk.
My memory of Jerusalm is that things do shut down on Sabbath and there could be a better time. As for Tel Aviv...only if you want to shop big time in crowds.
Shalom!
Bill in Missouri [email protected]
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