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Summer Vacation 2008: Israel & Jordan!

We just returned from a truly a-mazing trip to Israel & Jordan, the culmination of which was attending Dahlia & Aran's wedding. We had so many incredible experiences and made so many new friends & extended family it was crazy-fun!

We began our trip by flying into Tel Aviv where we met bride and groom for a walk along the beach to shake off our jet-lag and get into the vacationing spirit.


The next morning we set off for Jerusalem.

Here I must pause to tell you that in Israel, the street signs do, in no way, correlate with the maps given to us by the rental car company. Neither in English nor Hebrew shall you navigate using those maps. This was confirmed several times during our stay when we would stop to ask for directions. The kind hearted soul helping us would say something to the effect of, "put that away, don't use that, all you have to do is....". No day was more challenging, however, than our wandering journey from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. After more than 30 minutes of trying to get out of Tel Aviv, we finally made it out to Route 1. From there it was a short jaunt to the edge of Jerusalem followed by an hour of traffic and a good 30 minutes of getting lost within blocks of our hotel just outside the old city. Nonetheless, we had made it!

A bit edgy but extremely eager to get out and see the old city we proceeded to head down to the Damascus Gate and enter Old Jerusalem through the Muslim Quarter. What a site to see! A menagerie of people, colors, smells, sights, and sounds it was quite intense. After wandering there for a bit we headed over to the Christian Quarter to see what could be seen. We marveled at some of the churches and the architecture and then made our way over to the Jewish Quarter. We walked the "Cardo" and then stumbled upon the Kotel. We split up, men on one side & women on the other, and each spent a few special moments there.

Then it was off to take a tour of the adjacent archaeological park followed by a quick exit out of the Dung Gate and a hike up the hill to re-enter the Old City through the Zion Gate. We proceeded to wander the Armenian Quarter and arrived finally at the Jaffa Gate where we took leave of the Old City for the evening in search of a hotel pool and then dinner :)




For dinner, we headed out to Ben Yehuda Street for lively street performers and awesome schwarma and falafel!

The next morning we wandered back down to the Old City to meet up with a tour guide for a "3 hour tour". You can probably already guess that the 3 hour tour was far longer and more arduous than any of us expected (around 5 hours...). Our tour guide, Stanley, was, let's just say "colorful" in his description of the peoples and events that have taken place over the many thousands of years of history there. He was, however, thorough. We got a terrific tour of all 4 Quarters with a sound track that was not to be believed (really...much of it was not to be believed.).





Next: The Negev and our journey to the Red Sea!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 27, 2008 9:45 AM.

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