We spent most of our time with family and very little time touring but that is why we went, to be with family!
In Tel Aviv, we were right by the beach, a 5 minute walk away to be precise. Now, Im not really a beach person but we went 3 or 4 times and I swam in the gorgeous warm ocean and got a tan. The kids loved it! We found a restaurant on the beach (literally, tables and chairs in the sand) and plonked ourselves down for a few hours a day.
We walked to the mall and took taxis to my brothers flat and had picnics in the park near his house.
In Jerusalem we spent our evenings with our Israeli family and the days with our family from the UK.
The wedding was amazing. So very very special. Looking out over the old city, our family and friends all together. It was a truly happy and joyous occasion.
And the food! The food in Israel was amazing. We didnt stop eating. The croissants in the morning from the corner store, the felafel and shwarma from the little hole-in-the-wall shops, the Italian restaurant we celebrated my Grandfathers birthday in, the homemade meals our family served us. So much of yummy food all the time!
I’ve been here 2 full days and am having an absolute blast, I don’t have access all the time so for now I will just give you a rundown of my first few days.
We arrived at the airport very very very VERY early, like 2 hours before check in opened… We sat and had coffee/lemonade and then made our way back to the check in area where we met up with Dominique who was up from CT for the WIZO SA conference. We checked through and made our way through passport control. We did a little browsing, Dom bought some jeans and had an early dinner as she doesn’t eat on planes.
We eventually boarded and got ready to take off. The Turkish airways plane was very comfortable and the entertainment was not to shabby. I was a bit disappointed that one of the advertised movies was not in fact a selection and landed up reading most of a novel I had bought. I managed to sleep for a few hours and of course after waking a few times during the night, I slept straight through the cabin lights being switched on and breakfast!
Dom made an excellent travel companion as she slept through most of the flight and didn’t insist on chit chat!
The only downside to the first leg of our journey was the incredible ear ache I developed on our descent into Istanbul. I really thought I was going to burst an eardrum and need to be hospitalised on landing!
The second flight was relatively painless, from the security check point and passport control, to boarding and the flight itself. I ate the snack with gusto as I was starving at this point.
My brother Matthew was at the airport to great us and I couldn’t help but almost squeeze the life out of him when I hugged him. He bargained with a taxi driver and didn’t win, 160NIS was a bit steep for a taxi ride to the hotel so we opted to catch a train into Tel Aviv at 14NIS this was much better, we then caught a taxi from the station to the hotel which only cost 35NIS.
I had a small battle with my cheque card at check in and Matt rescued me by putting the hold on his credit card while I sorted out the shit with my bank. Damn Std Bank had put a hold on my card because they thought it had been stolen, Paul contacted Std Bank and within half an hour the issue was sorted.
We spent a fantastic day together, it was great to catch up with him, I love his sense of humor and I think he was very happy to have someone here who actually thinks he is funny and gets his sense of humor! He went back to Jerusalem as I had a full day of touring the next day and we met up again for dinner on Thursday night and he slept in my room so that today we could travel together to Jerusalem to spend Shabbos with family!
My room was is lovely. Very luxurious but all the way at the end of the passage so a bit of a trek, I need the exercise though so I don’t really mind. The delegate from India was supposed to arrive on Wednesday, she never rocked up and didnt pitch on Thursday either, I hope that I don’t have to pay for the full room…
On Wed afternoon we were taken to Beit Halochem which is a post all on its own.