Recently, I went to Israel for a three-day trip. Although I definitely would have liked to spend more time in Israel, I can’t say I didn’t see everything I wanted to see. In fact, I saw more than I had expected.
We stayed at the Intercontinental David Hotel in Tel Aviv. We couldn’t have been happier with the accommodation brought by the staff there. They all spoke fluent English and gave us great recommendations for what to see and do during our stay! Aside from the hospitality, the hotel is right across the street from the beach. We had a beautiful view from our room where we could see the gorgeous sunset over the water. Also by the beach is a playground…for adults. Basically, it’s workout equipment, playground-style. Unfortunately we didn’t save time to try it out, but that’s for sure something we’ll do next time!
In the evening we took a stroll down the beach-side streets up to Jaffa. It’s a nice walk but it can be tiring if you’re not in shape. We stopped along the way in a few shops and caught a glimpse of the night life. There’s even a restaurant in Jaffa in the sky. Yes, in the sky. It’s called Dinner in the Sky, and it’s pretty self-explanatory. A crane lifts the 22-seater up almost 165 feet so that the customers can enjoy their meals with a spectacular view! It’s fairly expensive, but if you have the money and you’re up for the experience, then I would highly recommend this!
The next day, we took a cab into Jerusalem. It’s only about an hour away and it was an awesome experience. I would recommend spending at least an entire day in Jerusalem! We went straight into the old city on a tour. The city offers tours that you can pay for and also tours that are free. We were originally going to pay for one, but we started talking to a guy who told us that the free tour is actually really good. We were pretty satisfied with our tour guide; however, there were a lot of people on the tour so it was hard to hear what he was saying when we got caught in the back of the group. If you want a more in-depth tour, perhaps religion-specific (Christian-based, Jewish-based, etc), then I would definitely recommend paying for a private tour!
The old city was so cool. It’s amazing how they have kept everything almost the same as it was in biblical times. All the stones and tiles are ancient and you almost feel like you’re going back in time when you enter this holy city. There are kids playing ball and running around in the alleys and quaint shops on the sides. It’s amazing how they make room for so much in the walls of such a small city. The tour guide took us on the roof of one of the buildings so that we could see everything from a different point of view!
The next day we went to the Dead Sea and Masada. It was a private tour so we were in a van of about 10 people. As we drove through the desert, the van driver would point some things out to us and tell us stories. He pointed out the cave where the Dead Sea scrolls were found, gave us random fun facts, and told us stories about the desert-dwelling bedouins. He brought us to a factory where they make Dead Sea skin-care products and we were able to try some out. Then we went to the Masada. You have the option of walking up or taking the tram. We took the easy route, the tram! It’s amazing how much of the Masada is still preserved, you can see all the original stones and baths. Not to mention the view from Masada is spectacular. If you go for no other reason than the view, you will not be disappointed! It’s pure desert, but it’s beautiful.
We then went to the Dead Sea for a swim… or should I say for a float! We had a little over an hour to enjoy the Dead Sea, which was more than enough time! If you go here, you MUST try the mud bath. I know it sounds gross, but it’s so worth it. The mud at the Dead Sea is famous for its healthy minerals and healing powers. You go into the water and grab a handful of mud from the bottom, and rub it all over your body. Let it dry completely and then wash it off in the provided showers. Your skin will feel smoother than ever before and you will feel completely renewed! It’s so worth it!
The whole trip to Israel was amazing and I hope to go back and experience more of it! If you’ve been to Israel, let us know what you enjoyed most and any tips you have! We’d love to hear them!
Check out a video slide show from the trip:
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