A Travellerspoint blog

We are in Israel

sunny 33 °C

We arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday after a very uneventful flight - just the way we like it. It was different seeing so many men praying on the plane as we woke from our sleep at around 6 a.m. Toronto time. At the airport we were able to hook up with Dave - cousin, rent a car and head off to their home in Kochar Ya'ir. They have a lovely home in a beautiful neighbourhood and we had a great dinner at their place. We spent much of the evening decided what our next steps we be. We were able to book a room in a small hotel in Jerusalem and then a room at a spa in Ein Geddi. As we were falling off our feet from exhaustion, we finally got to bed around midmight. Rick was asleep instantly. No such luck for me - my usual problem of adjusting to the time change.

bike_shop.jpgI put the bikes together. Arlene`s was fine, but the skewer for the font tire was bent, so my cousin drove us to a small bicycle shop in an Arab village outside rheir town

Today we drove to Jerusalem. What a spectacular city! What wasn't as exciting as the vistas we saw, was the lack of signage and the hours we spent lost in the city fighting the traffic. At some point we felt that we would be found years later, still trying to find the hotel. But I guess that is part of the adventure.

Driving in Jerusalem is crazy. The streets are narrow, windy, and basically unmarked. A GPS is an essential navigation tool. At around 2 in the afternoon, we stumbled across a small plaza with a fast food - fallfel - place, and a grocery store, in an ultra-orthodox area.
We had a fallafel. It was pretty good, but when the guy at the counter asked what we wanted on it, the only word I knew was "kol" everything. The french fries on it were a bit much. I also noticed that there were no females in the place, though a couple of girls were waiting outside. I think it was a males only place.
There were guards outside the store (as there is everywhere here) to help us find the hotel, but he didn't speak English. A woman gave us some brief descriptions, but basically said we couldn't get there from where we were!!!

After a lot more wrong turns we eventually found the hotel. It is in a great location in the German Quarter on a small side street called Lloyd George. We were able to take a bus into the old city and walk around to get a sense of this very historic city. We then had a great walk back to our hotel past the lovely jewellry shops on King David Street. The day ended with a great dinner of a quinoa salad made with a whole variety of nuts and seeds. The mixture is called ja`ala.
jeru_cafe.jpg

Posted by arick 12:08 Comments (1)

The Day we leave

Stress or Relaxation

bike_boxes_in_car_001.jpgI am not sure whether I am stressed today because we are going to Israel or it is residual stress from years of "first days of school". The good news is that I slept last night unlike in previous years. As we run around trying to remember everything we need to take and trying to fit the bikes in the bike boxes and the two huge bike boxes and our luggage in the the Yaris, I kind of wonder if this is the relaxation people talk about in retirement.

Tonight we will sleep? on the plane and arrive in Israel at around 6 p.m tomorrow. if all goes well.

The next time you hear from me we will be in Israel.

Posted by arick 12:48 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

We are going to Israel

reflections and preparation for our trip to Israel

overcast

I can't believe that we are leaving for Israel in a few days. This will be a very special journey for Rick and I for many reasons:
We have never been to Israel before
We are beginning the trip the day I would have returned to school - my first official day of retirement (in my mind)
We will be riding our bikes in support of Beit Halochem and sharing the road with some of the veterans who have benefitted from Beit Halochem's support.

During this week we have busied ourselves with getting our affairs in order - from spending time with family and friends, to getting our will done, to meeting with our financial planner, to going to the hairdresser to getting our unit ready for the flooring that will be replaced due to the leakage from our terrace (but that's another story).

We very loosely have our itinery set up. We do have our flights booked on September 2 and returning on September 21. We know that we will begin our trip at our cousin's house and then figure out what we will do next. The only fixed part of our trip is the bicycling from September 14 - 18. Other than that we will play most of it my ear. This is our preferred mode of travel - not too much planning, more spontaneous.

And at some point during the weekend we will begin packing and we pick up the boxes for our bikes.

We are looking forward to sharing our trip with you.

Posted by arick 14:29 Archived in Israel Tagged preparation Comments (1)

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