Keeping It (Is)rael

Every now and then, you need someone to push new ideas into your travel plans.

My mom served as that shove gentle nudge when she insisted on going to Israel for her 60th birthday. The country has never been on my “must-see” list but her excitement quickly rubbed off on me.

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We arrived in Tel-Aviv early Monday morning, before the city gets busy with shoppers & tourists. Our Airbnb was in the Florentin neighborhood, popular for twenty and early thirty-somethings to hang out at night.

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Visiting the country’s holy sites requires you to plan early – which I failed to do (rookie mistake). The religious sites that my mom wanted to see were 40 miles away in Jerusalem’s Old City. Our Airbnb host suggested renting a car but I’ve never been a fan of driving abroad. Thanks to TripAdvisor, I was able to find Jesus’ Jerusalem Day Tour with transportation from a nearby Tel-Aviv hotel to and from Jerusalem.

The excursion took us through Jesus’s footsteps in the holy city, with our tour guide, Charlie informing and entertaining the small group.

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Even without taking a faith-based tour, Old City Jerusalem makes for a great cultural day trip. I met other tourists from the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. with various languages spoken throughout the town.

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I’ve heard that no trip to Israel is complete without a day at the Dead Sea. Since it was the highlight of my trip, I agree. Lovely Ms. Nathalie was our biggest blessing during our stay. Our two hour drive with her took us 1,380 feet below sea level with a personable conversation about life in Israel vs. North America.

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She also showed us the best place to collect souvenir salt. Next time one of those salt scrub hustlers approach me in the mall, I can confidently say “No thanks, I have the real stuff at home.”

 

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Would you visit Israel? Comment below!

 

@FlightToFilm

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