We were blessed to be able to return to Israel. There are thousands of years of history in this tiny country: Old and New Testament history, Ottoman and Crusader history, and the more recent historic return of the Jews and statehood of Israel. It was my third time to tour Israel, and I hope I will be able to return again someday!
Our itinerary included both returning to favorite places and exploring new. Arriving at Ben Gurion International airport we picked up a rental car and drove to the Galilee but we turned in once we arrived in Jerusalem. We then bused to Tel Aviv and returned to the airport by train.
Galilee: 5 nights. We enjoyed the freedom to drive. Visited Capernaum, Korazim, Kursi, Zippori and Bet She’an National Parks, Tahbga, Mt. Bental and Nazareth.
Ein Bokek on the Dead Sea: 1 night. Visited Qumran, Ein Gedi, Qsar al Yahud (Jordan River baptismal site), and Inn of the Good Samaritan – all National Parks.
Jerusalem: 5 nights. Mostly walked! Visited Temple Mount, and the Western Wall. Taxied to the village of Ein Karem.
Tel Aviv: 2 nights. Bought public transportation day passes. Toured the Palmach Museum and Independence Hall and walked through many neighborhoods.
Israel is a very expensive country and we were blessed to be able to return, but as budget travelers, were unable to afford the luxury of a private driver and guide.
Purchasing a 2-week Israel National Park Pass allowed us to visit as many parks as we wanted. We visited 9 parks; time and the weather prevented us from visiting additional parks. A car would be beneficial to visit the parks around Jerusalem. Next time…
It was my third time to visit Israel, but my first time not being part of a tour group. We generally travel alone, but Israel is one location where I prefer having a guided tour – or a private driver-guide.
- A local driver doesn’t get lost, can read the Hebrew and Arabic signs and is not confused when the English spellings on the signs and the maps differ – K and Q are interchangeable as well as Z and Ts or Tz.
- A guide knows all the answers and spoon-feeds the information to you.
- Due to the religious nature, travel in Israel is different from many places, and I missed the camaraderie and fellowship of traveling with a group of fellow Christian believers.
My photos are just a sampling of all we saw and experienced. They do not do it justice. I can’t write a mini history lesson on each place when an entire thesis would be required to address their years of civilization.
Jerusalem, has a mix of cultures and is important to the 3 monotheistic religions: Judism, Islam and Christianity.
We never felt unsafe, nor does Israel feel like a country on the brink of destruction or war.
Everyone ought to experience Israel!
Meet You in the Morning next time from Chiang Mai, Thailand