Israel is one of the most unconventional travel destinations which is often skipped by many. So, here is my travel memoir, which will help you decide if this is where you want to be this summer.
Our trip started off with a visit to the holy city – Jerusalem, often referred to as the international city of the world due to claims on it by both Palestine & Israel. Interestingly enough, it’s sacred to three religions – Judaism, Islam and Christianity. In case you are a history buff, then this is a paradise for you; as walking through Jerusalem is like walking backing in time. My personal note would be that the guides don’t divulge too much information due to a language barrier. Therefore, ask as many question as you can
or study about the place in advance to get a better understanding of the greatness of this place.
- The Western Wall is the most religious place for Jews so respect the religious nature of this place.
- Jerusalem is important to Christians due to the presence of theChurch of Holy Sepulchre. It was here it’s believed that Jesus was crucified, buried & then rose from the dead again.
- Jerusalem is also important to Islam due to the presence of Al-Aqsa Mosque which is closely associated with Prophet Mohammad.
The old city of Jerusalem is divided into four quarters – Muslim, Christian, Jewish and Armenian quarters. Each of these give you a glimpse of their rich culture. Also, there are many cafés and shops inside the old city which are great for souvenir shopping. However, my recommendation for eating out there is Piccolinno offering exceptional Italian cuisine.
Next was a day trip to Dead Sea. Here are some fun facts for you:
- The sea is called “dead” because of its high salinity, which prevents fish and aquatic plants from living in it. It is 9 times saltier than ocean water.
- At 423 meters below sea level it is at the lowest point on earth’s surface! With up to 32% salt content and extremely high mineral content, it is recognized as a source for healing many ailments.
- Due to its saline content our bodies simply float in Dead Sea. With beautiful view of Israel on one side and Jordan on another, floating in Dead Sea is once in a lifetime experience.
Few personal notes : Don’t dip your face in the water as it makes the eyes itch a lot. Grab a bite at “Lowest bar on earth” and dress in casual attire. They do have lockers and changing rooms so carry a change or swim suit to take a dip in the water. There are shops offering some great beauty products. Personally, I did indulge myself in picking up many beauty packs, which have proven to be a great buy.
Our trip ended with a tour of Tel Aviv & Jaffa city. After Spending some time in Jaffa and thereafter walking from Old Jaffa to the Rothschild Avenue, one can almost witness how the city has transformed over centuries.
The Port area of Tel Aviv and Jaffa is buzzing with shopping arcades and restaurants (Personal note – Plan to go there on a Friday or a Saturday afternoon to experience a buzz). One can also spend time in Sarona Market in Tel aviv, which has some amazing eating options and also houses Whisky Bar & Museum, which has more than 1000 different Whiskies. If time permits the graffiti tour in Tel Aviv city signifies the strong artistic freedom the culture of Israel supports through art & songs.
It is a young nation with enemies surrounding the country from all ends. So the security is of paramount. Israel is highly advanced once it comes to the defence sector and it is also compulsory for every young Israeli to be employed by Army for almost 18 months.
Tel Aviv is the party capital of the Middle East and therefore its party scene is not to be missed. Their party scenes vary from beach side clubs to sky lounges and followed by underground or after hours party too which are not meant for the lighthearted! For a sophisticated night out, must try it’s Haiku Sky Bar. To experience the true Israeli nightlife we would recommend The Block which is an after hours club open from midnight to 7:00 am in morning.
The trip to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv brings you to a juxtaposition of history and modernity, ancient artefacts and modern arts, a party scene like never before with the most spiritual journey of your life. It doesn’t get any better than that!
Notes from the trip:
Night Life – Super Casual dress code.
Community – Highly friendly and cooperative people, don’t hesitate to ask for help incase needed.
Shabbat – is a holiday in Israel from Friday evening to Saturday evening so be sure to plan your trip accordingly. Weekend starts from Thursday.
Our recommendations for eating out – Speak Easy in Tel Aviv
Have a great day!