Sunday, September 16, 2012

Israel Trip Part 1

So I went away to Israel a few weeks ago (a peer trip, not a family vacation) and it was a great trip. So I thought I'd share some pictures and stories etc. for all of you. This should take a few posts. If you saw my Italy series, it should be like that (Link to Part 1 of that trip here).

Okay so the first step was simply to get to Israel.
I thought I would do a sort of travelling gnome thing with my owl, but that ended up not happening beyond the first day.

View from the sky.
 We didn't have a direct flight. Instead we had to stop in Switzerland on the way over. At this point it was around 2-3 AM in our heads so we were pretty tired. I may have baa-ed as we all walked in a group to go through Swiss security.

Also, I learned that Swiss security people are really nice. I'd brought a reusable water bottle on the trip with me and filled it in the US airport, after I went through security. When I went through Swiss security they pulled my bag off for extra searching...and pulled out my completely full water bottle. My options were to either drink it all (about 18 oz of water) or to go and find a bathroom to dump it in, and then go through security all over again. I drank it. One of my friends from the trip started making me laugh (admittedly not a difficult thing at 2 in the morning) but the airport security lady told her to stop and sort of cheered me on. She seemed really happy for me when I managed to finish the bottle. I was proud and also really had to use the bathroom.
Swiss Airport.

Hotel Room
So we got to the hotel in Jerusalem and changed for Shabbat. Then we went to the Western Wall, by bus. We did a small Shabbat service there (hence the lack of pictures for this part) and then began our walk to the hotel. Before we left we were told to wear shoes for a 2 1/2 mile walk. We were told the walk would be about an hour.

To put it simply, they lied. For one thing, they neglected to tell us about how hilly it is in Jerusalem. Or how steep the hills are. They are very steep if you were wondering. Also while I can't comment on the distance the walk ended up being, I can say this. It took two hours. We were told it would take one. We also were making this hike with no dinner (that was waiting for us at the hotel). Additionally, they gave us huge water bottles so that we could stay hydrated (I'm talking 1 1/2 liters). What they did not give us were bathroom breaks on the walk back. But we did make it back the hotel. We got dinner and access to a bathroom and we all went to sleep.

The next day was very chill. We couldn't really do much since it was Shabbat so we got to unwind, swim in the pool, read. All that lovely stuff.
View from the hotel window
We also did some getting to know you activities. Then after dinner we had a Havdalah service. Then we went out. There was a Music/Art festival. I like crafts fairs. A lot. Here's some pretty pictures.


This guy dressed as an elephant


Wire crafts and Knitted crafts

Toilet paper holders
That's it for today. There will be more about this trip over the next week or so. Part 2 is now here!

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