A Travellerspoint blog

Welcome to Israel

Holy Land - Ben Gurion Airport

View The Holy Land on kmmk17's travel map.

The working world means I have much less time for holidays....but more money to spend on them! And my latest adventure took me to Israel.

Whilst the country is absolutely teaming with history, it also has, as we know, a huge problem with terrorism. Unluckily for me, just a few days after it was all booked, the latest trouble erupted this summer. Fortunately by the time I went, the worst of it was over. But I had done a lot of researching and prepared myself for a lot of questioning and security searching as well have realised that as far as the everyday tourist goes, the risk of trouble isn't much greater than London or the USA.

And then two days before I leave....more trouble as a far right Jew gets shot by a Palestinian, who in turn gets shot by the Israeli Police, shutting down the Haram el-Sharif/Temple Mount complex which was my planned first site to visit..... Nevertheless I jumped on my plane to Tel Aviv on the Saturday morning, ignoring all the worries of my work colleagues and family, and once again grabbing my free newspaper at Luton Airport and feeling like a complete pro. The flight was ONLY 5 hours on easyJet, so as you can tell I was thoroughly entertained the whole time - but luckily the view of the Alps, Balkans and Turkey until it got dark was something to look at, and eventually I had arrived.

Views over the Alps

Views over the Alps

The most important issue that would affect me was the fact that I had already visited Morocco and the UAE, which I had read would subject me to further questioning, delaying my time at the borders. Which is exactly the thing you don't want when you've already travelled across Europe and still have 2 hours before getting to your hotel. Luckily, the lady at immigration didn't see my stamps, and just asked me the basic questions - such as why I was coming to Israel, where I was going/staying and who I knew in the country. I whizzed through immigration, got my shekels out at the cash point, bought some nibbles to break the notes, and then waited for my bus at the bus stop outside the terminal.

One of the things I had read in my research was that, helpfully for the tourist, during the Sabbath (Friday to Saturday sunset), there is NO public transport in the country. Having planned my holiday around this, it meant that by the time I arrived at the airport, the Sabbath was already over for the week, and I was able to jump on one of the first buses running that day.

Plus points of Israeli Buses: Cheap ✓ Free WiFi ✓ Bullet Proof Windows ✓
Eventually arriving at my hostel in central Jerusalem I took an early night in order to explore the Old City the following day.

Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Israel Tagged airport plane holyland trouble

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