Israel Diary: Like a Month of Sundays

What does a month days in Israel look like? Obviously, the answer would be different for everyone. What appears below is a brief outline of our experience. Looking back, there is very little that I would have changed.

To understand our choices of stops and pace, you may need a little background: We are a family of 6 – 2 parents and 4 kids ages 19, 15, 10 and 7. That spectrum of ages means we need to be considerate of how much time we spend in museums as well as playgrounds.

We tend to travel heavy – bringing things along with us for both the total trip and the day – so that we don’t get caught short and don’t get caught up spending money where it’s not needed. We pack sandwiches (and a lot of snacks!) for the day and eat as we go. By dint of luck and with the generous guidance of a a member of our synagogue, we found an apartment in the middle of Jerusalem with a kitchen and room for 6 beds.

That having been said, what appears below are the highlights of each day. There are more things we accomplished, but much of it was intangible – meeting people, just making our way from place to place, and stopping to take things in.

Another point to consider is that one of our kids was really under the weather when we arrived in Israel (we took her to urgent care about 2 hours before we left for the airport) so our first few days were slower than expected as she recovered.

We also did NOT rent a car – partially because we had heard Jerusalem has ample public transportation (it does, for the most part) but also due to the fact that it was impossible (no, really – IMPOSSIBLE) to find a vehicle that seated 6 during August. Everyone else is taking their vacation so all the larger cars are booked up. Never the less, we were able to get everywhere we wanted to go, and probably ended up saving money even when you factor in the extra cab, bus and train fares.

Some of the items below will merit their own post, so keep checking back!

Day 1-2
  • Travel (18 hours door to door),
  • land in Israel, get to hotel, unpack,
  • eat schwarma at Hamarosh on Ben Yehudah street
Day 3
  • Walk around, shop, get lay of land, adjust to time zone
  • Make our first (but by no means last) foray into Machane Yehudah
Day 4
Day 5
  • Walk down to, and into, the old city of Jerusalem
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15
Day 16
Day 17
Day 18 (NOTE: This was one of our most successful sightseeing days, largely due to our amazing guide Chaim. If you are near Haifa, you really should let him drive you around. (052)241-5984)

Day 19-20
  • Took the train from Haifa back to Tel Aviv and met friends for a leisurely Shabbat weekend
Day 21
Day 22
  • After breakfast at the Alpaca Farm, travel by bus to the Ein Gedi Youth Hostel
  • Walk down to Pundak Ein Gedi and float in Dead Sea
Day 23
  • Take bus to Masada and spend the day exploring
  • Grab taxi to Kibbutz Ein Gedi for groceries and crash for the night.
Day 24
Day 25
  • Traveled by taxi to Kfar Nokdim where we got to experience camel rides, true Bedouin hospitality , and dinner before sleeping in cozy tents (or in beautiful rooms – it was our choice!)
Day 26
  • Traveled by taxi back to Jerusalem
  • dropped our bags and scrambled to shop for Shabbat , which was fast approaching!
Day 27
Day 28
Day 29
Day 30
Day 31
Day 32
Day 33 Fly home