Trip Start Dec 01, 2011
Trip End Jan 20, 2013

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Flag of Israel  , Southern District,
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I have now entered my 79th country.  This border crossing was a strange one.  We were questioned for over 30 minutes.  The border patrol asked us questions like “what religion are your parents?”  They went through each and every stamp in my passport questioning about what stamp it was.  They had not heard of countries such as Brunei or Marshall Islands.  I’m not sure what the purpose was of asking these questions, but we crossed the border in the end and took a taxi 5 minutes to the city center of Elait.  Elait is on the Red Sea and is only 10 minutes from Jordan and 10 minutes from Egypt.  It is surrounded by war ships in the water that will probably shoot you if you cross the wrong line.  It is a bit scary considering Israel is constantly at war and they do not mess around here.  This city is a beach spot, but the beaches are not so nice.  There is a snorkel spot that is supposed to be quite famous, but it was only average snorkeling here.  The water was a bit colder, but still warmer than where I am from in the summer time.  There is a marine reserve here to protect the fish, so that is good.  I was extremely surprised by how expensive Israel is.  It is nearly $15 for a plate of food.  Nothing is cheap here.  It is Hannukah here and I think today is day 7.  This is kind of interesting.  I have only heard about Hannukah, but never seen it.  Many of the people stood in our hotel lobby, lit a candle and sang songs in the lobby.  Nothing is in English writing here.  It is a bit strange.  I thought Israel was huge on tourism, but I only saw two tourist my first day in this town, so I think that almost all tourist come here in groups, but the groups skip this city out and go to the religious sites instead and I was strongly advised to see more than just religious sites in Israel because there is more to it than those sites.  At night, we were headed to a movie when we decided to do a random crazy thing instead.  There was something on the waterfront that is like a slingshot called the Yaniv Fireball.  It launches you nearly 200 feet in the air in a matter of seconds while spinning around in circles.  This was a fun experience.  It was totally different than bungee jumping because it spins you around and you don’t really know where you are.  It is obviously not the adrenaline rush of a bungee jump because in here, you are secured and strapped in, but it was nice.  From the top, you can see four countries and the night lights of the city.  
It kind of freaked me out seeing random people walking around with semi automatic weapons here.  I had been in Central America and seen guards with shotguns at restaurants and hotels, but here had semi-automatic weapons on the street.  It is not a big deal here for them to have these. They laugh and joke like normal people.  War is an everyday part of life here.  You see missiles passing over your head sometimes and nothing is different than a few days before except there are new names.  
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