Arrival in Israel

Trip Start Sep 09, 2012
Trip End Sep 20, 2012

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Where I stayed
Tel Aviv Hilton

Flag of Israel  ,
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday Morning (Body Time)

Somewhere over the Mediterranean

T minus 2 hrs

It was nice to leave ABQ at the leisurely hour of noon. We usually take an early flight and find ourselves rushing out of a hotel feeling like we didn't get enough sleep the night before.  There was no hitch with our first leg to Chicago.  In Chicago we encountered our first little snag.  The flight was delayed by 1.5hrs, they first told us.  We were going to have a 3hr wait in New York so we weren’t too concerned about the wait—we’d still have a cool hour and a half to make it to our next gate.   The delay was closer to 2 hrs.  I kept thinking it would still be OK because the gate for our next flight was literally next door.  We landed with about 50 minutes to spare!  Whew!  We park and grab our things ready to make a dash to our gate.  But hold on!  The jetway is not working.  Now it takes 40 minutes (you read that right) for them to get a tug to move us over one gate.  We quite literally ran next door.  Got a cursory pat down (there’s a second security when flying to Tel Aviv), ran down the jetway (this one was working), plopped into our seats and the doors were closed.  This flight left on time.

A long trip has been made infinitely shorter and most comfortable with the invention of sleeping beds!  (The miles were definitely worth using!)  I feel restful after having slept for a good 6 hrs.  Now I’m trying to adjust to the time it will be when we arrive at Tel Aviv: 4:30pm (7:30am New Mexico time).

Boy what a difference from the last journey I made to the holy land almost 34 years ago.  Funny to think, though, that that trip was also not without its snags.  I remember getting into Dallas the day before my journey to Tel Aviv.  I spent the night with my cousin Dolores.  She was to take me to the airport the next morning.  When we awoke that morning Dallas was having one of those (now common) ice storms that puts on a thick layer of ice on every road and pretty much closes the place down.  We called the airline (Branfiff!) and were told the flight was on.  Not sure how we made it to the airport but we did.  Dolores dropped me off where I proceeded to wait at the airport for 6 or 7 hours because the flight was indeded delayed.  This caused me to miss the connection in London so we spent a night out by Heathrow.  The next morning we made our way to Tel Aviv.  Our arrival that January evening was memorable.  It was a cold, rainy day in Tel Aviv and I remember our landing skidded enough to evoke some screams from people.

OK so now you’re caught up pre Tel Aviv.

We arrived in time to take a quick dip in the Mediterranean.  The sun began to set and the backdrop was as beautiful as the one we often see at the Santa Fe Opera house.  It was a very comfortable evening with refreshing breezes coming off the sea.  We made it for dinner at Doctor Shakshooka.  We arrived at 8:30 and the place was not what you’d call "hopping" so I was a bit suspicious.  We decided to sit outside where there was a slight breeze.  We then proceeded to feast on a smorgasbord of delicious Israeli fare: grilled/smoked eggplant, home-made hummus, 3 types of tomato-based pastes, olives, olive oil . . . and that was just the appetizers!  We moved on the grilled meats, cous cous, vegetables.  It felt like the food just kept coming in coming . . . and we kept eating and eating.  Neither one of us is a light eater and we surely gave this meal the old college try.  But alas, despite our very fine effort, there was much left over—enough for another 2 people.  We left Jaffa and walked around a bit before taking a cab back to the hotel. 

Two things that are pretty incomparable when traveling and jetlagged:  going to bed in the evening and taking a nap in late afternoon.  We’ve done lots of that the first 2 days.  Anne, you’ll be glad to know I’ve been making sure Paul’s getting enough rest.  We’ve been much more gentle on ourselves this time around and have allowed sufficient time for rest and relaxation.

We even spent a few hours in the evening frolicking in the Mediterranean (the days after the 1st day have been on the very warm side!  Oh, and did I mention, humid.)  At times it’s reminded me of the weather in south Texas.

Second night in Tel Aviv we had a Bauhaus tour which was very interesting.  Even got to see the Kabbalah center that Madonna visits when in Tel Aviv.  We went to the market and then in search for the perfect falafel.  Instead we just found a place for hummus.  It was so hot, humid and uncomfortable that we had something refreshing to each and headed back to the hotel for our 3 hr afternoon nap!  Lovely.


Planned to take the train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but we dissuaded from doing that by the hotel staff.  They suggested we take the bus instead.  So we took a cab and within minutes the cab driver convinced us that it would make more sense for us to take the 1hr trip with him.  The price sounded right and that we did.  It cost us about $80 but was well worth it, if only for the time element.

We arrived at the King David and have checked into the decadent life in Jerusalem.  More to follow.
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Albert on

Ay, que lindo! Have a wonderful time...the R&R part sounds most appealing...time to update the bucket list.

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