Last year in October me and my mum went to Israel for a week. Our mission was to visit my brother, who was staying there as a volunteer at a kibbutz.
It is a beautiful country, and I became totally mesmerised by the diverse culture and history. Even though I didn't believe it would happen, I think a piece of my heart was left there. I've been thinking about the trip a lot during this year. I will most definitely go there again.
Most people go there on group trips, but I would recommend travelling by yourself. That way you'll discover the real country and culture. People there seem so open, so if you're travelling with public transportations and have time to walk around you'll have a lot of interesting encounters.
Enough about that. I won't give you a massive chunk of information, but rather my tips for when you go there. And a lot of beautiful pictures. Enjoy!
There are a lot of beautiful and historic places to see in Jerusalem. Maybe too many to actually be able to handle on a short visit. Even though you'll want to see them all, take some time to just wander around the old town, and new town as well. Sit down in a park and enjoy the moment.
A place I would highly recommend to visit is Yad Vashem. It is a museum dedicated to the holocaust. It's located a bit outside of central Jerusalem, but you'll easily find your way there. I could easily have spent an entire day there. It is huge, so if you go, make sure you have enough time to walk around. And don't worry about entrance fees, it's completely free to enter.
Israel is a land filled with good food. You better be ready to eat a lot of kosher. One must-eat is definitely falafel! It will never get better! And as a little dessert (or huge dessert) find your way to the Arabic part of Old Town in Jerusalem for this unforgettable experience. Knafeh, or knafeh with cheese, which is some sort of pastry. I can guarantee you'll never experience anything like it. But since it's made of cheese, you don't need too much to fill you up. The tree of us shared this piece, and it was more than enough.
If you want to eat non-kosher pizza while you're in Jerusalem, find your way to Jacob's Pizza (close to Jaffa Gate). I've heard it's the only place in Jerusalem that serves non-kosher pizza.
EIN GEDI NATURAL RESERVE
We went for a walk in Ein Gedi nature reserve, one among many nature reserves and national parks. It's a beautiful place where you can hike up on the mountains and get a great view of the Dead Sea. And a lot of small ponds where you can take a relaxing bath after walking. Prepare yourselves for heat, and bring a lot of water.
THE DEAD SEA
Going for a swim in the Dead Sea, as you probably all have heard, isn't something you should do it if you have any open wounds. Just don't do it. Try to avoid getting water in your eyes and mouth. It hurts. And doesn't taste too good either.
A good idea is to wear flip-flops or other sandals when going into the water. It can help prevent injuries. The rocks on the bottom of the sea are all really sharp, so you'll most likely get some wounds if you don't wear them, I did at least.
Once you get up and dry in the sun, don't be alarmed, but you'll have a coat of salt cover your entire body. I used that as a body scrub, worked rather well I think!
When I think back on this trip my heart is filled with joy. It felt like a privilege to be able to walk where all that biblical history took place. Quite the experience.
If you have been to Israel, what did you think? Or do you want to go?