IsraelOctober 19, 2017 in Palestine ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C
We left our hotel in Jordan at 8.30am for the 1 hour journey to the Jordanian border, crossing through the beautiful Jordan Valley. The valley is lush & green & sits at least 400m below sea level, once here, all the bags came off the bus & were x-rayed etc...(& Pauly's binoculars were freed from their restraints with minimal fuss & lots of cigarette smoke). Next we were back on the bus travelling for approximately 10 minutes through 'no man's land' (our view was sniper towers, trenches, barbed wire & desolation) to the Israeli border crossing. Here, the bags came off the bus again & were x-rayed whilst we obtained our visas, passed through security checks & moved to our buses (all new buses & drivers as our Jordanian guides did not cross into Israel). Interestingly, the binoculars were of no interest to the Israelis, however my 5 kg of authentic turkish delight was a different story 😁; but once they had performed all of their necessary security checks I got my loot & was free to go. The Israeli guards were very thorough but made us feel very welcome - a dramatic difference to what we had experienced entering other countries. We were now officially in Israel & on our way to Tel Aviv!
The first city we spotted was the oldest in the world - Jericho! Unfortunately we did not have time to stop but we will definitely come back on another visit!
Lunch was held in Tel Aviv at the Rishon Le-Zion Museum where we learnt about the history of the Jewish nation & the Israeli flag, amonst other things.
This afternoon we were treated to a wonderful concert at Jaffa Railway Station, on the Tel Aviv foreshore, by our concert band (The Perth Hills & Wheatbelt Band). They flew in from Perth this morning along with all other ('Option B') tour members - there are now 180 of us in total!
After another long day, we enjoyed a scrumptious buffet dinner at our wonderful accommodation - Dan Panorama Hotel, before a quick "hello" & welcome from the Australian Ambassador to Israel.Read more