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    • Day 2

      Ben Gurion International Airport

      January 17, 2023 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      As we passed through immigration in TelAviv we walked passed the world's largest indoor mezuzah. A mezuzah is a piece of parchment containing passages from the Torah and is attached to the doorpost of observant Jewish homes to fulfill the commandment in Deuteronomy 6:9, "write the words of God on the gates and doorposts of your house."

      This airport mezuzah is a way to make all of Israel a home, and the airport its doorway.
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    • Day 1

      Aangekomen in Israël

      August 16, 2023 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

      Waanzin vluchtje gehad (behalve Arthur = uber slecht gezet), eerste indruk was vaag… het ks hier de gewoonte na het plassen de edele delen voor de spiegel (jaja waar wij onze handen wassen) te inspecteren! Ook hebben we jammer genoeg geen stempel voor ons paspoort gekregen, wel een groen kaartje.
      We leven wel.
      De schapen
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    • Day 98

      We’ll always have Crete

      July 16, 2023 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 93 °F

      It’s July and Athena/Piraeus Greece is the end of the bike trail that started early April in Malaga, Spain. Leaving Crete I rolled the bike onto a ferry from Heraklion, Crete to Piraeus, Greece. That’s the port for Athens. Many vessel types at port. All kinds vehicles and passenger groups clot up on the pier then pack into the boats. Ferries back into the dock coming in from sea, the stern of the ferry will open up where cars, trucks and people pour out and scatter like sow bugs from under a wood pile.

      The sun is always intense. It’s a given there won’t be rain, maybe never. Tourists like me will hide from around noon to 5:00. After dark the restaurants are busy and people crowd the streets through the night. A few days later I boxed the bike and we flew from Athens to Ben Gurion on El Al airlines. Security being their speciality.

      I’m working to understand Celsius. I’ve only ever lived with Freedom units - miles, AM/PM and Fahrenheit. It seems like the rest of the world has moved on, even the Brits are eyeing the door. Celsius to Fahrenheit, double it, add 32. 24hrs to 12 hrs, just subtract 2, you’ll see it. 100 kilometers is 60 miles, 60 mph is 100 kph.

      I pedaled from Tel Aviv to Caesarea a tough 45 miles sometimes pushing the rig through wadi, sinking in fine henna colored dust and over busted concrete and rock. Too much, the heat! Caesarea was the French Riviera of its day for the Roman upper crust. Here being what is now called The Levant. It must have been a rock’n good time. Plenty of water in the aqueducts (water is always the limiting factor), an amphitheater (still in use, but not pictured) and the beach, baby!

      Up near Caesarea, I stayed a couple of days in a hut in a lot in an unfinished neighborhood. There was Wi-Fi and all conveniences if a bit rustic. Look closely, the Van Gogh is tile work an artist just put out for people to see. Israel can be brilliant.

      After three nights it was time again to move on. Up at 04:30, the sky was lightening from india ink to cloudless pale blue. I pedaled back to Tel Aviv on the highway. I didn’t care about safety, I had to outrun the heat. I tied an Israeli flag I found around me and made it, no worries. A tel, as in Tel Aviv, is Hebrew for a built up hill, layer by layer, by successive occupation. Great for archaeology.

      Navigated directly to the enormous Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv. Named Abraham I presume because he and Sarah are the singular founders of three major religions, Christianity, Islam, Judaism. Nobody is excluded. See the rooftop garden where your doobie won’t stink everything up. Also see the guy in the hat. My ear caught his English pronunciation for the words dahntahn, pahnd and shahr. You guessed it. Jackson lives four miles from where I grew up in Pixburgh. Always happens.

      Don’t want to ignore my mate from Wales, Steve. Also a Sar-El like me who will volunteer a week and tour Israel the rest. Good times meeting people at the hostel. Old guys sticking together, we who were born before color tv.
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    • Day 45

      Iceland to Israel

      June 10, 2023 in Israel ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

      Our journey from Reykjavik to Jerusalem was tolerable.
      Alarm at 5am, out into the morning drizzle, refuel the car and then a 40 minute drive to Keflavík airport, return the car, wait for shuttle to airport proper, spend the last of the bit of Icelandic Kroners.
      The flight to Helsinki was pleasant enough with the whole row to ourselves. A few glimpses of Iceland and its snow capped peaks was seen through the cloud.
      By the time we had reached the Norwegian coastline the weather had cleared to a fine day and it was interesting to see the thousands of fjords and lakes in central Norway transition to more forests and farmland as we passed over Sweden.
      We had a few hours to kill at Helsinki airport before our next flight to Ben Gurion so we utilised the Priority Pass lounge to get some food, drink and Wifi as none of this is provided enroute for either leg. It seems Finnair are just as stingy as British Airways.

      I was thankful for noise cancelling headsets to drown out the endlessly repeating ‘Baby Shark’ song coming from the tablet of the child in front, but the headsets were doing nothing to dampen the thuds from the seat-kicking child behind. Thankfully it was only 4.5 hours and we kept busy with writing, reading etc as well as a little shuteye as circumstances would allow.
      The route did of course keep us well clear of Ukrainian airspace- see the screenshots showing that nothing flies that route.
      The lights of Cyprus were visible off to the left as we commenced our descent and we landed at about 11.35pm.
      Electronic passport processing made entry a breeze with the little blue Visa printed out and no questions asked about ‘why don’t you want your passport stamped’ as happened in the past.
      Outside into the humidity and negotiations / wrangling with a taxi driver got him down from ILS 400 to 275 for the fare into Jerusalem.
      All went smoothly, access to apartment just next to Ben Yehuda street gained 1.45hrs after landing- pretty good all things considered.
      It’s nice being ‘back home’.
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    • Day 14

      Final Day and Goodbye

      March 16, 2023 in Israel

      For our final day, the rains finally subsided, and we were able to revisit the old fishing village we couldn't get to yesterday. It was overpopulated with tourists, of course, but still neat to see and remember Jesus words when Capernaum decided they wanted nothing to do with their Messiah. We tried taking a different trail to walk along the sea of Galilee and ended up at an old (but still used) church with immaculately cared for grounds and birds. It was so beautiful and peaceful!
      Talia was able to fill her bucket list item of finding wild parrots!! She was overjoyed!
      Next, we went to fulfill Jesse's bucket list item - to swim in the Jordan! The Jordan River is where Jesus was baptized but, of course, we chose not to go to the actual site where they claim Jesus was baptized and went to the riverside in all the dirt, mud and random non-religious people walking and canoeing by. As I think back, this is probably similar to how Jesus saw it. Imagine seeing the heavens opening up in that place!!!
      Next, we made our way to Tel Aviv. We tried to stop and see the ruins of Ceserea, but it was closed.... next time, maybe :)
      We went straight for the beach to see the Mediterranean up close and enjoy a sunset experience. It was a very busy beach with surfers and beach walkers.
      The next morning, we boarded our flight for home!
      Overall - I'm so thrilled for all we saw, learned, and experienced, but I could've spent at least a week or a month in each location to really take it in and understand more about the biblical implications of this place. I can't wait to come back to Israel 🇮🇱
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    • Day 144

      Sittin' on the dock of the bay

      May 24, 2022 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Wastin' Time. Not really, I actually wrapped up another article, on Israel, and cleaned up a few things for future travel. But I have been spending a lot of time just hanging out. Waiting 7 hours here at the airport, for a 2 hour flight to Athens. I will then have a 10 hour layover waiting for a 1 hour flight to Corfu. I'm not complaining though, life is grand.Read more

    • Day 1

      Der Adler ist gelandet

      July 17, 2023 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

      Mit Blick auf die Israelische und Palästinensische Landschaft landet das Flugzeug und der Bus bringt uns zum Terminal. Auch Erwin wird von seinem eigenen Shuttle Service transportiert und wartet bereits auf uns.

      Offenbar ist es auch nicht nur die Turbine, die für die heiße Luft sorgt...
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    • Day 5

      Reise nach Jerusalem

      February 13, 2020 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Nun geht es weiter mit unserer Reise nach Jerusalem - zum Glück mit genügend Sitzplätzen im Bus... Alma bekommt vom Busfahrer einen Teddybären seiner nun großen Kinder geschenkt und wir fahren für die an sich kurze Strecke relativ lange durch die Stadt und über Land. In Jerusalem laufen wir noch quer durch die Stadt bis zu unserem Hostel mitten in der Altstadt - leider so schäbig, dass Lindas Brasilien-Trauma wieder aufwallt, aber das einzige, das einigermaßen bezahlbar und für unsere kommenden Erkundungen zentral gelegen ist. Dazu ist es leider so kalt und verregnet, dass wir immer wieder tags und nachts frösteln, obwohl wir fast immer alles anziehen, was wir mit haben. Gregor und Karin übernehmen in den kommenden Tagen das Kochen (in der brasilianischen, aber an sich natürlich praktischen Küche...) und auch das Windelwaschen. Das ist leider im Moment viel häufiger nötig, als wir das sonst schon gewohnt waren und wir kommen durch das nasskalte Wetter (jetzt belächeln wir niemanden mehr...) auch kaum mit dem Trocknen hinterher. Irgendwie geht es dann aber doch alles. Alma schließt mit dem Hostelbetreiber Freundschaft und freut sich über jede Katze und alle Vögel, die auf der Dachterrasse vorbei kommen oder zu sehen sind. Auch die Gesänge der Muezzine findet sie spannend und stimmt manchmal singend und, seit wir erklärt haben, dass er zum Gebet ruft, auch händefaltend mit ein. Irgendwann bewegt sie sich ganz selbstverständlich und selbständig zwischen unserem Zimmer, der Küche und auf der Terrasse und meistert nun schon kleine Stufen ohne festhalten.Read more

    • Day 27

      Farewell to Israel

      October 29, 2022 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      It has been a great trip to see this remarkable country. So much history providing a deeper understanding of some of the foundations of our entire civilization.
      It was also so interesting to learn about the modern country and marvel at what has been created with this vibrant and progressive culture in the middle of the desert. You can see how much high tech and entrepreneurship there is everywhere. It is also an eye-opener how precarious their very existence is and this is visible on every street when you see all the young people doing their 3 or 4 years of mandatory service in army uniforms going about life.Read more

    • Day 1

      Traveling to Israel

      March 3, 2023 in Israel ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Our travels started with us running a little late for our flight. We made it just in time to board the plane! We had some surprise visitors to wish us well on our trip ❤️
      First stop Chicago then Newark and then Tel Aviv, Israel. It was a very long trip with little sleep. But little to no customs requirements!Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Yagel, יגל

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