Travel Observations – Israel

This post is long overdue. In January of 2018, my wife and I were able to travel to Israel with her mother for a pilgrimage. If you had asked me before this trip if Israel were one of my top ten travel/vacation destinations, I would have said absolutely no. If you couple this by seeing myself as a person who is more spiritual than religious, I had no longing desire to go initially.

For many, I think Israel is a religious destination, and that is 100 percent true, but there is so much more to this country. If you have an interest in history, art, politics, food, or just a beautiful country, it is well worth the visit. This experience was one of the best trips.

Monica and I

On this trip, we traveled with forty other people. We would go from historic site to site lead by the most fantastic guide (he made all the difference in the learning).

I am a person who notices things that most people don’t care about at all. This talent or annoyance, I get to take it everywhere.

Tech

  • While traveling overseas, it is incredible how roaming on another mobile network can crush your battery. I relied on an external battery back and low power mode during the day.
  • In the group of 40 people, there were four full-time iPad photographers
    • (1) iPad Mini
    • (1) iPad 9.7
    • (2) iPad Pro 12.9 ( it was impressive to see these people whip out the giant tablets to take images)
  • As far as phones, there were a few iPhone X’s (this was just after the release), but there were a lot of 8 and 8+’s
  • I took the 8+, and the low light camera has been unbelievable in most of the very dark churches. With the phone set to automatic flash, it did not go off once
  • I am only traveling with an iPad Pro 10.5 and iPhone, and it has been great. For some reason, i felt as though I had extreme mobility more than in the past.

Misc

Stone Keyway ‎⁨Masada⁩, ⁨Southern District⁩, ⁨Israel⁩
‎⁨Masada⁩, ⁨Southern District⁩, ⁨Israel⁩
  • The preservation of the churches and synagogues and artwork is unbelievable.
  • Most signage is in 3 languages – Hebrew, Arabic, and English.
  • I came thinking I would be reading a lot more and watching movies in the evening but usually very tired after a day of touring. Some days we covered 7 miles or more on foot.
  • The country is very mountainous, ranging in height from 800 feet above sea level to minus 400 feet below sea level (Dead Sea). The lowest place below sea level.
  • We were able to visit the Dead Sea, which was terrific. I did not go in, but many of our traveling companions did. I had not brought a disposable change of clothing with me.
  • Excellent American coffee was hard to come by. I drank a lot more espresso there, which is my preference, but many of our companions struggled. If you love Turkish coffee, you would also be fine.
  • The pictures I took on this trip were really incredible and these do not do the locations justice.
  • A small snack can of Pringles costs $6 American.