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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.