Impressed In Israel
When most people think of travel to Israel, religious or spiritual pilgrimages is usually what comes to mind first. However, for a country the size of New Jersey, Israel has something to offer for everyone. I experienced a memorable trip to Israel firsthand in June. Jerusalem offers both the old city, with all its deeply rooted meaning and historic charms, as well as numerous vibrant local markets. I was able to visit one such market with a local chef where we enjoyed tastings at the various stalls, then helped prepare a delicious meal. At dusk, the market street becomes a gathering place for local musicians as well as dancers.
If you go to Israel, visiting the Dead Sea is a must. Just a one-hour drive from Jerusalem, the Dead Sea is popular with both Israeli’s wanting a few days relaxation and tourists staying for a short time to experience the unique Sea and surroundings. The saline waters of the lake inspire the name ‘Dead Sea’ because no fish can survive in the salty waters. The other result of the salty water of the Dead Sea is its renowned health and healing properties and the unique feature that one can float naturally in the water with little effort. Visitors to the Dead Sea can combine their visit with a jeep safari thru the Judean desert for some pretty amazing scenery.
The Galilee region has many national parks with scenic hiking trails and beautiful waterfalls, as well as archeological ruins. There are boutique wineries and vineyards to visit, as well as organic farms. The area features gentle rolling hills and quaint small towns.
Tel Aviv is a very vibrant and cosmopolitan beach city with wonderful restaurants and fantastic beach hotels and nightlife. Be sure to check out the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is worth it to take a tour with the curator and learn what is done to protect these ancient documents from the elements. Wonderful activities for all ages and interests are available, including scavenger hunts thru the older sections of the city, graffiti tours, and water sports, just to name a few.