Link to Video Slide Show of Israel, Egypt & Jordan
Once again we find ourselves in the Delta Crown Room at the Orlando Airport drinking Bloody Mary’s as we kill time awaiting to board our flight to Atlanta, which is followed by a three hour layover, and then an 11 hour flight to Tel Aviv where our next adventure begins. I don’t know how we are ever going to top Antarctica, it was the most amazing trip we have ever taken, but we are going to try. Over the next three weeks we will be visiting Israel, Egypt and Jordan. As with our past trips we will be keeping a daily travelogue of our activities to help us organize our pictures and thoughts when we return home. Those of you who have seen the books Holly puts together after each trip understand the importance of the daily log.
We will be spending 6 days in Jerusalem, 12 days in Egypt and 4 days in Jordan. The first couple of days in Jerusalem we are on our own, after that we become part of a small tour group of about 12 for the rest of the trip. There is so much history in that part of the world we figured we needed some extra days and maybe we can arrange a day trip to the Sea of Galilee. Always wanted to try and walk on water, Holly suggests I bring an extra pair of dry shoes. We arrive in Israel on Shabbat which is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from sundown Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. We cannot check into the hotel until two hours after the end of Shabbat, which the hotel estimates to be about 8:00 pm. I don’t know what happens if it is a cloudy night and they can’t see three stars, I guess we sleep in the street. The 8:00 pm check in should not be a problem because our flight doesn’t arrive in Tel Aviv until almost 5:00 pm and by the time we clear customs, obtain Israeli visas and get to Jerusalem it will be almost 8:00 pm. Also restaurants don’t open until the end of Shabbat so we will be eating late, or have to eat in a Muslim Restaurant in the Muslim Quarter of the old walled city, and I don’t think we are that adventurous yet. Our guide book shows a kosher Chinese Restaurant called Korusin close to our hotel that looks interesting. I guess my favorite, Pork Chow Mien, would be out of the question.
Because of the cultural differences in this part of the world we have done more research on this trip than any trip we have taken. Women’s dress is an especially interesting topic. Holly is used to touring in slacks and face it the penguins and seals in Antarctica didn’t care how we dressed. Here is a direct quote from our guide book: “Dress modestly when visiting holy places, women should not wear trousers or jeans. At least knee-length skirts (the longer the better) and blouses that do not leave shoulders and upper arms exposed are strongly advised. The penalty for immodest dress can be getting spat on, pelted with pebbles, or worse. The police generally do not take action against religious Jews who attack immodest visitors.” I told Holly that would make a great photo op but she didn’t see the humor in it and immediately started shopping for a long (very long) black skirt. How many people have pictures of themselves being stoned in the old Jewish Orthodox tradition of Mary Magdalene? Holly will, however be able to wear jeans when we ride camels around the pyramids and do a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of Kings in Egypt.
If all goes as planned, and three stars become visible tomorrow night, the next e-mail should be from the David Citadel Hotel overlooking the old walled city of Jerusalem.