Day 1: Arrived in Israel

Jerusalem Travel Blog

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Road sign in Jerusalem.

It took a LONG, LONG time to get here.  I left Austin at noon on Sunday and arrived in Tel Aviv at 10pm on Monday night.  That includes a 2 hour weather delay and electrical problems on the plane that involved shutting it off and rebooting it (while on the runway, but unsettling nonetheless).  But I am finally here and can hopefully relax a bit. 

Or maybe not... After we got picked up at the airport, one of our guides tells us that the freeway to Jerusalem might be backed up.  He explains how a terrorist forced a tour bus off the highway on this date and people are out at the Memorial on this night.

Sara models the Hobbit beds of Ramat Rachel.
  Yikes!  Terrorists taking over tour buses--a new worry for me.  He also explains that we can't take any alternate routes because we don't have an armed guard with us and we'd need one for the backgrounds.  Gulp!  I suddenly wish I'm back on the plane with faulty wiring.  We drive by a new light rail station that was just completed.  Our guide explains that it was at this site that the terrorist with the bulldozer plowed into a crowd of people recently.  Wow!  My Middle Eastern adventure is really getting off to a good start. 

I survive the bus ride and make it to our hotel, Ramat Rachel (named thusly because it's at the site of burial of the Matriarch Rachel).  It's in the southern end of Jerusalem.  Before 1967, the swimming pool would have been in Jordan.  One side of the hotel looks toward the lights of the little town of Bethelam.  It suddenly hits me that I'm in Israel.  Really in Israel. 

I reunite with my coworker Sara and stagger into my little bed (it's really short...we call them Hobbit beds) for some much needed sleep. 

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Road sign in Jerusalem.
Road sign in Jerusalem.
Sara models the Hobbit beds of Ram…
Sara models the Hobbit beds of Ra…
Jerusalem
photo by: daynnightraveller