Language barrier, exchange rate issues, and lost in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Travel Blog

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Surprise.....were home?!

The taxi guy began leading us to the car.  It was almost 2 am, now. With a slight limp he guided us up the escalators and out in the chill of early morning.  We slid into the car were off into the darkness.  The roads were remarkable good.


 Arriving in Jerusalem we wound through the modern streets and building towards the old city.  The night was cloudy and the streets deserted.  Once we arrived at the Jaffa Gate we were confronted with scaffolding and road construction.  Creeping into the city walls the driver, at this point it became really clear he had no clue where the hostel was located.  He crept past the Tower of David/Citadel, stopping to ask some guys on the side of the street where the hostel was located.  He kept saying the wrong name.  Rob tried to correct him and tell him it was between the Swedish Research Center and the Christian Information Center.  Surprise,  he wouldn’t listen to us.  He ended up driving though the narrow and ancient streets of the old city.  Occasionally he would stop and ask another driver or random person he could find for directions.


  After leaving the walls of the old city we circled back around to the Jaffa Gate.  Entering it again we moved very slowly and then the driver just stopped in the middle of the street.  The driver looked lost.  Rob was scanning the signs and spotted the one for the hostel.  The driver moved up and stopped where we could unload the bags. 


We told him we had to pay in shekels.  Based on the rates we were quoted Rob had calculated the amount in shekels.  The driver gave us the same rate the currency service had quoted because he had asked them too.  At some point the drivers boss called told him the amount should be 60 NIS more than we had calculated.  I was not going to pay it so we had a small argument.  Rob got the bags out and I gave the guy the money.  Free of the taxi and very tired we headed to the hostel.  We had to go down a alley to get to it.  Luckily the keys were in an envelope taped on the front door.


Stumbling inside we groped around in the dark and found our room.  It was quite a surprise.  It was a larger room where the bathroom had been created in a corner.  The floor had been lowered and surrounded by a metal frame with a colored textured plastic panels in them.  There was a single fluorescent light that lit everything.  The shower was just a pan on the floor with a hand held shower.  The walls of the room were very rustic and falling apart in places.  As we started unpacking Rob had to clean the dresser top and drawers before we could use them.    We finally got settled and fell into be exhausted.  What a way to start the trip.  But we made it safely to the country and were ready to start our adventure. Once were had some sleep.


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Surprise.....were home?!
Surprise.....were home?!
photo by: daynnightraveller