Tel Aviv, Israel; My first camel ride

May-2008

Nathalie, whom started her Delta career in Montreal, has accepted a position in Tel Aviv where she now calls home.  A very bright, knowledgeable and super woman who welcomed us with open arms when we decided to visit Israel.  Paul, Angelo and myself get some time off and prepare our trip.  Hop to JFK airport in New York, catch our flight to Tel Aviv and Nathalie makes us feel comfortable and takes care of us every step of the way. Top notch hospitality.

Paul returns as the roaming reporter, Nathalie changes her shift as to spend more time with us and operation “Visit Israel” starts.

Straight from the airport, Nathalie drives us to her apartment in the Bat Yam area.  A gorgeous district located on the Israel’s mediterranean sea coast.  We walk the strip and take in the gorgeous scenery.

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Nathalie also organizes a supper with the entire Delta flight crew from pilot to flight attendants.  Great food, great company and great stories.

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Next morning, Nathalie acts as our tour guide and shows us the best sites that are not only spectacular but sites that give me shivers for knowing I’m walking in areas that Jesus once did.  I am, to a certain point, religious and have been following the Catholic religion all my life.  The feeling I got from standing where he had his last supper, the garden of Gethsemane at the foot of Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed and his disciples slept the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, Kind David’s Tomb, and Mount Zion was totally enriching.

We continue our walk in the old City of Jerusalem with Nathalie, but at a certain point, when we arrive at the Wailing Wall (Western Wall), the men and women are segregated. This is a location in which prayer is performed and history has it that one can ask Jesus for  a favour by writing it on a piece of paper and insert it in the cracks of the bricks making up the wall.

With the weather being picture perfect we continue with a gorgeous view of the city and its golden roof top Mosque and Jerusalem market.  One can’t pass the local street foods and try the Shawarma.  Delicious!

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Before settling in for the evening, we visit the old port for supper and plan for the next day.  Paul may have had just a little too much to drink since his walking was challenged, but nevertheless a great night with a great friend.  Nathalie continued to go above and beyond to ensure we had a good time.

The next day probably marks the nicest location I have ever seen throughout my travel experience.  The Dead Sea.  The ride in itself was breathtaking.  Sand mountains all over the place, camels in the distance, bedouins along the road side and views from the mountains that seem like postcards.  Why on earth does the middle east have so much instability?

It’s not everyday that we find camels on the side of the road and I couldn’t let the opportunity pass us by.  I never expected that height and while it seemed like eternity for the camel to bend down to allow us on, he had to be restrained as he was ready to leap forward.

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Next up, Dead Sea.  The concentration of salt present in the water is so high that practically no species can live in it. With all the articles I’ve read, I wanted to prove or disprove that you can float in just 1 foot of water.  It’s not a myth….it’s the truth.  I lay on my back in just 1 foot of water and even with my attempt to sink, it kept me afloat.  Unreal. I’ve become so comfortable that I even placed my hands behind my head and was hoping I had a book to read.

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An area in which the water was receding revealed the true concentration of the salt.  It did wonders for our feet and skin.

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Speaking of skin and the healthy glow that many locals have, we decided in lathering  the Israeli mud on our bodies and then rinse it out with the salt enriched Dead Sea.  What a combination.  Hey, no more pimples from my waxed back…..

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One more day left…..Haifa was the plan but when we checked the flight loads for our return, it was suggested we’d leave as soon as possible and cut our visit one day less.  Absolutely no problem at all and what we’ve already seen in the past few days will last for a lifetime.  None of what we experienced would have been possible if it weren’t for Nathalie.  She has truly taken care of us from the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we stepped back on. We are forever grateful.  Thank you!

May-2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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