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ISRAEL | Monday, 14 April 2014 | Views [299] | Comments [2]

Isreal started roughly. At the Rome airport, I was interrogated for three hours about why I was visiting Israel. Some of the many questions asked consisted of if I knew people here, how was this trip funded and could I prove it, did I plans going to Palestine and my work and personal history. I was then asked to sign authorization to have a private body search done, in which I complied and security took my bags to examine. They kept my bags and escorted me to the plane and promised my bag would meet me in Israel. Of course 3.5 hours later the bag was not in Israel. 

It was quite a draining and exhausting experience so I ended up breaking down at the airport. Uncomfortable with my tears, the agent promised my bag would be delivered to my hotel the following day. She also provided me with a toiletry kit which consisted of toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, cream, maxi pads, slippers and shorts and a tshirt. Definitely helpful, but knowing my dads ashes were in my bag along with my medication, glasses and contacts, I was anything but comforted. I notice those are the times I miss my father tremendously and have the original aches and emptiness as when he first passed.

Getting to the hostel was not quite as easy as I had hoped. Tel Aviv is a very busy city and it's difficult to navigate not knowing the language or my way. By the time I reached the hostel, I was spent. Physically, emotionally and questioning the whole idea of traveling around. Of course that's to be expected, I just wasn't expecting it 3 days into my trip.

The hostel is my first and has been a wonderful experience. I have made new friends, met such interesting people and everyone is so kind and helpful. The hostel itself is a bit noisy, but very clean and has hot water 24/7 along with a pool table, free breakfast, lockers and laundry. I'm enjoying the stay very much.

My bag was delivered a little later than promised by it arrived and put my mind at ease especially after seeing that the only thing missing was my water bottle filter. Very fortunate and grateful. And that morning I woke up to The Beatles playing in the hostel all day. My dads usual sign to me that everything will be ok.

After a few quiet days, I went to Old Jaffa with a guy from the hostel. He's from South Africa and quit his job and put his things in storage to come here to volunteer. Great guy and seeing Old Jaffa with him was fun and interesting. It's wonderful hanging out with people from all over the world who are so like minded. 

Experienced Jerusalem and Bethlehem with a day tour. The tour guide was terrible but the rest was simply amazing. Some spots visited were the quarters in Old Jerusalem, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Church of Nativity and Mt Olives. It was dreamlike visiting places I've only ever read and studied about. It's surreal. I felt so emotional and blessed. Spread a bit of my dads ashes where Jesus was born and where he was buried along near the Western Wall. Between spreading the ashes in Ireland in the cemetary for kings and where Jesus has been, my dad can't do better than that in death!

 The Dead Sea was an extraordinary experience. Driving below sea level through the desert and seeing camels being used as transportation and people living in the hills using metal sheets as walls of a house and a simple cloth sheet for a roof really puts things in perspective. 

The 'beach' is in the desert, not what I was expecting. Very rocky so it's best to wear sandals or flip flops into the water.

Being immersed in the sea is like being immersed in silk. As you walk in, your feet begin to lift and you are weightless. It's truly incredible and I am over the moon that I was able to feel that first-hand.





Tags: beach, bethlehem, israel, jerusalem, religion, tel aviv




You are a very amazing and courageous woman. What a nightmare to endure in the initial phase of your adventure, on such a peaceful journey! Well, memories are being made nonetheless. Just think of all the stories you are archiving for future generations. It is awesome that your Dad keeps presenting himself in ways you can read, feel, and know. Be safe. Keep the faith. Enjoy the ride....

  DysFUNctionAli,Ink. Apr 14, 2014 8:11 PM


As an Israeli (living abroad), I'm really sorry that you had to go through that ordeal. It makes me very sad and angry at the security people. You were very unlucky, as most people do not get that sort of scrutiny. If you are still in Israel and need anything at all, please let me know, and I'll take care of it.

  Ahron May 7, 2014 11:06 AM

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