|Subject: Re: Israel, Jordan, Egypt|
I'd like to add some comments to Alex' great suggestions for traveling in Israel. We flew from Israel to Egypt with no problem with Egyptian passport control. Israel makes an interesting statement with their. once a week flight from Tel Aviv to Cairo. The plane was a 727, I think, room for about 150-200 passengers. There were only 20 passengers & almost as many crew members! When we landed, way out on the concourse, we were immediately surrounded with jeep-loads of military, guarding us or the plane or I'm not sure what. We were well- protected, tho.
But back to Israel. We did take a taxi from the Ben Gurion airport to our Jerusalem hotel. It was about $40 usd a year ago.
My niece & I drove 600 miles in Israel. Almost all tourists were in buses, not rental cars, but we felt very safe. We had no problems whatsoever except for one of my making. I've traveled extensively internationally & am usually quite culturally sensitive. But driving down the Jordan Valley.... West Bank....we stopped so I could take a picture of a shepherd & his flock. He shook his fist at me & we drove off before anything else happened. It was not very polite of me to click away & not ask 1st. The roads are excellent & well-signed in English, Arabic, & Hebrew.
On Alex & Debby & Bettina's suggestions, we spent 4 days in Jerusalem, then drove to Haifa, Akko, & stayed at a wonderful kibbutz at the Sea of Galilee, Nof Ginosaur. From a base there we could visit many Biblical sites. Then, after asking the locals whether it was safe at this time to drive down the Jordan Valley, we did. It was about 2 hours drive instead of going back to Tel Aviv & driving south from there. It was a safe drive, not sure I'd do it now with the building of the fence & the moving of Israelis from the Palestinian territories. There were lots of trucks on the road & many checkpoints but the driving was fast.
Don't miss Masada...it's memorable. We stayed at a hotel in Ein Bokek at the Dead Sea, Hotel Lot, which had its own spa. Great! Got slathered with Dead Sea mud, spent time in the mineral pool & the Dead Sea. We drove back to Tel Aviv via the Negev desert & the spectacular Ramon crater.
This has gotten very long but I'd be glad to send you my Israel-Egypt travelogue, if you'll let me know. I definitely plan to go back to both Israel & Egypt. Both countries are interesting places with very memorable people.
Carol on the Oregon coast