I just looked at the date on the first pictures I took on our trip to Israel. It is hard to believe that was over a month ago. If you will indulge me I will share a few of the highlights and pictures from our trip over the next few posts.
Kathy & I left Bulgaria on El Al Airlines enroute to Tel Aviv. We were told that getting through Israeli security would be a long and painful process. It was not. The customer service people were very nice, friendly, professional and VERY thorough. No rummaging through bags or pat downs – just “friendly discussion and questions.” The flight went well and we were met at the arrival gate by an escort. Kathy had prearranged all the details of our trip through the travel agent we had used for many years while in Minnesota.
Anyway, our escort took us out a “No Entry” door, down a few steps and out onto the flight line – yes, he was attending to our bags – into an awaiting van (with no bars on the windows). The van driver dropped us (and our escort) off at a door that led directly to customs entry. We were escorted through the “Flight Crew Only” line, out to an awaiting limo which would drive us from the airport in Tel Aviv to our hotel in Jerusalem.
On our way we made a side trip to Horeshim to visit the gravesite of Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt. Kathy & I studied with, worked with, and were tutored by Eli for many years. He was a very good friend. It was a special stop we had to make.
As we would learn later, the stones/rocks on the grave markers are a traditional way of saying to the deceased “I was here to visit.” I’m glad my OCD didn’t kick in to where I would have tried to straighten up and remove the rocks!!
Everywhere we went we saw barbed wire fences and concrete walls.
As we approached our hotel near the old city in Jerusalem, we saw a familiar sight. McDonald’s is everywhere. The blue background on the sign indicates it is a Kosher McDonald’s – no cheeseburgers there.
The street outside our hotel was a pedestrian only street with shops and restaurants. Lots of lighted globes were strung above the street. Very peaceful and beautiful.
We checked in to the hotel, went to our room, and slept for most of the rest of the day.