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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Brame

JORDAN & ISRAEL

We are so glad we were able to visit these two countries while politics were fairly stable. They both have so much to offer! Hoping for future peace...


 

JORDAN

We started our trip with a whirlwind trip to Jordan. I don't recommend this. I would have preferred to stay a couple days in Jordan to see Petra, but we were short on time and we weren't sure what our timeline would be to get back to this area of the world... so we went for it! It is a crazy one day trip from Jerusalem to Petra, which includes a pickup at 3am, long drives, crazy border control, more long drives, only a couple hours in Petra, and then doing the whole thing in reverse and returning at midnight. Again, don't recommend- but we were so grateful we got to see Petra! It truly was breathtaking.

We booked with Tourist Israel, and it was fine. It was definitely a large scale operation and was not a "small group" at all like they advertise on their website. The large groups create a bottle neck at the border control and we lost a lot of time this way. Would have preferred to find a tour company that actually delivers on their "small group" promise so we could have had more time in Petra.


JERUSALEM

We were really excited to go to Jerusalem. It is such an important place to so many religious and I was very interested in seeing what all the hubbub was about. Unfortunately, I didn't love it. It was overcrowded and overstimulating. I felt so frustrated that all these religious claim this to be their space, yet they don't get along and dislike each other for it. I was hoping for a special experience, but I felt really jaded about the faff of it all.

That being said- I still think it is a worthy place to visit! There was so much for us to take in and learn. It didn't live up to my expectations, but I hope it does live up to yours! Some of my favorite things was wandering the small streets, the vibrant smells and sounds, the wailing wall, and the cuisine. We kind of followed this self-guided walking tour around the city to make sure we saw all the highlights.


MAGDALA

For all the things that Jerusalem wasn't for me, Magdala was. It was peaceful, serene and it felt like a holy, reverent place to be. Magdala was an ancient Jewish city on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, north of Tiberias. It is believed to be the birthplace of Mary Magdalene and is where Mary and Jesus walked and taught together. The archeological site there has old streets, an old synagogue, a visitors center, and beautiful chapel dedicated to women on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. It was a special place to be.


DEAD SEA

There are a lot of tour companies that will take you on a day trip to the Dead Sea, but you can also venture there on your own if you have a car rental. Hopefully you can get there in between tour buses so you don't have to stand in line for a ticket! There are several types of tickets to buy once you're there and it can be kind of confusing. We bought the cheapest one- but it didn't come with a towel. Make sure to bring your own if you buy this ticket!

There truly is nothing like bobbing around like a cork in the Dead Sea. We've never felt anything like that before! We went to Kalia Beach which is on the north side of the Dead Sea, and it is an area known for its healing mud. A lot of people were grabbing mud from the bottom and rubbing it all over their body.


Travel Tip- There are other places to visit the Dead Sea

some places have much more clear water and are known

for their salt crystals instead of their mud. If you enter at

one of the places (Ein Gedi) then don't forget your

water shoes because the crystals can hurt your feet!


TEL AVIV

We ended our trip in Tel Aviv because Jon had work travel that started. We stayed at the Hilton Hotel Tel Aviv and I tell you what- it's a vibe! Right on the water with incredible food, pools and beach access- we loved it so much. The views of the beach outside were the best, especially at sunset! Would recommend staying here if you're able to.


We of course did not do these two countries justice.

We need to come back and spend more time to explore!







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