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Great Trip-Great Guide

Newcastle on Tyne
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Great Trip-Great Guide

Our trip was to last 14 days and on my brothers advice we hired a private guide registered with the tourist authority

Jeff Abel our guide http://www.tour-israel.biz/ was to take us to more unusual places as well as the traditional sites on the tourist itinerary. His car was a real gem and we felt safe with his driving I thank my Jeff for making our trip so enthralling and informative. His knowledge of every site we visited was encyclopaedic.

After an el al flight of 5 hrs from Luton our plane touched down at Ben Gurion Airport in the early hours of the morning

It had been 40 years since my last visit to Israel in 1968 when I had joined a group of idealistic young Zionist students going to work on a kibbutz in the Galilee

The country was then still exultant from victory in the 6 day war

My brother had made aliyah in 1983 and a pathological fear of flying had prevented me from visiting him till this year

Our base was the holy city of Jerusalem in a hotel not far from the Jaffa gate.

Of course our first visit was to see my family and brothers grandchildren -a happy reunion

Our first half day was spent at Yad Vashem. The verbal /audio testimonies were harrowing. Exhibits like a small stick of rouge to make the women’s faces appear healthy to avoid selection for the gas chambers and a cattle truck were particularly moving. I cannot express in words the pain and sorrow I experienced at the thought of the human suffering caused by the shoah.

http://www.yadvashem.org/

Our trip was to last 14 days and on my brothers advice we hired a private guide registered with the tourist authority

Jeff ( our guide) http://www.tour-israel.biz/ was to take us to more unusual places as well as the traditional sites on the tourist itinerary

The first was the Ayalon Institute and then the Palmach museum- both testimony to how much the war of 1948 is indelibly etched in the history of the State of Israel

Visit jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/…ayalon.html

And www.palmach.org.il/show_item.asp…

Of course no visit is complete without a visit to the Kotel –. Who was praying for what? for who? or just praying the prayers.? I really can’t say I felt a particular sense of holiness or history about the wall but I certainly did at the Davidson Institute nearby.

Visit http://www.archpark.org.il/

Here are the controversial excavations that give you an idea about the history of Jerusalem going back to Temple times .Incidentally here are the parts of the western wall where men and women may pray together .

Down to the Dead Sea and Masada and Qumran

We then headed North to the Kibbutz that I had worked on in 1968 Nir David . How it had changed. No turkeys or olive fields but a beautiful guest house complex and the hot springs and lake of the Sahne

http://www.parks.org.il/BuildaGate5/general2/data_card.php?Cat=~25~~100949808~Card12~&ru=&SiteName=parks&Clt=&Bur=86690708

A morning swimming and then exploring the synagouge of Beit Alfa and its Zodiac mosaic floor

Off the beaten track was Zippori www.jewishmag.com/32MAG/zippori/zippori.htm

Here there is good evidence that Judah Hanassi wrote the Mishnah

Our travels then took us to the Golan and Kfar Nahum. The Golan surely can never be ceded unless there is a real peace with Syria Our return trip skirted the security wall and was a sad reminder of the awful divisions

The views and vistas of the Kinneret are breathtaking and like the souks and churches of the Old City would need a lifetime to explore and discover

I thank my guide Jeff Abel for making our trip so enthralling and informative. His knowledge of every site we visited was encyclopaedic.

I came away feeling a great sense of belonging to the Jewish people and their history but little to quell my latent agnosticism.

November is a great time to visit Israel

Peter

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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1. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

Let's see- joined today, duplicate posting praising guide. ( who btw has received positive feedback on this forum) For some reason I doubt this post. Service providers--that includes hotels ,restaurants and guides should realize they do themselves more harm then good when they ask someone to join TA and post a positive review.

Edited: 11 December 2009, 20:31
Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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2. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

Given how many people have praised Jeff Abel over the years on this forum, and his own familiarity with it, I seriously doubt that Jeff requested this post. The man did just complete a trip. Maybe he wanted to tell us about it. Let's give him the doubt.

Thanks for your report, but you may want to request the deletion of your duplicate post.

Shabbat shalom v'hag Chanukah sameach!

Douglas Duckett

Haifa
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for Haifa
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3. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

I just wonder....

I am quite new here and there is no positive review about me yet since I have never guided a TA member (I guess that there are plenty of tourists in Israel that are not TA members since I still working...(-:).

Now, is there something wrong about asking someone who is a TA member if I will happend to guide one day to post his review here? I don't see the problem with that as long it is a true review! As long as the one who posted the review is not a impersonator and really hired that specific guide and really is writing his true opinion (whether it is good or not) so what is wrong with it?

To tell you the truth I joined this forum not from the only reason but also with a hope to try an get some working days. I don't think I have to hide it. I am not publishing any self advertising here but I know that like some guides here, whose names are praised here, because they are good guides (I don't know Jeff but I saw his name here often and he was highly reccommended so I guesse he diserved it!) my day will come too, and if I'll guide a TA member I will surely ask him to post here and say his opinion on me to create my self a name here such as Jeff's!

You see this is a magic circle. If your name is here you gain a lot and that is great (and also say a lot about the quality of this forum and its members!). The thing here is how do you get inside and building your self a good name with good reputation here. Sending someone to give his review here is one way and as long it is a true review I don't see any problem with it. I think people here are very experienced and can detect self advertising easily, I don't think this is the case here.

This post is a FRANK response to rdglady comment and should not be considered as self advertising!

Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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4. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

I agree, Moti -- as long as the review is honest and comes from an arm's length customer (not a friend), I don't really care if the guide suggested it.

What I will say is that when the campaign is obvious -- like Pilgrim Tours a way back (a sudden surge of newcomers, all posting only about how wonderful Pilgrim Tours is), that backfires. But otherwise, I have no problem with a guide mentioning the option of posting a review of Trip Advisor. It's just another form of "word of mouth," and the customer ultimately decides whether to do it.

Douglas Duckett

Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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5. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

OK, while I still doubt that Jeff Abel procured this post, it is certainly more suspicious. On Frommer's as well, this poster set up two identical threads, in addition to coming onto my thread with my trip report link to say exactly the same thing.

Doctorpg, if you are trying to help Jeff, it is seriously backfiring. Stop it.

Douglas Duckett

Arizona
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17 reviews
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6. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

Well, I happen to know Jeff was booked solid for several months ahead when I rented the apt. attached to his home in October, so not like he's hard up for clientele. It's not Jeff's style (which is very laid-back) to ask someone to specifically market on his behalf (and especially such a ham-handed post!) -- the most he's ever said to me or friends of mine is "if you feel like mentioning that you were happy, that'd be nice.'

Edited: 12 December 2009, 08:23
Cincinnati, Ohio
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7. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

And that's totally appropriate, AZZenny. I don't blame Jeff for this at all. I just think an enthusiastic customer has no idea how to recommend him effectively, because "ham-handed" is an apt (if unkosher) term. :-)

Douglas Duckett

Medford, Oregon
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8. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

Moti - Yes, you can definitely encourage people to write a review, but I suggest that they write a complete trip report with reviews of hotels, restaurants, sites, etc. It is when someone went to Israel for 2 weeks and all they can do is gush about how great their guide was without any other details that it lacks the heft you might want. We are headed to Israel for the first time in March and will be writing a trip report with ALL the details!

Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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202 reviews
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9. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

Good point, Family. It is when the poster writes nothing but praise for one guide that all of us hear alarms going off.

Douglas Duckett

Haifa
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10. Re: Great Trip-Great Guide

Dear familyof4travels and Douglas too...

I do agree with you' but...

Going back to the original post I don't think that you can say that doctorpg wrote "nothing but praise for one guide"!

He wrote a report, maybe not too coherentic, but still he wrote details about his itinerary, he gave web adresses and even told us about his family...

No doubt he was very enthusiastic to tell all of us here how great his guide was but I tend to think that it was an honest post and I think you should not be too rough with doctorpg...

Edited: 12 December 2009, 19:57