Hi! I’m sorry that this posting is months late. It’s been a busy New Year! I wanted to share information about our wonderful 2nd trip to Israel. We left on Christmas Eve from NYC, flew El Al, had absolutely no problems. After arriving in TLV, we went to Jerusalem and spent four nights at the Citadel. Our last trip, we stayed at the King David, so we wanted to try something different. We enjoyed the Citadel, especially their breakfasts on the terrace overlooking the old city and Jaffa Gate. The concierge was very helpful. The only problem we had with the hotel is that they started remodeling the floorboards right outside our room at 8am. Although it got us up and out, it was a rude awakening. For foodies: We ate dinner at Arcadia (not kosher), Canela (kosher), 1896 (Kosher), La Boca (Kosher).
In Jerusalem, we spent some time in the old city and the kotel. Since we have spent in Jerusalem before we didn’t feel the need to tour and just wanted to wander around ourselves. We rented a car and took two-day trips from Jerusalem. One was down to the Negev and we went on a jeep tour of the desert and the Ramon Crater with Adam Sela (Adamsela.com) (Thanks to Doug Duckett). He was FANTASTIC! He was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Our second day trip was to Bet Guvrin to see the bell caves. It was a cool site to see and a beautiful day to guide ourselves around the site. On the way back to Jerusalem we stopped at Ella Valley Winery, which was SUPERB. I totally recommend it. Before we left Jerusalem for our trip up north, we stopped at the Mahaneh Yehuda and got the BEST rugallah at Mascarpone.
On the way to the Golan, we stopped at the ancient Roman city of Bet She’an. We continued on and drove passed Tiberias and stopped to take a picture by the Kineret. We then stayed two nights at a spa and working farm: Mitzpe Hayamim. This was a pretty cool place, slightly outdated, but all the food is fresh from the farm and the service is great. We were upgraded to the presidential suite that overlooked the Hula Valley and Rosh Pina. A vegetarian dinner is included, so we ate at the buffet one night and the very elegant Muscat the next night. (Both are on hotel property). Adam Sela (from the Negev) recommended his friend Elan to take us on a jeep tour of the Golan Heights. He really knew the ins and outs of this area. It wasn’t the best weather day, but all the sites we saw were breathtaking. Totally worth it! We even spent some time in Metulla observing the activity of Lebanon.
We then headed back down to Tel Aviv. On the way we stopped at Zikhron Ya'akov, walked around the shops and visited Carmel Winery. We continued driving south and stopped in Netanya to just walk around. Finally making it to the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv. Last trip we stayed at the Hilton (which we preferred). The hotel was nice, but the rooms were slightly dated and the bathroom was tiny. We spent our last two days walking around Tel Aviv, visiting the port, and seeing some long lost family. We ate a Forlin (fish) and Amici (Italian) for dinner.
Of course, I can’t go into detail about every aspect. If you want any info about something particular, please email me! –Becky
We have to thank Douglas Duckett and all the other tripadvisor contributors. We can’t wait to return!