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Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

Bengaluru, India
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Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

Hi there,

I've always been fascinated with the idea of spending time in Israel and my finances and my schedule have now given me the opportunity to do so.

I'm there from the evening of 20th December 2010 to the morning of 6th January with the following break-up of my itinerary. (Indian nationals are required to submit an itinerary as part of the visa application process, and therefore my dreams of winging it are now grounded)

20th to 24th December - Tel Aviv

24th December to 2nd January - Jerusalem (and surrounding areas)

2nd to 5th January - Nazareth (and surrounding areas)

I had a few questions based on this plan.

a. Is this a reasonable itinerary for someone who is not a party person and is more inclined towards history, culture, good food and good conversation?

b. How does the average Israeli perceive Indians as?

c. How is the weather in the country at this time?

Thanks in advance! I'll be sure to get more questions in and I appreciate your inputs.

israel
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for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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1. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

I did like the "my finances " phrase but I guess it is only one...

Your plan is fine. If you want to take part in the new years ceremonies ask the tourist office near the Jaffa gate in the Old City. You can get there lots of info too. Indians - I suppose you are people like other people so I don't see why anyone will treat you otherwise. The weather can be anything from a warm nice weather to rains. But even if it rains, it is mild and won't interfere with your touring. A great part is in closed places like museums.

Do you have a more detailes itinerary? Did you book your ticket to the Kotel Tunnels?

Edited: 10 December 2010, 12:19
Bengaluru, India
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14 posts
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2. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

Thanks so much for your advice!

I just found about the Kotel tours today and that I was supposed to book two months in advance. My visa arrived today since the Israeli embassy took its own sweet time (one month) giving me my passport.

How late can I book for it?

Also, what is the best thing one can do for Christmas eve and on Christmas day?

I'm of the Hindu religion and therefore ok with not immersing myself in extreme religious fervor that would accompany Jesus' birthday. However, I realize that witnessing Christmas celebrations in the Holy Land will be a wonderful experience.

Israel
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for Israel
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3. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

Even though it's late you can still try to reserve a spot for the Kotel Tunnel tours - if you can't get one online or by email, then I would still go over there once you are here and see if there is an opening.

Since you will be in Jerusalem for Christmas there are plenty of options for experiencing Christmas celebrations in and around the Old City. Keep in mind that Dec. 25th is a Saturday this year - the Jewish Sabbath. There will be no public transportation on Friday night or Saturday during the day until after sunset. Saturdays are a good day for visiting the Christian and Moslem quarters and the sites there.

Israel
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for Israel
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4. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

First of all welcome to the forum, you have come to the right place for touring advice.

Israel is a wonderland when it comes to history, archeology, culture and good food, so you are coming to the right place.

Since you have only now attained your visa it is not clear if you have arranged accomodations for your upcoming trip which is high season in Israel (Christmas and New Years). When planning your days it might be best to have a general idea of what you would like to see. Will you have a car on your trip? This would make it is bit more easy to get around. If not it is possible to use public transporation which is great in Israel.

Israel is a country of immigrants, many of whom are from India. You will not been as any different from anyone else here as far as you nationality. Here we are very accepting of any race, creed, religion.

You can definately try to make a reservation for the tunnel tours now. I would see when there is a slot (since you are only one, you'll probably have no trouble) and plan you trip around that time, as this is one place now worth missing. If you need more indepth help preparing your itinerary here, feel free to ask as many questions as needed, that's what is so nice about this forum -- alot of people willing and able to help with your visit to Israel

Chana

Israel

p.s. if you helps you feel any better Israeli's getting visas to India also have to wait a long time to find out if they can get a visa and need to prove they have a round trip ticket.

Washington State
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5. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

One note: You will probably need to rent a car to effectively tour areas outside Jerusalem. There is public transportation, but it's not an easy to travel outside some main routes.

Israel
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6. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

Here's a link to a blog of a young Indian that traveled to Israel a few years ago and posted frequently on this forum at that time. His blog is full of information and photos, as well as some Hindu language terms that he uses to describe his impressions from Israel. You may find it interesting:

priyank.com/travel/…

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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7. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

Meant to say earlier--guyava--nice to see you "surface" and add!

How's San Diego?

Israel
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8. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

Thanks rdglady, I PM'ed you as it's off-topic :-)

Tel Aviv, Israel
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for Israel
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9. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

Here are my suggestions -

Too much time in Tel Aviv. Maybe 2 nights there and then 2 nights in Haifa or Akko.

It will be very hard to tour in the north (Nazareth, etc) without a car.

Tiberias is a much better base than Nazareth. Maps are deceiving, the area around Nazareth is very hilly, making driving slow. That also makes for long drives in and out of Nazareth, especially since the city streets are narrow and traffic can delay you considerably.

And some consolation - winging it is difficult here and can end up being very expensive, especially during high seasons, one of which is while you will be here.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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for Israel
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10. Re: Solo Trip to Israel (12/20 to 1/6)

I agree that staying in Nazareth might not be your best bet, but as you say, your plans may be locked in now. If so, where are you staying? I've heard really good things about the Fauzi Azar Inn (www.fauziazarinn.com), and I may check it out on my next visit. I would recommend it if you are staying there.

Douglas Duckett