We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
36,729 posts
38 reviews
Save Topic
Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

A few weeks ago a friend came to Israel and we spent 10 days touring together. First, I would like to thank Oreets, a licensed tour guide who posts on this forum, for the numerous questions she answered and her comments. While I wrote the itinerary and did the planning I felt like I had an angel watching over me, to prevent me from making a huge error. Anyway, as someone with around 50 trips to Israel as well as my now living here half the time, it was definitely an eye opener to see Israel through the eyes of someone who had not been here for over 40 years. I do not think of Israel as a foreign country. My friend did.

Day 1—Rather than rent a car and drive round trip to the airport I decided to meet my friend and we would travel back to my house by train. Israel has an excellent train system and friend would get to see and experience the Israeli trains. Service on the train was quick and efficient. My friend indicated it felt like the Long Island Railroad. Since the flight was a late afternoon one, our activities were returning to my home, having dinner and getting settled.

Day 2- We got up this morning to rent a car. We drove into Tel Aviv—no problems—and went to the Palmach Museum. Both of us really enjoyed the museum. I had been there years before. We had made large salads for lunch and we enjoyed picnicking near the Sportech area. It was hot but the trees provided shade. There were also, we thankfully discovered, nearby restrooms. Our second planned activity was to take the Tourist Open bus around Tel Aviv. Using the excellent directions provided by Mbgg I easily found the Reading parking area. I also easily found the spot were the bus was supposed to leave from. As discussed on an earlier thread—it no longer left from there and we didn’t have enough time to find it. (At 3:45 we had plenty a time to make the 4:00PM bus, had it been were it said it would be) BTW the link from the English Dan Site is STILL incorrect and while at one point I was able to find the Hebrew link—it is now harder to find. If anyone can get it –the map linked from the Hebrew site (written in English and Hebrew) was accurate!

Our alternative plan had us walking around the Tel Aviv Port area and up Ben Yehuda Street. However, my knowledge of Tel Aviv is weak and it was disappointing. I also had not downloaded any supplemental information since I was planning on a tour. We took a sherut back to Reading and then I drove through lower Tel Aviv so my friend could see some of the new modern buildings. Dinner was a local diary restaurant in Netanya, on the side of the actively being renovated city center.

Day 3- Today we were off to Jerusalem. We decided to stop on the way in Elad, for ½ hour so I could see my great niece. My friend enjoyed meeting her and her mother. My friend also had an opportunity to drive through Elad. Elad is considered a Hareidi city but that is a misnomer. While the majority is Hareidi there are some modern Orthodox and some who are not religious. This information is gleaned from both my nephew and what we observed of the dress of people in the city. After a successful visit we drove off.

We arrived in Jerusalem at around noon. Our room at the Dan Panorama was not ready (it was before check-in) so they held our luggage and we went across the street to eat. I should note at this time that neither my friend nor I are foodies. So, we went to Cup of Joe—a dinner type of dairy restaurant that can be counted on for good food and free wifi. We each ate and were each satisfied. Heading back across the street to the hotel (car was in hotel garage) our room was still not ready so we proceeded with the next item on our itinerary. We took the bus to the Gush Katif museum, located near the Machne Yehuda market. However, we didn’t realize that although there had been a number of bus stops located near each other—when we pushed the stop button we ended up around 8 blocks past our desired location AND at the Central Bus station. It didn’t matter; we used our free transfer to the light rail and backtracked to our destination.

The Gush Katif Museum is a small museum that includes the history of the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif. It also, to the surprise of many, includes the history of Jews in Gaza dating back 3,000 years. There were pictures of synagogue mosaics and references to Jews that have since been destroyed by the Arabs. Needless to say that through film, artifacts and personal testimony it is a moving experience.

After the museum we again headed back to the hotel and this time our room was ready and our luggage had been delivered to the room. Later that day I made it my business to figure out who had delivered it, since I felt it would be wrong not to offer a tip.

After unpacking we got the car and drove to the Haas Promenade. This presents a fantastic view of City of Jerusalem. The Park below was full of Arab families enjoying the final day of the three day festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. There were also a large number of regular tourists as well as people on Segway tours going past.

We stayed there till slightly after sunset and headed back to the hotel. Parking was difficult as the lot was full and I had to park in a makeshift space along a side wall on the ramp. (Another reason NOT to have a car in Jerusalem) We walked from the hotel to the Kotel. Definitely a great way to start a long delayed Jerusalem visit. Dinner that night was at Village Green, a lovely self-serve vegetarian restaurant that is a Jerusalem institution. We went to the original Jaffa Street location but they have opened a second store in Emek Refaim.

I’ll continue the report in a new thread due to length.

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Level Contributor
11,962 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

Nice report so far. Curious what you thought of the Dan Panorama. If I recall correctly we just missed each other by a few days.

Overall, this was one of the better hotels of our trip. Loved the location, overall look and feel, and the cool looking elevators on the left where you press your floor outside. I couldnt get used to that and was still looking to press the floor number inside the elevator.

The breakfast was nice except for the layout. After getting your hot stuff you needed to catch a cab to the coffee section, look for the somewhat hidden bread section and then catch the railway back to your seat.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
36,729 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

Ziggy-- I am surprised at you. Better planning. I would

a. get cold stuff

b. get bread

c. get coffee ( or ask waiter to get coffee for me) --cover with saucer if need be--but I do not like super hot coffee

d. order egg and while waiting for it to cook I would get the rest of my hot stuff

It's all in the planning -:)

The rear elevators at the Dan are definitely cool. ( I love the hotel, have been going for the past 11-12 years or so) Although I have rode the back elevators , since their installation --this is year 3, I am still feeling the void of no inside button to push!

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
790 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

Good to know that I should check out the rear elevators at the Dan Panorama. I've been there for Shabbat dinner, but who knew that riding the elevators was so amazing! :)

Thanks for the information about the Gush Katif Museum. I am hoping that we will have time to go there this coming November. I just wanted to check out the address with you because the website is mostly in Hebrew. It's located at Sha'arei Tsedek 5, near Machane Yehuda, yes?

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
36,729 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

Correct. If you are using the light rail take it to the Machne Yehuda Stop. --and walk towards the central bus station after getting off. Sha'arei Tsedek street is the street that "Best" Auto rental is on the corner of. The museum entrance is at the side of a residential building.

Edited: 09 September 2012, 17:55
UK
Level Contributor
392 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

many thanks for your report, yes the haas view is great, im interested to know what facts date jewish people in gaza 3,000 years ago

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
822 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

Thank you, I am really interested in the Open Top Bus. Is this like the 'Hop on Hop Off ' bus in Europe and you were unlucky as they changed schedules or is it something different?

Keep the reports coming

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
36,729 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

This explains the bus

www.dan.co.il/english/template/default.asp…

NOTE: THE ROUTE MAP IS WRONG!!!!!!

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
36,729 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

Biznet--these are articles from mostly NON-Jewish sources. I could show many many more from Jewish sources

americanthinker.com/2009/02/gazas_rich_jewis…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaza_synagogue

www.english.imjnet.org.il/htmls/popup.aspx…

…blogspot.com/2009/01/musings-on-gaza.html

http://www.answers.com/topic/gaza ( read all the way down)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maon_Synagogue

there are more--but I figured this is enough!

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
822 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

Thank you rdglady, I will look it up again for my visit in March or April

UK
Level Contributor
392 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Trip Report Day 1-3 ( Long)

many thanks - yes i see via that gaza was invaded by david and his army, si that what the gush katif museum is about?