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Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

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Removed on: 20 February 2014, 09:45
Israel
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1. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

Security is always high so nothing new here. The lightrail runs from the northern suburbs via Damascus Gate to Mt Herzl. For Bethlehem you need a bus from Damascus Gate and other places Egged buses. It all depends in where you point of departure is(your hotel) and where you are going. There are plenty of Moslems in Jerusalem so you are not unique in that way.

Chana

Israel

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2. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

Do you realize that 20% of the population of Israel is Arab, the vast majority of them being Moslem? You will see other Moslems almost everywhere you travel and as tourists, it is unlikely that you will have any issues regarding security. The bus station has security like airport security where you put your bags through detectors and everyone, Jew, Moslem and Christian goes through the same thing. As long as there is nothing suspicious in your bag, you are on your way.

Jerusalem is an amazing city and you can easily spend all your time there but you should go and see other places such as Bethlehem, Ein Gedi, Masada. What about going up to the Galilee? Akko is a predominantly Arab city which is a fascinating place with interesting history on the coast. I also recommend you visit Tel Aviv, if only for a short time. It is a true mix of cultures from all parts of the world.

When you arrive in Israel and when you travel in Israel and the PA, you will be amazed that the reality on the ground doesn't reflect what you hear in the media, especially the British media. You can travel quite freely and see people going about their daily lives in a normal manner- not exactly what is shown on the 6pm news.

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3. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

Your subject line says "Travelling FROM Jerusalem..." but the light rail is only within Jerusalem. It's just one tram line.

Tickets for the light rail must be bought in the machine on each station before you board the tram. There are instructions in English. Flat fare of NIS 6.90 is valid for 90 minutes' unlimited travel on the light rail and Jerusalem city buses (but not outside Jerusalem). You must validate your ticket in the machine just inside each door of the tram as soon as you get on (any passenger will show you how to do this), and keep your ticket if you are planning to use any more trams or buses within the 90 minutes. Bus tickets are bought on the bus, from the driver. Bus drivers understand basic English and there is no reason why you should have any problems.

As Chana says, Muslims are hardly a novelty in Jerusalem! In fact, whatever your shape, size, colour, facial features, religion (or lack of), you won't stand out as being anything out of the ordinary. The light rail goes through Arab neighbourhoods, so there are always plenty of Muslims on the trams.

Here is a typical scene in the Jerusalem Light Rail:

http://tinyurl.com/pjy4vfd

Two women in Muslim dress, and a an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man. Nothing at all unusual.

You might be subject to security checks when entering the Jerusalem central bus station, if the guards - who are very well trained - think you look perhaps a little bit out of the ordinary. It's nothing to get up-tight about. and it's for your safety as well as everyone else's.

Have a great trip!

NYC/Israel
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4. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

There is no place that you can go in Israel without seeing individuals in traditional Muslim garb. This ranges from Jerusalem, to Tel Aviv , to my home in Netanya. This ranges from restaurants to shops to universities. Despite the press and what you have been told you are going to be surprised ( and maybe shocked) and how "boring" you really are.

The light rail bTW announces stops in 3 languages Hebrew, Arabic and English. Road signs too are in the same 3 languages. YOU realize that Arabic is an official language of Israel. Many food products have labeling in.....you guessed it Hebrew and Arabic ( and sometimes Russian)

The airport type security that anmejoshme refers to in post # 2 no longer is there and instead it is walking past uniformed guards and having a respectable number of undercover security personnel in the bus station at all times. We are being watched regardless of our background.

Yes, as Muslims you may be questioned more when entering or exiting the country. Yes, you may get stopped at other places. This is because some of your co-religionists mean to harm everyone who visits and lives here. Israel is going to do what she needs to to keep EVERYONE safe.

If you search the forum you will find multiple posts by Muslim visitors. All report a good time. As long as your visit is for tourism, you will be okay,

IN regards to your first question--there is no reason for you NOT to go to places outside of Jerusalem. There are other Muslim tourists in all of them and there are local Muslims. Just make sure that you ring your passport and the paper VISA ( that you are given upon entry) when you go around. Israelis are required to carry ID cards. You need identification to prove your status. ( all tourists do)

5. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

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6. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

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Removed on: 20 February 2014, 09:45
Thimphu, Bhutan
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7. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

A couple of pointers, I have just returned and was on a lot of day trips using public transport:

Egged bus: If you want to book online, there is no option in English, so unless you speak Hebrew, you need to go to the bus station to purchase a ticket on really busy routes. Often, where there are many buses a day to a destination, you simply pay on the bus on arrival.

West Bank buses: all leave from one of three stations at the Arab Bus Station, North of Damascus Gate, down the hill. These are quick and cheap. Bethlehem 45 minutes or so, Ramallah around the same. To get to Jericho no direct bus from here, so you have to take a bus to Al Eziriya (Bethany), just east of Jerusalem and catch a bus from there, but easy to do. Always someone to point you to the correct bus, so just ask. For many points in the WB you stop at Qalandia checkpoint, but we found the movement through here quite quick.

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8. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

In reference to the above posts ( # 7) re: Egged buses. You do NOT need, nor are you able to make reservations in advance for most buses. The ONLY bus that requires an advance reservation is the bus to Eilat. This is done because often the "bus" is really multiple buses and Egged needs to know the demand to put on extra vehicles. YOu do NOT need to go in advance to purchase tickets and tickets can generally be purchased directly from the driver

Thimphu, Bhutan
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9. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

Yes, the 'really busy route' i was referring to was Jerusalem-Eilat, and an advance booking was necessary for us (which an Israeli carried out for us over the phone after a very lengthy delay, I recall).

All others countrywide were hop on and pay, and very convenient and comfortable. Apologies for any misunderstanding there.

10. Re: Travelling from Jerusalem by Egged or Light Rail

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