The enthusiasm and comments on this forum are just fantastic. I really appreciate reading all of the posts and it’s really fun doing this planning! I hope you can help with this part of our itinerary that seems to have a “holiday” wrinkle.
On Friday, June 6th, we will be arriving in Eilat after a 5 day trip to Petra and a camel/jeep tour of the Negev. I was planning on one or two rest days in Eilat and continuing on to Jerusalem. When I was checking the car rental prices, I found that Sunday, June 8th is the eve of a holiday, and Monday, June 9th is a holiday. It is not possible to return a rental car during this period, except at the airport with an additional charge ($26 plus our transportation from the airport to Jerusalem). In Jerusalem, we will have 8 full days/9 nights, starting on Monday night, June 9th.
Here are my questions:
•Does anyone know what the June 8/9 holiday is?
•If the car rental offices are closed mid-day June 8th through June 9th, will Egged buses be running from Eilat to Jerusalem? I checked the Egged website and cannot find the information!
Right now I see these options – what do you think?
*Take Egged bus on Sunday, June 8th to Jerusalem, arriving before mid-day & the beginning of the holiday. This would give us 9 days in Jerusalem. Then, use one of those days for a day trip and rent a car to Beit Guvrin for a “dig for a day” program and then seeing more of the countryside west of Jerusalem.
*Take the Egged bus on Monday, June 8th, the holiday, if it is running. This would give us 2
days in Eilat. Then, use one of the 8 days in Jerusalem for a day trip to Beit Guvrin.
*Hire a car on Sunday, June 8th mid-day in Eilat. We are thinking of staying at Kibbutz Eilot, about 3 kilometers outside of Eilat, so we could use the car on that Sunday to go around Eilat. Monday, drive to Jerusalem, stopping off at Beit Guvrin, if they have the dig that day & we could get there in time for it from Eilat. Keep car & return on Tuesday, January 10th in Jerusalem.
Questions about Beit Guvrin:
*At Beit Guvrin, if we take the “dig for a day” program, is it adviseable to hire a guide to show us around Beit Guvrin beyond the dig area?
*Is there public transportation to Beit Guvrin from Jerusalem in case we wanted to do that?
*Does anyone know the meeting time for the Beit Guvrin dig? I have emailed Archaelogical Seminars, but they have not responded.