Unforgettable. This week in Israel as a father-daughter trip is definitely one of my favorite travel adventures so far. It was filled with moments that will turn into memories and stories I can’t wait to tell. My next blog posts will be filled with pictures and snippets of my travel journal, and I will end with some recommendations for anyone who plans on traveling to Israel.
We didn’t want to go on an organized trip, although we were told that’s the best option for first-time visitors. Both my dad and I hate being herded, so we decided to organize everything ourselves. It was a lot of work to prepare our own itinerary and we’ve had our fair share of adventurous situations during the trip, but that’s all part of the travel fun.
We spent the first 4 days in Jerusalem, doing what I love most: city wandering. No car, no set schedule, just a list of things we wanted to see, a map on our phones and good walking shoes.
We experienced the colorful chaos of the Arabic shuq, like Machane Yehuda Market, and the different atmospheres in the 4 different quarters of the Old City, especially the Jewish Quarter. We visited the Yad Va’shem holocaust museum, we enjoyed the most incredible views of Jerusalem on our rooftop and observed a crowd of orthodox Jews celebrate the start of the Shabbat at the Western Wall. We followed Jesus in His footsteps through the Via Dolorosa, pretended to be ‘watchmen on the wall’ with the Ramparts Walk and had a beautiful time of prayer in the Garden Tomb.
After our time in this religious capital, we drove around Israel for 3 days. We got stuck with car trouble in the middle of the Judean Desert, we dipped our toes in the salty Dead Sea and spent the night in Arad. We hiked up the historic fortress of Masada at sunrise and visited the place John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. The view of St. George Monastery hidden in a deep cliff took our breath away and the peaceful Lake of Galilee made us wonder if it ever saw a storm again after Jesus calmed it. We listened to the sound of crashing waves at the beaches of Haiva and Tel Aviv, and discovered the artsy neighborhoods of the latter.
In 7 mere days, we explored a nation that’s called holy, we saw the Bible come alive and received a deeper love for the people God called His own.
And I’d love to tell you all about it…
Click this link for my next Israel-post with stories about Jerusalem.