Topic Wiki

Still in progress... 3.5 weeks done, 2.5 to go!

As per a great suggestion from Joe, here are the links to each city's TR:
Israel: Part 1
Israel: Part 2 (very short)
Israel: Part 3 - Eilat
Israel: Part 4 - Ein Gedi/Dead Sea
Madrid
(Pics from Israel and Madrid)
Barcelona
Seville
Gibraltar
Rome
Florence
Pisa
Venice
Switzerland

Trip planning thread: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=37776.0
There you can find all the info about how I booked what. May take some searching in there.
« Last edited by @Yehuda on October 29, 2015, 05:06:09 PM »

Author Topic: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report  (Read 38017 times)

Offline sky121

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #75 on: June 29, 2014, 02:38:18 AM »
Nice TR so far. Hope you're feeling better.
No snorkeling in Eilat?
Let's hope you get there again feeling better. :)
"Not all who wander are lost"

Online moish

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #76 on: June 29, 2014, 02:51:34 AM »
Do you dislike driving in general or is that something about this drive?
i dont dislike driving in general but i generally prefer to fly.

Offline PlatinumGuy

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #77 on: June 29, 2014, 03:17:35 AM »
i dont dislike driving in general but i generally prefer to fly.
Not a fare comparison. Have someone else drive you
Purpose > Pleasure

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #78 on: June 29, 2014, 03:27:02 AM »
Nice TR so far. Hope you're feeling better.
No snorkeling in Eilat?
Let's hope you get there again feeling better. :)
Thanks! Yeah, MUCH better bh.
Yeah couldn't make it to any water sports unfortunately. Obviously, not the best way to experience Eilat, but I'm not sure whether I would go there again. Think I'd rather do other things if I'm in Israel. Anyway, Hawaii would ideally be my next "actual" vacation and we can try snorkeling there :)

Offline sruly101

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #79 on: June 29, 2014, 08:23:44 AM »
We are waiting here for more updates... ;)

Offline joey123

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #80 on: June 29, 2014, 08:27:30 AM »
We are waiting here for more updates... ;)

Don't put pressure on the dude; let him enjoy his vacation DDF free!
To the nOObs out there, feel free to PM with q's. #AlwaysTakesTheHighRoad #LovesHashTags

Offline sruly101

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #81 on: June 29, 2014, 08:29:10 AM »
Don't put pressure on the dude; let him enjoy his vacation DDF free!
+1, just giving advice if he is looking to do something when his wife is asleep ;) :D ;D

Offline joey123

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #82 on: June 29, 2014, 08:29:51 AM »
+1, just giving advice if he is looking to do something when his wife is asleep ;) :D ;D

 :)
To the nOObs out there, feel free to PM with q's. #AlwaysTakesTheHighRoad #LovesHashTags

Online moish

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #83 on: June 29, 2014, 08:52:26 AM »
Not a fare comparison. Have someone else drive you
no difference if im driving or being driven

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #84 on: June 29, 2014, 11:40:19 AM »
I work on TRs while on planes or when she's asleep but in Israel with being sick, I couldn't do any writing and then it's just been a game of catch up. Slowly finishing up the rest of Israel. I know, I know, it's Europe you guys really want to see, but we'll get there iy"h.

Offline joey123

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #85 on: June 29, 2014, 12:07:09 PM »
I work on TRs while on planes or when she's asleep but in Israel with being sick, I couldn't do any writing and then it's just been a game of catch up. Slowly finishing up the rest of Israel. I know, I know, it's Europe you guys really want to see, but we'll get there iy"h.

Feel better! I hope you are totally back to yourself, so you can enjoy.
To the nOObs out there, feel free to PM with q's. #AlwaysTakesTheHighRoad #LovesHashTags

Offline penina

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #86 on: July 02, 2014, 10:32:07 AM »
Feel better! I hope you are totally back to yourself, so you can enjoy.

+1

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #87 on: July 03, 2014, 02:29:39 AM »
Thursday, the first day we were finally feeling good and thank G-d because it rocked, and it would’ve been a real shame to be sick today.
Because we were unsure whether we would go to Ein Gedi, we did not pre-book a car rental. But after the wedding, we decided to go, so my brother booked a car for $30 from Thrifty (I believe). He picked it up Thursday morning (and had a really tough time. They wanted to see his Israeli Visa which luckily he had with him and they made him wait a long time. Plus, the car wasn’t clean when he got it. Instead of cleaning it while he was in the office, they waited till he came out at which point he said just give it to me as is.) Waze helped us get there although as we experienced in Israe - and since then in Spain - Waze did not feel as accurate outside America but that definitely could be because we are not used to the signs in foreign countries. We got off at the exit for Ein Gedi (about a 1.5 hour drive IIRC) but overshot the parking lot as there’s no sign as you go by. We ended up on a dirt road with some Ibex, so we got some great pics and then turned around till we found where we needed to go. Parking is free and cost of admission is 29 NIS pp. There is 1 straight path to follow, which requires being in shape a bit but not too much. As you climb, you pass by several waterfalls (that are all really just offshoots of one waterfall at the top). There were so few people on the hike, so we stopped by several of the falls to go in the water. It’s not really deep enough to swim around, but it is nice to cool off in the water. Once you get about 45-60 minutes up the mountain, there are 2 options: circle down to the beginning or continue onto the second path which leads higher up the mountain. From the map, it looked like there were no more falls up the second path and they told us at the entrance that it takes another 3-4 hours for the longer hike, so we went back down. We decided to skip Café Café and just got some snacks from the shop at the bottom. BTW Café Café’s site implies that it’s in a strip mall of some sort near the hotels, but we definitely saw a standalone one (maybe there are 2) about 15 minutes before reaching Ein Gedi. We got in the car and headed to the Dead Sea. We didn’t continue on the main road towards the hotel area (where I assume the free beaches are), but instead headed back towards Yerushalayim as we had passed a beach called “Mineral Beach”. Even if it cost money, my siblings just wanted to go there, so we did. It was 50 shek to get in (oh well) and it we had a great time. My siblings did the fish spa here that we did in Eilat. It was cheaper than ours but not as clean water/organized as the one in Eilat. We floated for a while, did the mud thing, and my siblings went into the steaming mineral pool they offered there. We headed back to Yerushalayim, showered and changed and went off to Sheva Brachos at Café Rimon.

Friday, we finally made it to Meah Shearim (my mom came too) and did all the classic things there – bought some tzitzis, got Mitz Pri, bought a nice Olive Wood sign, and stopped in Manny’s for old time’s sake. Friday night dinner was Sheva Brachos at the apt my cousin’s rented. We davened outside in the backyard and ate outside on the Mirpeset, which was really nice. Shabbos, we davened at HaNasi and again ate by my cousin’s. Motzai Shabbos we visited my friend’s apt who recently made Aliyah. We got back around midnight and just caught Katzefet (the one that opened in Rechavia where Heimeshe Essen used to be) before they closed. Midnight ice cream is the best kind!

Sunday… time to say goodbye :-/
We spent the morning going to the shuk and Yaffo area looking for a cell phone store to unlock my phone. Why? After I switched my phone situation to Sprint, it was clear they were wrong about me normally using 20MB a month and that 40 would be plenty. I had $70 in int’l charges after 1 week. I realized  I should have just gotten my phone unlocked in NY and then the Tmobile sim would have worked and all would have been well, but I didn’t. So we looked around and found a bunch of stores that unlocked phones, but most wouldn’t do a Sprint iPhone and the few that would wanted 700+ shekel! Something about Sprint was the problem. Anyway, if we were going to pay that, we might as well just keep going over on Sprint’s plan. We got lunch at Shalom Falafel (I wasn’t a fan) and picked up some groceries on the way to have some food for the next day, Madrid, as we heard mixed reviews about the Kashrus of the restaurant there. We went back and packed up our stuff, said our goodbyes to Zaidy (and thanked him a million times again) and after all the taxi issues we had on this trip, we just reserved a Nesher to get us to the airport. Really not sure why we didn’t do this the whole time. I guess I thought a taxi couldn’t be much more than 2 people on a Nesher, and I viewed Nesher as the cheap way Yeshiva guys get to the airport, but really, with the little luggage we brought on this trip, and after the taxi driver didn’t really make a cheap deal with us for our 4 airport trips, it would have been much cheaper/smarter to go Nesher the whole way.
We got to TLV with some time, so we went into the Dan Lounge. Not sure if there is more than one, but this one was right near our Iberia gate. We weren’t sure about the Kashrus of the lounge and the workers couldn’t show me a Teudah, so we just took some drinks and had them with our leftover falafels from lunch. Curious what people think about taking a few drinks from a lounge with you as you leave? We’ve done it now a few times as drinks are really expensive on the road. We’ve found cans of soda in supermarkets for .60 euro, but normally, when you just buy at a machine or at a mini-market, drinks are often 2-3 euros which you have to remember is 3-4 dollars. Anyway, we rationalized that we “paid” for access to the lounge and didn’t partake of the food offered, so we could take a few drinks with us. (Perhaps they even allow it. We have no idea if the policy of lounges is just to feed you while there. Maybe all lounges allow you to take a snack with you?) Back to the story, we went to the gate, boarded and once again realized that it’s really nice to be flying business. It’s just nice to get on the plane first and have guaranteed room for your bags (esp as we only had carry-ons – and they’re pushing the inches limit ;)). The plane was 2x2 – obviously not as nice as EWR-MUC, but still roomy. Ever since then, it’s always been 3 seats with the middle empty (well, not really as I sat in it ;)) as ilherman forewarned. Even when the seat map seemed like it was 4 rows of 1 seat each, that was a trick - the “rows” were just blocked off middle seats. Something got messed up here and they only had 1 KSML for us, but my wife wasn’t too hungry, and it looked gross, so we only ate a little. Realized I think it’s weird to be posting pics of the food, so yeah, I’m going to stop that. Not even sure which company supplied it, so I can’t offer that info either.

Anyway, off to Madrid – let Europe (and the real TR) begin!

ETA: TLV-MAD on IB was part of the OWE. The OWE for 2 ppl in J in total was 180K AA (incl. 32K SPG) + $1552. I don't remember the exact breakdown of the $1552 per leg, but about half the legs were $60-80 pp and half were $100-120 pp. (Assume the cheaper half were the IB flights and the more expensive legs were BA.)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 02:33:58 AM by @Yehuda »

Offline lunatic

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #88 on: July 03, 2014, 07:30:29 AM »
There is a cafe cafe in a small round mall near the former let meridian

Offline sruly101

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #89 on: July 04, 2014, 08:21:09 AM »
Thanks keep it coming,