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Messages - kosherjid

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Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Istanbul/Izmir
« on: January 10, 2019, 04:09:24 PM »
Did he go by himself ?  Lately ?
I have the flight ticket for next week.  Joining a group from Israel which I do not know personally.
You're already the second person advising not to go.  If it's not safe, I'd rather drop the ticket.
But a flight arrives daily from TLV to Istanbul.  Do you know more Details ?

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Istanbul/Izmir
« on: January 10, 2019, 11:14:10 AM »
Is it safe to go now ?  Someone just told me, he would not recommend it.

Trip Reports / Re: Turkey Trip Report
« on: January 06, 2019, 12:55:37 PM »
Planning to go to R.C.Palagi in two weeks.  Is it safe ?
Will be staying in Istanbul.  Would be grateful for any tips.
What to do in Istanbul. I'm interested in jewish history, Architecture, scenery, the genuine stuff.

We landed in IST - Istanbul

First order of the day was a much deserved coffee while we checked out all the car rental desks on the 1st floor and purchased a Turkcell sim card (35 TL for sim card, +40TL for an hour of international talk time, +40 TL for 4gb Internet)

We rented a car (Hundei i20) in the airport for 90TL - The lot attendant asked for "bakshish" (tip/bribe) for inspecting the car and marking damages. We made sure he wrote down EVERY single scratch, burn mark, tire wear, etc. and gave him 10TL. P.S. We were quoted much higher prices due to the beyram holiday - which finished that day - we bargained hard & won)

We filled up our tank (very expensive - up to $90 per tank on a tiny car) and set on our way.

Many good highways are toll roads which you cannot pay in cash You need to have an OGS or HGS pass which should be provided by the car rental) Make sure your tires have good treads as many of the mountainous roads are slipper even when dry.

Many roads have speed cameras, yet we were averaging 160kmph without ever getting a ticket. There are several checkpoints as well, but they mostly waved us through as I look turkish - when we were stopped I showed my US passport and was sent on our way) We covered 2699km total.

Cities we visited:

Nice waterfront but mostly industrial city. We had tea by the water and davned mincha

We spent the night in a family resort, we spent $15 per night per room (They misunderstood us and gave us 2 rooms instead of 2 beds - win)
Not much to see in this town, condensed streets, nice park etc

Has a nice shul called Mayor Synagogue

A small city on the way to Izmir, We stopped here because google told us there was an old Jewish Cemetery there - We found 150 year old gravestones there with Hebrew inscriptions.

We made it here just in time for Chag, We found the shul after a lot of searching. Sharei Shomaim is an unmarked building with a security booth in the front. Officially there are 9 Shuls in Izmir, but we found that most were closed.
We stayed at the Volley Hotel for $100 per night - We got upgraded to a gorgeous suite due to a mistake I pointed out on
After chag we went to the Kevarim of Rav Chaim Pallagi, Baal Shevet Mussar, Chacham Hazzan and some others. The caretake was friendly and knew a lot. The mikveh there was closed unfortunately.

A small picturesque seaside city in the south. Was nice. We did a day safari on jeeps. We had drive by watergun fights with other jeeps - was a lot of fun, even for adults.

Absolutely a MUST do. Mineral pools that you can swim in. See links for more info

A medium sized city not far from Pamukkale - we spent the night there.

A gorgeous area with lots of man made caves and interesting rock formations. a hot air baloon here is highly recommended.

Another seaside city, Full of Russians some half decent attractions.

A small seaside resort village. Nice watersports (I did fly board again here)

Nice size Jewish community, some interesting historic sights. Bosphorus bridge is one of the only places where you can cross 2 continents by car. The grand bazaar was fun.

My views on Turkey
All in all we had a great time, Many highways & roads offer amazing views. The people in general are friendly but unfortunately we saw lots of negativity as well. We had no problems wearing kippas in public although it is not recommended. I considered it to be relatively expensive compared to most other countries I have visited this year alone (about 28 or so). I do not plan on ever returning here.
Turkey is a good destination for those that enjoy Roman ruins or Jewish History. Not for those looking for a cheap vacation. We have bumped into several attempted scams - but we know better.

Useful Links
Jewish Sites

Exchange Rate (at time of writing 10/28/14)
1 US Dollar equals 2.22 Turkish Lira

This is an abbreviated trip report - if you have any questions, feel free to ask

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Switzerland Master Thread
« on: January 02, 2019, 11:57:18 AM »
Why don't you phone the Cresta hotel and ask them if they have a Babysitter ?

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Switzerland Master Thread
« on: January 01, 2019, 11:30:50 AM »
Do you know if I need the physical advert or just the code will suffice?

You can also find cheaper train tickets on:
Then click on:  Option hinfahrt     
Then on:         Sparbillet

These cheaper tickets can only be bought online or SmartphoneApp

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Israel Hotels Master Thread
« on: December 31, 2018, 09:01:18 AM »
I think it is.  In any case, I've been told the best is when you're there, ask for the masghiach. Ask him which food you're allowed to eat.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Switzerland Master Thread
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:07:54 AM »
Does anyone have information on the Schnupper Halbtax? It looks like a deeply discounted promotional price for the Half Fare Card. I read through forums on myswissalps that the coupon is advertised in newspapers, magazines, etc. in Switzerland but as I'm visiting from the USA it will be difficult to find. Here is an (expired) example:

When available its advertised.  Then they're quickly gone.

General Discussion / Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:05:07 AM »
Anyone know anything about this hechsher from Italy?

It's not a hechsher.

General Discussion / Re: Kosher, Kashrus and Hechsherim Master thread
« on: December 31, 2018, 05:04:48 AM »
it's  on this list don't know who they are

"the information is informative only" and its dated 2013. Who are they ?

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Next Vacation - Ideas
« on: December 30, 2018, 06:26:08 AM »
Loads of tourists in Malta when I was there.
Many Israelis go to Malta.  You'd have to specify, what would you like to know.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Next Vacation - Ideas
« on: December 30, 2018, 03:57:40 AM »
What would you like to know ?  I was there a few months ago.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Switzerland Master Thread
« on: December 26, 2018, 05:30:22 AM »
Sorry. Made a mistake.
The view is scenic as you drive along the Vierwaldstättersee in Luzern. On a sunny day, it's Beautiful.
But I would stay in Zürich, it's also Beautiful.

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Poland Master Thread
« on: December 25, 2018, 04:45:43 PM »
Still worth to ask.  Maybe he's going in any case for other jews ...

Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Re: Switzerland Master Thread
« on: December 25, 2018, 11:20:32 AM »
No scenic drive from Zürich to Luzern.
There's a beautiful lake in Zürich as well, so why waste the time driving to Luzern?

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