Author Topic: Israel Trip Report – 4/2-4/18  (Read 1930 times)

Offline itreu001

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Israel Trip Report – 4/2-4/18
« on: May 18, 2023, 01:37:48 PM »
Israel Trip Report – 4/2-4/18

We went to Israel for Pesach this year for a Family Simcha. We went last year at the tail end of Corona, and this year there were no restrictions.
We flew El-Al out of EWR nonstop, we booked the tickets in July 2022 on Chase with points, we got one ticket free and the other tickets were $1100 each. A good deal for nonstop direct for Pesach. We paid $100 each for the extra legroom for each way. We were only able to book the extra legroom using Facebook Messenger, as it is impossible to reach anyone on ELAL via telephone.
We had not flown ElAL for almost 20 years, so we were expecting the worst. Instead we were pleasantly surprised. Check in at Newark was seamless, they weighed our carryons, and when it was overweight, they allowed us to check it in free of charge. Boarding was fine, and there was no fighting when it was time to sit down. The meals were decent, and entertainment at par with other airlines.
We got our rental car in TLV, with no need to take a shuttle now that Corona is over.
We booked our rental Airbnb, and went there. That night we went to the shuk and then out for dinner in town – Rimon meat, we were not impressed, lousy service and overpriced food. We then went to Osher Ad in Talpiot to shop for Pesach. It was what we expected, we got the compete experience. There were no shopping carts, so I paid someone 5 sheckel at his car for his cart. We did beat the 11pm cutoff for wine sales though.
The next day we scheduled to go to the Sorek caves outside of Beit Shemesh. It was nice, it’s a decent hike down and up to get to the place, and then expect to spend about 30 minutes in the caves. Total time spent there is about an hour, maybe 1:15 tops. We then went to the mall in Beit Shemesh and went to the food court where our kids wanted McDonalds for the first and last time.
We then went to Rabbi Slifkins Museum or the Biblical Museum of Natural History. We made reservations months in advance and it sells out. Expect to spend about 2 hours there. Its good for ages 5-12 and interesting for older ages. It was a nice experience and interactive. You can buy kosher grasshoppers to eat in the giftshop.
We then visited family in the evening, and went back to Jerusalem.
The next day was erev pesach, we did biur chometz in meah shearim, went to the shuk, went to town, and prepared for Pesach. We ate at Kafit, and the food was delicious. Yom Tov was nice, we went to the Kotel and Old City. We davened in Beit Rav Kook on Shabbos Chol Hamoed, which was an interesting experience. Motzoi Shabbos we ate at Rimon in Mamila and it was good service and decent food.
Sunday we took a trip to Kever Shmuel Hanavei, and to Shiloh. Shiloh is really cool with the place of the Mishkan. They have all sorts of interactive stuff for kids, including making ketoret (which we now use for besamim) and a 3d movie as well. I had never been there before and it should be a must do for everyone. We ate out in town in Berlin Burger, which is good.
Monday we did ATVing in El-ad, which was really cool. We spent time with family.
Tuesday was erev chag and raining heavily. We went to the Israel Museum which was a good choice for a rainy day, and enjoyed. That night was chag.
Wednesday night was end of chag for us, and we ate out in town in Jerusalem.
Thursday we travelled to Jaffa – We ate at Dr. Shakshuka, which is meat, but very good. We walked around the Old town of Jaffa which is really cool and the flea market. We then went to Shuk Hakarmel. We ate dinner in Petach Tikva at Achla which was delicious. We then did shopping for Shabbos in Osher Ad in Petach Tikva (which resembles strongly the Bingo in Monsey). We then drove back to Jerusalem at got 1am rugelach and fresh challah for Shabbos at Nechama bakery by the mir.
Friday we went for takeout in takeout for Shabbos in Talpiot at Pasha, and went out to eat in Rimon in the center of town. We walked to the shuk, and got ready for Shabbos.
Friday night we went to the kotel and went back. Shabbos we davened by Beit Ravi Kook again. Motzoi Shabbos we got pizza from Big Apple Pizza which was surprisingly good and just walked around.
Sunday we had brunch at Café Shalva which is delicious, and went to the Haas Promenade. We had dinner at Papagayo which was ok, and disappointing for the amount spent.
Monday we walked the walls of the old city and had lunch in Greg’s Café in Mamila. We then packed up and walked to the shuk, had dinner at Asadeh Street Food and headed back to the airport. 
Our flight back was uneventful, Elal check in was quick, courteous, and we didn’t deal with the normal nonsense. The flight was fine, and food decent.

Offline Traveler718

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Re: Israel Trip Report – 4/2-4/18
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2023, 02:41:20 PM »
Thanks for the detailed TR. Shiloh definitely sounds interesting. Where exactly do you go there (website?), and do you need advance reservations? How long did you spend there and how much did it cost? Is there anything marking the actual site of the Mishkan?

Offline itreu001

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Re: Israel Trip Report – 4/2-4/18
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2023, 03:43:39 PM »
We went with a group and we didn't pay. We spent a few hours there. There are signs showing where the mishkan was.

https://jewishlink.news/features/56295-visiting-ancient-shiloh

I can't find a website.