My Return Trip to Israel!
A warm, sunny, and beautiful Israel welcomed me back, as I landed at the Ben Gurion airport an early morning this past October. I was washed by memories from my previous visits about thirteen years earlier and started comparing changes that had occurred since. How wonderful it was to get out of the El Al flight to find a VIP arrival service waiting for me, who quickly helped me from the plane, customs, and connected me with my driver. Never has it been so quick and easy to get out of an airport! The hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv energized me and the Carlton Hotel gave me a big welcome with a beautiful room, decorated in a warm and nautical contemporary style and the most amazing view of the marina and the Mediterranean Sea. Tel Aviv’s hotel scene really offers something for everyone; budget to luxury. The latest, not to miss impressive luxury hotel in Tel Aviv is the Royal Beach Hotel! The lobby itself makes it worthwhile a visit!
What a treat it was to be picked up in Tel Aviv by our own private guide, Tal Beit-Yosef, and be accompanied by Gil Travel’s Israel representative, Ayelet Antebi. It is truly invaluable to get to know the people you work with on a daily basis. A private guide truly offers flexibility and the one-on-one interaction that ensures an enriching experience. The beautiful north, with an amazing landscape, with mountains, the Sea of Galilee, Jewish and Christian sites, and hotels with amazing spa treatments, makes this area especially enriching. You are surrounded by history and beauty! Some of the many wonderful places we visited during our journey up north were Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Druze village, Banias, Beth Alpha, Mt. of Beatitudes to name a few, before our journey with Tal ended in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, the most magnificent of all cities! There is an energy that can be felt everywhere and describing it in a paragraph is nearly impossible. You need to walk the streets, take the tram, ride a taxi, or just sit at a coffee shop to take it all in. I did all that and had the pleasure to spend a day with a wonderful Christian Group I had had the pleasure to work with, The Bridge Group. It was a treat to walk the Rampart Walk with them, where we stopped at a platform and started to pray and sing for Jerusalem. A visit to Yad Vashem, was a very moving experience as well. Another enriching experience was spent with another group; The Eagles’ Wings Watchmen on the Wall. I felt blessed to have the opportunity to spend a day with Dr. Robert Stearns, the founder of Eagles’ Wings and his group, who actively work for Peace for Jerusalem.
My short visit in Israel came to an end too quickly, as I had just started to scratch the surface. It was with sadness I said farewell to Jerusalem and the friendly staff at the unique and beautiful Mt. Zion Hotel.
Next Year in Jerusalem!
- Mia Lehmann