After all the emotional ups and downs of preparing for the trip.
and after 2 hrs of flight delay accompanied by 40 dollars complimentary food and beverages for 2 given by Turkish Airlines.+ 15 hrs flight ( inclusive 3 hrs transit in Istanbul airport)
we arrived safe and sound at Tel Aviv – Ben Gurion airport..!
and got to breathe on the land that we called Holly.. *woohooo..
the airport is quite big.. and required 5-7 mins walk for us to get to the passport control from our arrival gate.
during our immigration. we need to remind the officer not to chop their stamp on our passport.
as we are Indonesian. we cant have Israel chop on our passport, or else it will be difficult for us to go back to Indonesia. they both just dont have any formal diplomatic relations..
we heard some stories (not sure if it’s real) that people need to lie that they have lost their passport and made the new one because he/she forgot to remind the officer not to chop and vise versa.
Once we got out from the immigration, collected our luggage & changed our money to shekel (Israel currency)
Mike Sayyad – a 60+ years old man with a vast tour guide experience and a CEO of an Israel’s travel agent company a.k.a our private tour guide already waited outside to pick us up. hehe..
oh ya.. btw.. we have our own private tour in Israel.. just the 5 of us. haha..
supposedly more than 5 of us..
but some people decided to shift to another group that cover more cities and places, and some people just decided to go on november instead..
having a private tour was not a bad idea at all.
it was great.. we got to safe a lot of time and had a lot of fun too. haha.
we thought that we can cover whatever places that is written in our ‘day 2’ itinerary.
since it was just 4pm local time if im not mistaken. (Singapore is 5 hrs ahead of Israel)
but too bad..
our tour guide said that we cant go there since most of holy sites are closed by 5pm.
so. we went straight to the hotel that took about 45 mins from the airport.
and voila ! our 1st hotel..
St. Michael Hotel
located at Bethlehem, Palestine
actually i dont know that Bethlehem is in Palestine..
so yeahh.. i have been to Palestine too! hahaha..
im not sure if Bethlehem is controlled by the Israeli or the Palestine.
– At the moment, Bethlehem is in the Palestinian controlled West Bank. However,geographically, it is in the territory that is traditionally known as Israel. Politics does strange things to maps sometimes.- wikitravel –
what we know is, it is difficult for the Palestinians to go to Israel *will share this more on later post*
but for tourist like us. we just need to flash our passport and our entry card that is given by the Israel embassy (so called like visa i think) if required.
the hotel is small nice and cozy i may say.
and they provide wi-fi..
so we can stay connected to our loved ones eventho we were far away. #firstworldproblem huh? haha.
ohh.. and some English channels..! ahahha.. *We once stayed in one hotel that is veryyyy difficult to even find 1 channel that we could understand. haha.. and trust me.. it was frustrating to listen to those language that u are not familiar with.. and somemore.. i am a girl who somehow cant live without TV. haha.. another first-world problem.
introducing my room mates for the past 16 days. amel and ci bombie.. hehe..
sorry for the blur pics.. i was not used to my new camera yet. hihi..
Mount Olives : view of The old city of Jerusalem
a classic pictures that you will always find in Israel posters and those people who went for Pilgrimage. haha.
sooo many tourists up there to take pictures,
also many tour guide explaining what’s down there all about.
and a camel too..! haha.. they put it there for the tourist of course..
our tour guide gave us rough explanations what is the gold plated dome is, and pointed the way where Jesus walked to and fro before the crucifixions..
trust me.. it was a very tiring journey for Jesus to walk by foot from the garden of Gethsemane, to Pontius Pilate house to High Priest Caiaphas, etcetc until the via dolorosa.. *pheww..
From up there..
we walked down to the bottom of Mount Olives.
*it’s kinda steep and narrow road down there.. so, if you are thinking to go there.. u are in great need of a good pair of shoes..*
Garden of Gethsemane
FYI. truth to be told.. not all sites here are the exact place where Jesus sat, or walked or did the miracles.
some places are just symbolic, just predictions by the archaeologists.
and i just knew that when Mike was trying to explain things to us up there.. haaa.. *ketauan i dont do much research before the trip. haha*
quite a disappointing moment to be honest.. since i thought i really gonna stand, walk and sit in the place where Jesus reallyyyy reallyyy was 2013 years ago. haha..
they already modified the garden and we cant go in there.
Mike said that some trees inside have lived for more than 900 years old.
you guys will be seeing a lot of churches pics in my blog. haha
hmpp.. another truth to be told.. the olden people like the Byzantines or Crusaders or the Ottoman like to build churches on a land where is believed that.. something historical about Jesus were happened around there. *lalallaa*
dont ask me who are they.. cause they kinda confused me.. and im not that good in history. hahaha.. you can ask wikipedia if u are interested with them.. haha..
ohh.. and those who are behind me on the last picture in Gethsemane are Vietnamese, and i saw a lot of Nigerian and other nationalities too.
and im actually happy to see many people come from all around the world just too visit this ‘Holy Land’ which means.. many people are interested to know who Jesus our Savior is.. hehe.. i am happy when people are eager to know more about Him..
The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu – High Priest Caiaphas’ house.
proceed to the place where Jesus was imprisoned in Caiaphas’ house. and this site is authentic.
*tempat ini ada memori tersendiri dan ada unsur2 emosional gimana gt.. hoho*
i somehow felt very emotional in this place.. i didnt cry..
it’s just a sad place i think..
believed to be Jesus’ chamber when He stayed one night at Caiaphas’ house.
a very small and cold chamber..
even the wall are cold at day.. cant imagine when how cold it was when you dont wear anything but underwear. hauhua..
it’s a hole that Jesus or other prisoner used to go in and out of their chamber.
yes.. it was only a hole. no stairs or whatsoever.
so, they said. the guard will tie the prisoners hand to put them in and pull them out from the chamber.. *ouchh moment.
went to some Arabic restaurant at Bethlehem’s City Centre for our lunch..
it was a different very kind of lunch for us and a very nice one too! hehe.
pita bread with hummus and other dipping that i dont even know the name and what it was. haha.
a very yummy lamb and chicken kebab
and a veryy sweet delights.. *i dont really like this tho.. too sweet for me..* haha
ohh.. and a really nice deco too.. hehe
and introducing you ko raimond and ci gill! hehe..
Basilica of the Nativity
believed to be the Birth Place of Jesus!
this church is hugee.. and seems a very old ones..
plus this church is shared for 3 denominations.. the Armenian Apostolic, the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic.
they have a very small room inside the church.
they built an altar in that room, and made a ‘hole’ that everyone wants to touch and pray.
the ‘hole’ or the ‘i forgot what’s the fancy real name’ is believed to be the birth place of Jesus..
so yeahh.. that’s why everyone’s wants to touch and feel some of it.. haha..
maybe by touching it you can be brought to 2013 years ago where Mary was about to gave birth.. haha.. #apasihhjend..
and tadaa..! that’s how we spent our first 3 days.. haha..
will be blogging about the rest of trip gradually..
hopefully you enjoyed it.. =)
**nambah : voucher 40dollar di changi airport harusnya cuman bisa di pakai di BK dan di foodcourt saja.. tapi karena kebaikan Tuhan dan/atau ke clumsy – an manusia.. kita bisa pake voucher.nya di coffee bean airport.. hehehe.. makasih yahh mas coffee bean.. mudah2an dirimu ga di omelin boss dan malah dpt berkat.. hehe.. **