A Visit to the Holy Land
There is so much to see in the Holy Land – one of the most religious and historically rich places in the world. It is definitely worth a visit, despite all the regional tensions. This is also a great place to celebrate the traditional New Year’s Eve (December 31st according to the Gregorian / Roman calendar) as it doesn’t coincide with Jewish New Year’s celebrations (Rosh Hashanah). If you only have a few days, you can make the most of it with a tour – either a private hire through your hotel or a group tour through Egged Tours.
It is easy to get lost in the narrow, winding pedestrian streets and to forget which quarter of the Old City you’re in – the Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, and Christian Quarters are all closely intertwined. This is the place to view biblical sites and get souvenirs of your trip if you so wish. The Western (Wailing) Wall is also a must see – be sure to pray at either the men’s or women’s side before you leave.
THE DEAD SEA
One of the most memorable parts of this trip, the Dead Sea really is a unique site. Float in the water, and make sure to wrap the Dead Sea mud all over your body for a proper natural spa session. Or as one creative woman did, take a Tupperware with you so that you can fill it with the mud and take it home! You can also buy Ahava (Dead Sea beauty products) there or for a better deal, at the airport duty-free.
There’s a charming new little boutique hotel called Hotel Berdichevsky located on a quiet street in Tel Aviv. The rooms are clean and tastefully decorated, and the breakfast is delicious. The concierge also gives fantastic restaurant recommendations (see below).
Eat (as often as you can) at Shila restaurant, also known as Sharon Cohen’s Kitchen & Bar. If you sit at the food bar, the mouth-watering tasting menu is created right in front of you by the chefs.
A LITTLE R&R:
For a shisha and mint tea in a live DJ setting, stop at Honey Beach (cocktails are also served here). Or relax on the beach in Tel Aviv – the winter sunshine in December (21degrees Celsius or approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit) is very welcomed by pale, Vitamin-D deficient tourists (myself included).
As always, have a great trip!
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Tags: Holy Land, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Ahava, Honey Beach, Shila, Sharon Cohen's Kitchen & Bar, Hotel Berdichevsky, Western Wall