Tag Archives: Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv to Istanbul

1/30 – Up early this morning for the cab ride to Ben Gurion Airport. Security is very tight here, and we were interviewed about our travel plans before we were allowed to check in. It should be noted that, although we had to go through a security scanner, we did not have to take off our shoes, nor were we asked to give up our water bottles.

Two hours later, we touched down in Istanbul, at the airport on the Asian side. We spent the rest of the afternoon on two buses to get us back to the European side, where we have to see a man about a box on Monday. Istanbul is a huge city!

Jim had reserved a small apartment through Bookings.com. When we got there, it was not an apartment at all, but a dumpy room with an electric kettle and a fridge that needed cleaning. Without the ability to cook, there is no reason to pay extra for an apartment, so we trooped back downstairs to speak to the manager. After some wrangling over the phone, he gave us our cash back, and we got into another cab for a place we quickly found online. It’s really amazing that in all our travels so far, this is the first time we had to leave a hotel. We read the comments and ratings carefully before we book, and most places present themselves honestly.

Half an hour later, we were tucked in to a lovely modern apartment with all facilities, a washing machine, and even a crib, in case we decide to have a baby! There was a supermarket down the street, and Jim bought the makings of a delicious supper, and had it on the table in an hour. Home sweet home!

1/31 – you may not believe this, but I stayed in bed all day, getting up only for meals. Traveling is hard work, and sometimes we need a day off from our vacation!

2/1 – Super Bowl Sunday! Jim’s trying to figure out how to watch the game, which will start about 3am tomorrow, our time…

We ventured out to check out the neighborhood and buy more groceries. We are in the southern part of Istanbul, right on the Sea of Marmara. We decided to stroll down to the harbor. When we got there, the wind was blowing fiercely, and the streets were flooded.


It was like being in a hurricane, without the rain!


Some of the boats looked swamped.


The chestnut vendor didn’t budge from his spot, and the Sunday strollers braved the headwinds to continue their strolls.


One block inland, life was normal, and the winds were gone. Very strange!

Was awoken at 4am to the sound of football -Jim figured out how to watch the Super Bowl after all. Glad the Pats won, because it would have made my brother happy.

Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, Israel

1/29 – We left our Cozy Flat this morning after breakfast, and walked back to the Jerusalem Bus Terminal, where we caught the 10am express bus 405. An hour later, we were in Tel Aviv.

We are staying at the Peer Guest House for one night, to put us in position to catch a morning flight tomorrow. This is a lovely guest house with rooms in different buildings, and a breakfast room that is open all day and night offering coffee, tea, and a variety of fresh fruit, breads and pastries. Our room was on the top floor, up a spiral staircase meant for folks without backpacks!


What to do for our one afternoon in Tel Aviv? We were right down the street from the HaCarmel open market, so we started there. We ate lunch by strolling along, pointing to things that looked good to eat.

The egg roll shaped things had spicy meat inside, and the corn dog shaped things were filled with mushrooms. Yum!

No doubt that anything on this table will make a delicious dessert. I’ll have one with pistachios and honey, please. br />

And yes, I’d love a fruit smoothie, made to order!


My mom is a fan of Halvah. You can get it in huge wheels here, in any flavor you like.


Of course, there’s plenty of other stuff at the market too. What is that hot pink stuff?

Finished with lunch, we walked down to the beach. It had big pink hotels like Miami.

Sunbathers and surfers.image



And old guys who feed pigeons.image

It was just the kind of relaxing afternoon we needed. In the morning, it’s off to the airport to fly back to Istanbul.

Konya back to Istanbul to Tel Aviv to Haifa to Nazareth, Israel

1/19 – It’s time to say farewell to Konya, and move on. We hopped on a one hour Pegasus flight to return to the Asian side of Istanbul. Istanbul is a transportation hub, and we opted to fly to Israel instead of traveling overland. We will be in Israel for 10 days. It will be good to get back where it’s warm!

1/20 – Got up at 4am to get to the airport for our dawn flight.



We landed in Tel Aviv two hours later. The Ben Gurion Airport is big and sparkling. All the signage is in Hebrew, Arabic and English.


We passed through Customs and requested a paper visa instead of a stamp on our passports. Some countries refuse entry if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. We’re not planning to visit any of those countries, but got the paper visa just in case.


The train station is right next to the airport, and we caught the 10:05 train to Haifa. The 90 minute ride put me right to sleep, so I didn’t get any pictures – sorry! Haifa is on the Mediterranean coast, with lots of beach, and looked very pretty from what little we saw from the train.

From Haifa, we caught the bus to Nazareth, and in an hour we were in the place where Jesus grew up. The bus let us off at the Basilica of the Annunciation, the very spot where Gabriel told Mary she would become the world’s most famous teenage unwed mother.

We will explore in more detail tomorrow.

Our goal today was to get to the bookshop that sells the guide for the Jesus Trail, that we will walk over the next few days.


Jim asked the proprietor her heritage, and she explained that she is Arabic, and that Nazareth is an Arabic community, the largest in northern Israel. The Arabic name is An-Nazeera. She said they used to be Palestinians, but when their grandparents agreed in 1948 to live in the new state of Israel (so they could keep their homes), they became Arabs living in Israel. She taught us our first words in Arabic: Marhaba for hello, and Shukara for thank you. These are similar to the Turkish words! We have found that these are the words we need most often, and we’ll get a lot of practice this week.

Tomorrow, we explore!