Israel Highway Ride

Adventure #153:
Today we’re visiting very ancient land.
Route: Jerusalem -> Tel Aviv
Duration: 22 min. 18 sec.




Video by: alonrefael

More info:
Highway 1 is the main highway connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel and continuing eastwards to the Jordan Valley.
Jerusalem is the capital and largest city of Israel, though most other countries and the United Nations do not recognize it as Israel’s capital. It is a holy city to Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and one of the oldest cities in the world. Jerusalem of Gold, as it has come to be known in Hebrew, is a fascinatingly unique place where the first century rubs shoulders with the twenty-first century, each jostling for legitimacy and space, and where picturesque “old” neighborhoods nestle against glistening office towers and high-rise apartments.
Tel Aviv is the second largest city in Israel. It is on the Mediterranean coast, about 60 km northwest of Jerusalem and 100 km south of Haifa. The official name is Tel Aviv-Yafo, and reflects the fact that the city has grown beside (and absorbed) the ancient port city of Yafo.

Map:

Links:
Highway 1 (Israel) (Wikipedia)
Israel (Wikivoyage)
Tel Aviv (Wikivoyage)
Jerusalem (Wikivoyage)

STORY:
Israel – a country with centuries of history, is one of the smallest states, but it is washed by the four seas. Israel is in the south-west of Asia and borders with such Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Most of the country is occupied by the Negev and the Arabian desert. In the Negev desert there are unique craters of the kind (mahteshi). One of them, the Ramon crater, is the largest crater in the world.
If you want to live in the desert, but not to sleep on the sand, but in comfortable conditions, Israel can offer you this option: at the Beresheet Hotel in the city of Mizpe Ramon at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level.
Despite the small area in Israel, there are two large ponds: the Sea of ??Galilee and the Dead Sea, which are connected by the Jordan River, there are mountains, deserts and forests.
Just 2 hours drive from Tel Aviv along the impeccable, without a single pit road through the city of Ramli, through the Judean desert you find yourself in the most unique place on the planet – the Dead Sea. The water level in it is 420 meters below sea level, it is located in the giant fold of the Earth, in the Syrian-African fault between Israel and Jordan. The water in the sea is so salty that you can read your favorite book or a newspaper with the latest news. The water temperature of the sea ranges from 19 degrees in February to 31 degrees in August. Swim does not work, as well as diving, but on the water you can lie, sit – the water density does not allow the body to dive – and the bath itself should not exceed more than 15-20 minutes. Why? Because what is useful and curative, in large doses can be harmful.




Being in this amazing place, you can cure diseases of the musculoskeletal system, skin diseases or just calm your nerves. The bromide-laden air is free of contaminants and allergenic impurities and has a beneficial effect on our nervous system exposed to daily stress. On the shores of the Dead Sea, natural curative mud is popular, which can be used in the form of masks, wraps and mud baths. There are also many hydrogen sulfide sources.
Like any medicine, the Dead Sea is not shown to everyone. The main contraindications for the treatment in this region are tumors, recent surgery, strokes, diabetes. But at the Dead Sea you can not only undergo treatment, you can treat yourself to various spa procedures, of which there are a great many in this place. Each hotel has its own spa center with an impressive list of cosmetology and simply pleasant ones such as relaxing massage, for example, procedures. You can simply sunbathe without being afraid of harmful solar radiation. Since the region is unique in everything, even in the sun it can be up to eight hours a day, without fear of exposing yourself to danger. When the water evaporates, a kind of dome forms, which prevents the penetration of ultraviolet rays.
If to speak about serious treatment, doctors recommend at least a 2-week stay in the resort. Speaking about rejuvenation and health courses, the period of stay can be up to 7 days – this time is enough to feel rested and rejuvenated.
The resort, located on the Dead Sea, is called Ein Bokek. The beaches are all landscaped, with sun beds and umbrellas. Almost all the hotels are located on the first coastline, basically, these are four- and five-star hotels.
The beach is sandy, but the approach to the sea is salt, so I recommend walking in slippers, otherwise you can hurt your legs.
The food in the hotels is excellent, – no one will ever remain hungry. Breakfast resembles dinner according to the number of dishes and their variety, only cheeses more than five kinds. I always caught myself thinking that I must have got to the palace for a dinner party, – the waiters are courteous and kind, the food is stunned, what delicious, it is impossible to make a choice between dishes, I want to try everything!
In the resort are several restaurants, among which there are 24-hour. The cuisine is so diverse and diverse that it is difficult to single out a certain national dish. You can treat yourself to a wide variety of dishes from pizza to oriental delicacies. The only difference between Israeli cuisine is that they do not serve dairy and meat products together.
Girls in addition to spa procedures can please themselves with a little shopping. In Ein Bokek, apart from souvenir shops, there are shopping centers that work until 23.00 (except Saturday), where you can buy souvenirs, cosmetics from the Dead Sea or jewelry products, which Israel is famous for.
If you are interested in the history of the country, this is one of those places where historical sights will abundantly satisfy any tourist from simply curious to deeply interested. For example:
The fortress of Masada, created by the king Herod the Great, is one of the local sights. The fortress was built before our era. It is surrounded by steep cliffs, and can only be approached from one side by the so-called “snake path”.
Mount Sodom is another attraction, entirely composed of rock salt. It is believed that it was here that the biblical events took place, when the population of two cities was destroyed (Sodd and Gomor). One of the salt pillars is called “Lot’s wife”. According to the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah are ancient cities in the area of ??the Dead Sea, whose population was characterized by extreme immorality and cruelty to foreigners. But among the sins of sodomites, inhospitality was one of the first places, and their fall only accelerated because of the rude treatment of the two angels whom Lot invited to his house as guests of honor. The inhabitants of Sodom demanded that Lot take them outside and rushed to break the door, but were blinded by the angels who announced to Lot that God had sent them to punish the city; he must immediately assemble his family and seek refuge in the mountains, in no case looking back on the road. Lot took his wife and daughters and left the city, which soon turned into smoking ruins. His wife, as is known, violated the ban, turned back and turned into a pillar of salt.
Recommended hotels: Leonardo Privelege 4 * , Herodes Dead Sea 5 * , Royal Rimonim Dead Sea 5 * , Isrotel Dead Sea 5 * .
At the Dead Sea resorts you can relax all year round due to the fact that the temperature of the water and air is constantly high, without sudden changes. In summer, the average temperature varies from 32 to 39 degrees, in winter – from 20 to 23 degrees. The recommended rest is rest without children, implying treatment or prevention of diseases of the musculoskeletal system, skin diseases, etc., as well as rejuvenating and cosmetic procedures.
A little time passed, we relaxed, rested and decided that we needed a more active holiday, in a resort where you can swim, dive and see beautiful fish. For this we need to move to the resort city of Eilat. From Ein Bokek to Eilat – two and a half hours drive through the delightful desert of the Negev.
Eilat is a year-round resort with a developed tourist infrastructure and a good hotel base. Here is a zone of duty-free trade, and, oddly enough, the Dead Sea cosmetics, like everything else, is cheaper to buy here. But that’s not all: here is a marine reserve with a great many corals and rich flora and fauna.
Eilat is located in the southernmost point of Israel, on the border with Egypt, on the shore of the Red Sea in the heart of the Arabian desert and is surrounded by a wall of high mountains. The western shore of the Gulf (Sinai Peninsula) belongs to Egypt, the east – to Saudi Arabia.
In this region, the maximum number of sunny days per year, rain is perceived as a miracle. Winter is warm and mild, with a small amount of precipitation, the temperature of sea water all year round remains approximately the same – 21 – 24 degrees. In summer, the temperature rises sometimes to 50 degrees, but the heat is easily tolerated due to the dryness of the air and a light refreshing breeze, which, however, does not always happen. Here, as well as at the Dead Sea due to the fact that the Red Sea is very salty and when a “dome” is created during evaporation, one can not be afraid of the sun’s rays.
Eilat – very Ancient city, known since the time of King Solomon. It housed the “copy of King Solomon,” a mine for the extraction of copper, and it was in this region that the entire trade of the Middle East was concentrated. In the Roman period, the city was called Ayla, and there was a military garrison. The Romans, the Crusaders and the Ottoman Turks tried to take possession of this place. At the time of the proclamation of the independence of Israel, Eilat was in the hands of the Arabs, but soon passed into the possession of Israel, and since then the rapid development of this resort began.
The resort is divided into two parts: the North Shore and the Coral Beach. The north coast is sandy and pebbly beaches. Coral beach is located in a small distance from the city and is public. Coral reef comes to the shore, so the sea needs to go either on the pontoon, or in special shoes.
It is worth noting that Eilat is perfect for families with children. Parents will find than to please their children and their loved ones, too. Entertainment, which can take itself already adult tourists:
Windsurfing , sailing on yachts and sailing boats , diving , sea ??fishing for tuna, barracuda and other large fish. The Red Sea is the most beautiful sea in the world. The underwater world is bright, colorful, and at some point it even seems unreal.
Safari on jeeps and camels in the Negev desert. Feel like a Bedouin!
The Arava Desert. Trips on mini-jeeps and “tractor”, walking on camels and horses, and for the strongest – snapping (rock climbing) and biking trips.
Night life at the resort is very rich: concerts, various shows, clubs and discos, open until the morning.
Not far from the Coral beach is a local landmark – the underwater observatory . This is a kind of “window” in the Red Sea, through which you can see the life of its inhabitants. The complex is located on a very beautiful coral reef, just a few meters from the shore. In the observatory you can admire skates, sharks, turtles and many more kinds of exotic fish and other inhabitants of the Red Sea.
The city of Kings is a biblical theme park, and an entertainment complex in Eilat. To this park-attraction was spent 40 million dollars. The building does not have windows. Visiting the City of Kings, you travel to the past, and even what! – Biblical! You can swim on the boat of King Solomon, visit the cut caves and in ancient Egypt during the times of the pharaohs – in general, to touch, in the literal sense of the word, to historical events.
In Israel, they are trying to restore and recreate past events not only with these theme parks, but also because scientists of this country are trying to “resurrect” the animal and vegetable worlds of ancient Israel. In particular, scientists believe that herbs, plants and trees that grew two thousand years ago had medicinal properties. During the archaeological excavations in the Masada fortress, several dates of the date palm were found. Scientists have asked the archeologists 10 grains in the hope that they will ascend. And, – about a miracle! – one grain really turned out to be viable. A small palm was named “Methuselah” in honor of the biblical long-liver. The whole country, with bated breath, watched the growth of the palm. As a result, she grew by 80 centimeters and acquired nine leaves.
Camel farm. The farm contains about forty camels, on which you can make a trip to the desert and feel like a Bedouin.
The dolphin reef . The only place in Israel where you can swim and take pictures with dolphins. A distinctive feature of the Dolphin reef is that dolphins are not trained to perform tricks with the help of complementary foods, – dolphins are tamed. At the Dolphin Reef, it is possible to underwater diving accompanied by experienced instructors or to rent flippers and a mask.
Recommended hotels: U Coral Beach 4 * , Isrotel Princess Eilat 5 * , Herodes Eilat 5 * , Leonardo Plaza 5 * . From inexpensive hotels with good location I can recommend the following: Americana 3 * , La Playa 4 * , Astral Village 4 * . Located in the city center, near the City of Kings. On the second and third lines. To the sea – 10-15 minutes at a calm pace.
Mild climate, beautiful beaches, a varied excursion program, good hotels with excellent food and animation programs, make this resort the best suitable for rest with children.
The country is known not only for resorts. There are many useful and interesting things in Israel, about which I want to tell. Israel is unique in that the state was formed in 1948, and Jews have lived on this land for two thousand years. According to biblical sources, the progenitor of the Jews was called Jacob or Israel. The greatest prosperity Israel achieved during the reign of the kings David and Solomon. It was Solomon who built the First Temple, which was later destroyed, but we can still observe its remnants in the form of the Wailing Wall even today. After the death of Solomon, a long and devastating period of wars began, as a result of which the Israelis were scattered all over the world. Persians, Greeks, Romans, Turks – all these empires wanted to own the promised land, and why? Because Israel is located at the crossroads from Europe to Asia and Africa. The Israeli people did not lose hope for the acquisition of their state and it became possible only after the end of World War II.
Once in Israel, you must visit Jerusalem. In this city, as in the whole country, many biblical events took place. You can go there yourself, but I’ll tell you about the excursion to the most ancient city on earth.
This tour is one of the most amazing that is possible. Jerusalem was depicted on the maps as the center of the world. It can be divided into three parts: the Old City, surrounded by a wall, East Jerusalem (the place where mostly the Arabs live) and West Jerusalem (here mostly Jews live). Most of the sights are located in the Old City.
The tour begins with the Maslyanichnaya Mountain, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the whole city. You can see the Old City and the ancient wall that it is surrounded with, the Al Aqsa Mosque (the largest mosque in Jerusalem and the third among Islamic shrines after mosques in Mecca and Medina). Then you will go down to the Garden of Gethsemane. In this place witnesses of biblical events are still growing – eight olives. Here is the Church of the Passion of the Lord, in which Jesus prayed before he was captured by the wars of Herod the Great.
After that, bypassing Gehenna Fire, you will enter the Old City, where the most important temple of the Christian world is – the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The road to it lies through a very large covered oriental bazaar. To delay and make purchases there I do not recommend, because you will not have time for this (!), And all goods are of Chinese origin.
Before you go to the Temple, you will come to the Wailing Wall. It is divided into female and male halves. Men are recommended to wear a hat. At the wall of crying, you can leave a note with a request or a wish, – it must be written in advance. You can ask for anything but harm for another person. Notes are kept for a month, then they are collected and buried in an old Jewish cemetery.
And, finally, the last object in this excursion is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The temple was built on the site where Jesus was crucified and buried. In the Temple you can submit a note about health, which you need to write in advance – there will not be an opportunity. You can also consecrate crosses, icons, candles, and almost everything you think is right on the Chrismation Stone for free.
In Israel they say: “Jerusalem is the soul of Israel, Tel-Aviv is his heart.” As long as Jerusalem prays, Tel Aviv works. ” Tel Aviv is the economic and cultural capital of the country. Tel-Aviv reminds of Manhattan and Ibiza simultaneously. This city is suitable for those who need parties and entertainment.
The city lies on the shores of the Mediterranean with a beautiful white and fine sandy flour. In January-February, when, for example, in Netanya the season is already over, Tel Aviv continues to boil and hang out attracting tourists from all over the world. The night life of the city in bars and discos starts after ten in the evening and boils until dawn.
It is believed that it was in Jaffa Noah built the ark, Perseus freed Andromeda, and from here the prophet Jonah set off. It is one of the oldest cities in Israel, which is the port of an ancient state.
The history of Jaffa dates back to the time of Egyptian pharaohs and Roman emperors. For a long time, the main rulers in the city were the Romans, then the Egyptians came to replace them, among them the famous Cleopatra, the Arabs and even Richard the Lionheart. Here Napoleon also visited. In Jaffa there is a street of the Zodiac Signs. If you touch your hand to your sign and look into the distance, the wish will come true.
The flea market in Jaffa will be interesting not only to those who wish to buy antiques, traditional Arabian cotton clothes and other goods for little money, but also those who want to get acquainted with the local leisurely life, saturated with bright colors. The market is located on two streets. Here you can also find numerous souvenir shops and shops with supported things.
Excursions in Israel are so diverse, rich and interesting that you can talk about them for a very long time. I will only tell you about a few – about those that, in my opinion, should be visited necessarily.
Galilee Christian. Galilee is the northernmost part of Israel. The meaning of the word “Galileo” is to roll, wave. This area is referred to both in the Old Testament as a place where “different nations are scattered”, and in the New Testament, according to which the largest part of the life of Jesus Christ passed here, and here he performed eight of the eleven miracles (turning water into wine, taming storm, the saturation of five thousand people with five loaves, the walk of Christ through the Waters, the resurrection of Lazarus and others). During the tour you will visit the city of Nazareth, in which the young Virgin Mary received the good news. On the place where it happened, the church of the Annunciation was built. In this church you can collect water from the holy source for free – you just need to take an empty bottle of water with you.
Then you will go to Cana of Galilee, where the first miracle of Christ was accomplished – the transformation of water into wine at the wedding in Qana.
From Cana, you will make a small transfer to Capernaum. It is an ancient city, the ruins of which are located on the shore of the Sea of ??Galilee. In this city, Jesus began his preaching work, healed and resurrected people. On the shore of the lake was founded the Greek Orthodox monastery and the church of the Twelve Apostles. In this church you can buy very inexpensive and very beautiful icons, candles, pendants. In Jerusalem, the same will cost an order of magnitude more. The road next to the lake leads to the small town of Migdal, where the harlot Mary Magdalene lived.
From Capernaum, your road will go to Tabgha – here, according to the Gospel, Jesus performed the miracle of multiplying bread and fish, feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. Here, after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his apostles and gave Peter the duties of the head of his church. On the very shore of the lake was erected a church. Inside the temple there is a huge stone called Mensa Cristi (The Table of Christ). It was in this place that Jesus appeared to his disciples, and it was on this stone that they tasted food.
Then you will visit one of the most beautiful and stunning places – the Jordan, located on the Jordan River. This is the place of Jesus’ baptism. Here you can take a bath. Bathing is possible only in clothes, since nothing should distract pilgrims. Shirts can be bought here, for about $ 20. I recommend taking bathing clothes with you or asking the guide to stop at a souvenir shop in Nazareth, where it will cost a lot less (the cost of a shirt is from $ 6). As a rule, lunch is not included in the price of this excursion. You can take your food with you or dine at a wonderful cafe where you will be served with delicious fish.
So why go to Israel?
1. Year-round holiday season
2. A wonderful geographical position: the country is washed by four seas!
3. The country is a legend. Huge number of historical places
4. Visa is not needed
5. Rich excursion program
6. A variety of tour programs:
– Dead Sea Treatment + excursion program
– Treatment on the dead sea + Eilat
– Jerusalem + Eilat + The Dead Sea
– Jerusalem
7. Rest for all categories of tourists (rest with children, rest without children, youth rest, quiet rest, treatment)
8. Different duration of tours: from three days
9. You can get to Israel from Egypt (Taba), Cyprus, Turkey

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