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israel...an amazing place


By reanns80
Joined: Mar 23, 2011
Posts: 1

Posted on: March 23, 2011 at 7:27AM

I have recently returned from an amazing trip to Israel and already I have booked flights to return. I must start by saying that I was overwhelmed and touched by the sincerity and friendliness of the people in Israel. They are by far the most generous and considerate people I have ever been lucky enough to meet. Whether they are of Arab, Armenian, Muslim, Catholic, Jewish or Christian decent or belief they all hold one thing in common, love. We started our journey in Haifa, one night was more than enough and I would recommend taking a trip to Akko; an ancient, port city surrounded by water. It was like taking a step back in time where the high walled alleys, underground passages and fortresses all bare the mark of many nations that has left behind a series of impressive buildings. The stunning and breathtaking panoramas of the Bahai World centre is also well worth a visit. Next we travelled to Nazareth, where we stayed in the most charming guest house that was very inexpensive and the location was perfect. The Fauzi Azar Inn is a 200 year old converted Arab mansion situated in the old city. The building has such character and warmth and the staff were unbelievably helpful. We decided to hire a car and take a trip to Tiberius, one of the most enchanting places I have ever been purely because of the tranquil, peaceful waters of the Galilean sea. We spent the majority of our time in Jerusalem. At the gates of the old city they were offering “free tours” which we had heard good things about. However after speaking to a couple who had experienced this particular tour we were informed that they were heavily based on souvenir shops, cafés etc where the guides would gain commission. We decided to use a Guide that was recommended to us instead, we quickly agreed a very inexpensive price for a 3 hour tour of all the sites in the area. At first the guide was serious and almost military like but it quickly became apparent that he had enormous passion and love for his city. Many of the churches and sites closed quite early but to our surprise he was able to access the keys and gain us entrance to most of these. His Armenian connections came in very useful and he seemed to know all the nuns, priests and caretakers. We were also very touched that he had many heated discussions with shop keepers, waiters and even a monk because they were trying to rip us off by putting the prices up on their merchandise. He was also very considerate and even arranged for us to be blessed in the tomb of Jesus Christ (The church of the Holy Sepulchre) and to take Holy Communion in the church where Jesus Christ sweated blood the night before his crucifixion. (One of the most special things I have ever done.) Nine hours later we were still seeing extraordinary things that were in no guide book or in no other tour... and he did not expect a penny more than we had originally agreed. Suhiel is a truly inspiring person of integrity; he is very proud of Jerusalem and loves sharing it with others. I would highly recommend that you arrange a tour with him if you can. He can be contacted by phoning 524653987. I am taking my mother to Jerusalem in May and I refuse to use anyone else but him to show us the amazing sites of this city. Bethlehem was also very moving and a must see, you will drive past the west bank, a huge wall dividing the Palestinians from the Israelis. The Refuge camps and poverty that we stumbled across was a steep contrast from the opulence and wealth we had experienced only a few miles before. The Dead Sea is a truly magnificent experience and one that can not be described…The drive through the dessert where you will see camels on your left and the river Jordon to you right, amazing! Even though there are some severe conflicts in this wonderful place I have never felt such peace. Even though the threat levels are portrayed as being high I have never felt so safe and even though there is a serious divide of an enormous wall the bridge of love and a hand of kindness are never far away. I have been to many countries around the world, some have “touched” my heart deeply but for some reason this place has “kept” my heart. Please do not be put off by the exaggerations of the media, like London and New York everywhere has it’s problems, the only difference here is the very present soldiers, check points around every corner and extra security measures at the airport actually makes you feel very safe and they are never over bearing. Be sensible as if you were going anywhere else, this place is truly wonderful. report a problem

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