On April 4, 2019 I got on my flight to go visit three sweet girls I met at a crepe shop in Amsterdam. They are teachers in Israel and they were able to give me a tour while I visited! Before I met up with Sarah, Skye, and Gabi I went to a Shabbat dinner at my hostel in Tel Aviv, Israel. Shabbat means time of rest in Hebrew. The people of Israel celebrate Shabbat on Friday after work with a big dinner. Normal Shabbat dinners include chick peas, squash, zucchini, rice, spicy chicken and other flavorful dishes. After my hostel celebrated Shabbat together I went to hit the hay for my early Masada sunrise tour at 3am.
Morning came fast. Mostly because the drunk 19 year old sorority girls decided to pregame in the hostel and then one of the boys came back in shambles stating that he was a bad kisser while crying. So of course I had to console with this lost soul. Anywho, we loaded into the bus to begin our journey to the Masada district. This is a hike up a treacherously steep mountain to view the Dead Sea while seeing the sunrise over it. Boy I probably sweated more than a mother giving birth for the first time. The view was so worth it though. The left over structures from the kingdom at the top of the Masada mountain were extremely unique as well.
I met two amazing girls on the next location that we went to. This location is a natural reserve for animals and nature, called Ein Ghedi. We had very little time here so we had to hurry!! We saw such cute goats and little woodland animals in this reserve. At the end we got to visit three amazing waterfalls that were absolutely beautiful. We spent so much time at the waterfalls; we had to run down the path to find our tour bus back.
We made it just in time for our next stop to soak, float, and bloat in the Dead Sea. *btw do not get a Brazilian wax before entering the Dead Sea because the salt content will almost kill you* it has the highest salt content of any lake, sea, or river. It is also the lowest point on earth. From this combination you will float on top of the water without trying. It is also called the Dead Sea because there are no living animals in it from the salt potency. This was just an out of the body experience. I couldn’t believe I was actually floating on top of the water. It was like a force was just holding me up and not allowing me to go under. I also took advantage of the mud minerals and caked my body with the mud to come back to the USA looking like a newborn. These minerals are not found anywhere else in the world and people pay big money to use them for anti aging and skin product.
After adventuring the Dead Sea I got a taxi to my friends' apartment! Sarah and Skye welcomed me into their apartment and we went out of pasta that evening with Gabi! We stayed up all night talking and planning our adventures for the next day. We decided to go to Tel Aviv’s beach to soak up the sun.
The next day we visited the Shook in Tel Aviv before I went to Jerusalem to explore the Holy city. The Shook is a huge outdoor market with fresh spices, baked goods, food, clothing, and handmade jewelry. I got the cutest bangles for my mom here and some spices for my dad.
Jerusalem was a dream come true. There are four quarters in the Holy City for all 4 religions, the Christian Quarter, Muslim Quarter, Catholic Quarter, and Jewish Quarter. Everyone is so welcoming and accepting of each other. I couldn’t believe how close these quarters were either. Everyone was so happy and most importantly everyone was kind to each other. The Muslim Quarter was my favorite. The Dome of the Rock is a famous Instagram worthy location that I got to visit. Not everyone gets to visit this place and I was lucky I was invited in. I did have to wear a long skirt and scarf to cover up my skin to keep the temple as holy as possible.
This trip was so insane and I’m so glad I went out of my comfort zone to the Middle East. People are so quick to judge other countries and Israel shocked me so much in the best way possible. So thankful for these memories.