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Thread: Recent Trip to Israel Part III

  1. #1
    Senior Member Larry's Avatar
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    Cool Recent Trip to Israel Part III

    After two weeks in Israel including one week in Eilat and a week in Jeruselem ( see part I and II of my posting on Recent Trip to Israel),my wife had to leave after two weeks and took a flight back to NY early Sunday Morning as I headed to another timeshare week in Tiberius overlooking the sea of Galilee and touring of the northern part of Israel..




    Timeshare in Tiberius


    Sunday Morning I checked out of the Dan Panorama Hotel and picked up my Hyundai compact car at the Avis office next to the King David hotel which I used for eight days of touring the northern part of Israel with Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee as my home base. I was glad I got a compact car as gas in Israel was over $9 per litter, The ride out of Jerusalem was confusing until I finally reached the highway near the Dead Sea and then headed north which took me straight to Tiberius, The ride was a little over two hours even with a couple of wrong turns getting out of Jerusalem.

    I stayed at the Club Hotel Tiberius in a one BR timeshare with a limited tiny kitchen. Although it is listed as a 1BR it really had a small entry way with a tiny kitchen and decent size bathroom and then one big room divided by a partition with pocket doors creating two sleeping areas. Each area had two single beds with the second being the Master and leading out to a nice Balcony overlooking a decent pool and gorgeous views of the Sea of Galilee. The entire resort is built into a hillside offering outstanding views from almost anywhere at the resort. When I checked into the registration area and nice size lobby I was actually on the 10th floor of the resort. I was checked in immediately at around 2:00 PM even though check in was listed as 5:00PM on my II confirmation. I asked for a high floor with a nice view and was assured that was what I was getting. When I got to the Elevator with the bellman who had my luggage, I was first dismayed as the elevator was going DOWN!!! However once I got to my sixth floor room directly overlooking views to die for of the Sea and pool area I really didn’t care that the furniture and overall accommodations would be considered disappointing by most, with two small areas for sleeping and two small TV’s suspended on brackets almost all the way up on the ceiling. I really didn’t care as watching TV was not high on my list of activities.

    Besides the room I was very pleased with the common areas of the resort including. Lobby with wall to ceiling windows, dining room, again with wall to ceiling views and pool area. They also had a bar with light menu like Pizza, sandwiches, and salads were I ate twice during the week. Food at the resort was just OK to very bad as I had one of the worst breakfast buffet’s ever on my last day. That was my only complaint since Tiberius has some outstanding restaurants but none within walking distance. Although I had a car I was by myself for the week as my wife had to go home after our week in Jerusalem and I hate eating alone in restaurants. The only dinner I had in Tiberius was with my cousin and her daughter that came to visit during the week. She is the youngest sister of my two other cousins that I met up with in Jerusalem and she and her family live about 30 to 40 minutes from Tiberius. Fresh fish known as St. Peter’s fish from the Sea of Galilee was fantastic. Actually, Dinner buffet Friday night at the resort was actually pretty good as well.

    The resort also had a great kid’s program as it was primarily geared towards Israeli families and had very few tourists at the timeshare, The entire resort filled up for the weekend and I actually needed to park in the overflow parking lot on a dirt road beyond the regular paved lot. Every night they had two shows first for kids and then at 9:30 or 10:00 PM for adults however little kids were there every night with their parents. Shows were actually very good even though they were mostly in Hebrew which I don’t understand however they were primarily singers and dancers and comparable to most shows at all inclusive resorts that I have been to in Mexico or the Caribbean,

    Monday morning I headed out for the city of Tzfat. The views leaving Tiberius of the Sea of Galilee were spectacular. Tzafat, like many Israeli cities has changed over the years from a small spiritual village to a medium sized city with a newer area of high rise buildings which I skipped and went straight to the “old city” and artist’s colony which was much like what I remembered from my visit during college summer vacation than 40 years ago. I explored the entire area and its quaint shops, art galleries and artist colony as well as a couple of ancient synagogues in the old city. I purchased several gifts for my grandchildren including a Boston Red Sox T shirt for my 3 year old grandson with the RED Sox logo and lettering written in both English and Hebrew. I also bought some sterling silver gifts for my family as well as some gifts for me. I returned later during the week to pick up a couple of more items and would have purchased some art if my wife would have been with me to help pick out the right painting. I got back to the timeshare at around 5:00 PM and would have gone for a quick dip in the pool but found out it closes at 5 every day except for weekends when it was open till 7:00 PM. That was disappointing since it was still about 85 degrees out when I got back from a day of touring and would have been nice to cool off in the pool.

    The next day was absolutely amazing as I toured the Galilee including Golan and the Golan Heights. My first stop was at the visitor’s center for the Galilee where the entire area is lush with fruit trees, flowers and greenery throughout the valley. They have wineries. Fruit farms, dairy farms, rivers, streams, water falls, snow skiing in winter and of course The Sea of Galilee. I could have spent an entire week just touring this gorgeous area of Israel.

    At the visitor’s center I saw a great Cinemax movie describing the entire area and what it has to offer. They also had a model of the Galilee with a narrated history of the area including the Golan and Golan Heights area captured from Syria during the six day war. I then toured the ancient ruins of the village of Qazrin uncovered by Israeli archeologists which was fascinating. One mistake that I made was not filling up with gas before proceeding further in my exploration of the area.

    I had an ambitious plan but only got to see one other site of the 6 that I had listed from the visitor’s center. However the trip up from the valley to Mt. Bental was awesome with curving roads leading up the mountain and seeing one “WOW” after another.

    Finally arriving at the top of the mountain in the Golan Heights was sobering to say the least. This was one of several Syrian points from which they were shelling the Israeli villages in the valley below during the last war. The vantage point and bunkers at the top of the mountain appeared to be indefensible and how it was ever captured by Israel is amazing. I spent about an hour at the top of the mountain looking down at the valley from every vantage point and then explored the bunkers and mock military figures and guns all around the area. There had been an Israeli army group that gave a presentation in English of the strategic military vantage point to a tour group that I just caught at the very end and missed most of the presentation. I then proceeded down the mountain and both admired and felt the pain of the view of the area known as “valley of tears” for all of the lost lives during the war.

    I had planned on stopping at least one more site of an ancient synagogue on my way back to Tiberius but it was getting late and I was down to ¼ tank of gas. I noticed a gas station on my map at a chocolate factory about 20 kilometers away which was also in the direction that I was going. When I got there it was more like a farm off a dirt road with to attendant and gas pumps with instructions only in Hebrew. I honked the horn several times and then decided to just go to the next area on the map which was about 30 kilometers away on the road back to Tiberius. I was starting to panic as I was in the middle of nowhere on a back country road as my gas tank was close to empty. I then spotted 3 young women hitchhiking on the road and stopped and asked were they were going but also wanted to know were the next gas station was?

    Fortunately they all spoke English as they were students at a Hebrew University and one of them knew where the gas station was, Again this gas station was off road on a farm with no attendant and all of the instructions in Hebrew but my 3 Israeli "angels”, came to my rescue and we filled up with gas ( about $70 when I did the conversion from shekels to dollars for my compact car) and we were off to Tiberius which is were they were headed as well. I told them that I would call my wife that night and tell her about the three gorgeous women I picked up in the Golan Heights that saved the day for me.

    After getting back to my timeshare I relaxed had pizza by the bar then went to a very nice show with an Israeli singer at the timeshare nightclub. She did a two our show with the staff dancers who got guests up and dancing.

    The next day I went back to Tzafat for some more shopping and had a ring I bought cut down to fit perfectly as it started slipping off my finger when I was in the shower. From there I proceeded to the seaside city on the Mediterranean Sea of Nahariyat and then north to Rosh Haniqra which is gorgeous with its white cliffs, pounding surf and caves beneath the rocks which I explored for over an hour. I also watched a twenty minute movie of the history of Rosh Haniqra which had just concluded in Hebrew and ten minutes later started again in English. I wanted to also go to Acre but one of my cousins and her daughter were coming to visit me at the timeshare at 4:00 PM so I had a late lunch by the Mediterranean Sea just about ½ kilometer from the Lebanese border at Rosh Haniqra.
    When I got back at around 3:30 my cousin called that she would be late but would arrive at 5:00 PM. She and her daughter as well as her 3 month old granddaughter arrived exactly on time and after exchanging family pictures and talking in the lobby for about an hour we headed for the promenade area of the center of Tiberius about 2 miles from the Club Hotel and went to a nice fish restaurant and got an outdoor table facing the Sea. We all had the local favorite grilled to perfection St. Peter’s fish served whole head, bones and all and it was outstanding. That night there was another show which was enjoyable even though the singer comedian did all of his jokes in Hebrew which I didn’t understand. His singing was international with French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and of course Hebrew and was very good. He asked everyone where they were from and then sang a song in their language.

    The next day I headed back to the Mediterranean Sea and spent the day exploring Acre with its fortress overlooking the Sea, Jewish prisoner’s Museum and the underground city beneath the city of Acre. I also spent about an hour in the Arab Shouk which was like a maze trying to find my way back to the visitor’ enter where I had entered to give back my hand held English tour speaker guide.

    I got back to the Club Hotel at around 5:00 PM and it was so packed with the start of the weekend crowd that I needed to park in the overflow dirt parking lot but was able to finally enjoy the pool for about an hour before getting ready for dinner.

    That night was the best show of the week as it was in Hebrew but all of the songs of this off Broadway type musical were in English including songs from Mama Mia, Grease, West Side Story, etc.

    Friday morning and afternoon wee spent in Tiberius for more shopping and just walking around the promenade. Friday afternoon was extremely hot so I spent the rest of the day back at the pool. Saturday morning I went to the on site Synagogue for services then lunch in the dining room and again spent the afternoon at the pool reading my mystery novel and taking frequent swimming breaks in the over 90 degree heat.

    Sunday Morning I asked for a late check out of 12:00PM which was granted with “No problem”, I then headed back to Tel Aviv and stayed at a hotel just 10 minutes from the airport requesting a 1:00 AM wake up call giving me plenty of time to shower and get ready to return my Avis rental car for my 5:00 AM flight back home.

    I had a fantastic time and give the room a rating of only 5, the views from my balcony a 10 and the amenities at the resort including nightly entertainment an 8.5. The location which was the main reason for taking this exchange is a 10 ++++.
    LARRY

  2. #2
    Senior Member Larry's Avatar
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    Cool Recent trip to Israel

    I will add pictures as I have so many I will need to choose through my album
    for the best ones and post as soon as I'm done.
    LARRY

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