We first arrived in Tel Aviv, went to the hostel and dumped our bags. We went for a walk to find food (obviously, everything is always food related) and walked through the Carmel Market towards the restaurant House of Hummus. It’s on TripAdvisor’s top 10 cheap eats in Tel Aviv and so of course we had to go. We had shakshuka (a tomato-based dish with eggs and spices) and a big bowl of garlic hummus with pita bread and salad between two of us. It made quite an impression on us as our first meal in Israel and it was only £7 each. This combined with the soft sandy beach made us immediately like Israel and all it has to offer.
We stayed in the best hostel, Florentine backpackers hostel https://www.florentinehostel.com
Breakfast included and tip-based dinners. Cheap drinks, 2 big bottles of beer during happy hour cost 20 shackles which is £4.40. So of course we drank every night and spent most of our money on beer at the hostel to be honest.
The people were so nice and most of the people we met, we either travelled with or saw in different places around Israel, such as Uddy who became our travel B-Uddy.
Wild night out in Tel Aviv for Halloween, I ended up at the club by myself at 5 o’clock in the morning as you do. I made it back safe and sound though, woke up the next morning with a bit of a hangover and less money in my bank as Tel Aviv is not cheap to go out and buy drinks. Oh well.
We went to Jerusalem, the Holiest of Holy lands. Arrived on the Friday, went for food at McDonald’s, honestly the best McDonalds I’ve ever had. There were loads of vegan options for Noel and I had a mega burger which was so big I could barely finish it, but I did. Then I slept the entire afternoon, because, hangover.
It was nice to just walk around Jerusalem and explore the old city, the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, when we figured out how and when we could go. Dome of the rock is only open for tourists in the morning 7:30 – 10:30 am & 12-30 – 13:30 pm in the winter, so we left at 8:30 and spent about an hour just roaming around the grounds because you’re not allowed inside the building unless you’re Muslim.
We did a day trip to Masada National Park, Ein Gedi & the Dead Sea. The bus left at 3 in the morning and got us to Masada for 5 so we could hike to watch the sunrise. I thought I was going to die. It was so steep and a lot of steps, but I made it eventually and was very proud of myself and enjoyed the nice sunrise over the Dead Sea. It was worth the pain.
We caught the bus to Eilat which took 5 hours. In Eilat we went to the beach, chilled and went scuba diving for the first time. Clarity Diving Club were lovely people, very laid back, chilled place and helped me with my breathing and my fear of not being able to breathe. It was an amazing experience and I saw an octopus which I thought was really cool.
We went on another hike through the red canyon even though Noel said no more hikes, but here we are, still doing at least 2 a week.
I liked the fact that you can get a Rav Card at the airport when you arrive and you can pay public transport with this all over the country. We had a few problems with it sometimes not knowing why it wouldn't work when there was money on it, but otherwise, very handy.
Overall I would highly recommend going to Israel. Cheap food, nice people and lovely nature.
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