Trip to the Promise Land
The Promise Land - Jerusalem, Israel
When we first moved to Italy I had this dream of going to Israel. It seemed so far fetched at first. Tickets were always expensive or it was listed as a place Nick could not travel too. So we explored Europe and then we were looking at where we wanted to go for our last two week adventure overseas and I thought well... Now would be our last chance to go to Israel. We found great tickets with Easyjet for about $155 round trip for the both of us. We also decided we would hit two other countries within the two weeks to round out the trip! And let me tell you, Israel was by far my most favorite trip and country! Between the culture, history, food, and how nice the people were by the end of our week there we were ready to move in!
Most people told us to stay in Tel Aviv but I really wanted to be in the heart of it all in Jerusalem. We booked a private room at a nearby hostel which also provided a shuttle ride to and from the airport and continental breakfast. Now many of my friends probably not so much my family (don't worry grandma it was perfectly safe) know that we stay at hostels all the time when we travel! They are super affordable, rooms are always clean, and the breakfast is always local ingredients which we love! Hostels also offer tons of activities and more times then not we make awesome friends! So if you haven't yet don't count them out while traveling especially in Israel.
Where We Stayed:
Abraham Hostel - Jerusalem: We LOVED our stay here. Our room was nice we had our own private bathroom and the fresh hummus, veggies, and juice in the morning was perfect! They also offered a FREE walking tour of Old City Jerusalem and you can book tons of excursions and workshops through them. We booked the "Sunrise Masada Hike, Eni Gedi, & Dead Sea Tour through them. We also last minute signed up for their workshop "How to make homemade Hummus". YUMMMMMA Overall though we were located 15 min walking distance from old city and a very short 5 min walk from the Mahane Yehuda Market.
Abraham Hostel - Tel Aviv : We did stay two night in Tel Aviv to be close to the airport when flying out. This hostel was so so nice they offer deals on rates if you stay at more then one of their chains. But this one is defiantly more modern and updated then the one in Jerusalem. HUGE breakfast and the roof top deck was great for killing time! They also offer shuttles into Jerusalem and tours to book
Old City is so incredibly beautiful and underrated. Just walking down the the streets you feel like you are transported to a different world. We started with the free walking tour by our hostel but they also gave us to option to join a more detailed and longer tour of old city. For shackles of course. But it was so worth it. The tour covered the Via Della Rosa, for those who don't know, that is the walk that Jesus made on his way to be crucified and boy is it emotional. Temple Mount and the Church of the holy Sepulchre. As well our tour guide gave us a ton of amazing facts and history.
After the tour we made our way on our own to Mount of Olives. It was quiet the hike to get here from where we were in Old City but the views were beyond worth it. As well it is where Jesus ascended into Heaven from after raising from the dead.
What We Ate:
Hummus: I'm pretty sure we ate our weight in hummus. It is so fresh and good everywhere you go especially with fresh pitta bread! I'm drooling just remembering it.
Shamburak: Basically it's a stuffed bread filled with yumminess. Theres a photo below to make you hungry and jump on a plane to go eat some!
Halva: The best desert ever! It's sweet but also sometimes salty and comes in soooo many flavors. Hit up the market to taste them all!
Pomegranate Juice: So I know this isn't a food but oh my gosh! I've never seen poms like these ever before! The market is filled with all types of fruits but this juice was by far the best!
Don't worry there are pictures below of alllllllll these yummys!
Besides eating our hearts out and roaming around Old City we also did a sunrise Masada hike, an Ein Gedi hike, and floated for 2 hours in the dead sea. Which I will write a blog post all about as I got way to click happy on my camera about all three but here is a list of our favorite things we saw and places we stopped at in Jerusalem.
Along with many more picture of each of the listed. Because if you didn't photograph it, did it really happen?!?!
Things To See/Do:
Walk the Via Delarosa
Mount of Olives
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Mahane Yehuda Market
Cirty of David
Walk the shops through Old City
Where We Ate At:
Ishtabach: This place was recommended by our hostel and it was where we got those yummy shamburaks. It’s a definite must. The restaurant is small but so cute. They also gave us a free flavored tahini after as desert. Great pricing to.
BurgerMarket: Before you judge why we ate burgers in Israel we were walking through the market and this place was packed! And it smelled amazing! They were some of the best burgers we have ever had! I little more on the higher priced side but after a long day of site seeing it was just what we needed
Tahini’s Hummus: if you LOVE hummus go here! It was so yummy and so many hummus flavors to choose from
We also just picked random places in old city to eat at or grab quick foods while touring around. For our excursions we packed water and fresh fruit from the Mahane Yehuda Market.
We spent a week roaming around the beautiful country of Israel and we look forward to going back and seeing more! While it was a really emotional and spiritual trip I want to say that there was a big stigma about it not being a safe country to go visit. A lot of our family was really worried about us traveling here but out of all the countries we have traveled to, we honestly felt that we had never been and felt safer than in Jerusalem. We were never worried about being in a specific part of town or needing to be near our hostel before dark. We actually went and strolled the streets at night and enjoyed the quietness of it all. So go visit this amazing country because we will defiantly be back again!
If you have any questions feel free to leave them below!