Photographic Tour of Israel

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I recently went to Israel for a my cousins’ wedding. Here are my experiences.

Our family arrived at Ben Gurion Airport and met up with my other sister who arrived in Israel, ordered a taxi drive to Jerusalem and checked into a hotel near our cousins’ apartment.


Little House In Bakah

After unpacking at the hotel, we went to out cousin’s apartment for Shabbat* dinner. On Saturday, I went on a walking tour of Jerusalem and saw the first ever train station in the Middle East. (By the way, if it seems like some of my time in Israel wasn’t particularly eventful, it’s because I spent a lot of time in my hotel napping and working on homework.)

[Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train station]

On Sunday, my family went on another walking tour of Jerusalem, this time to some of the older parts of the city. Jerusalem is on of the world’s oldest cities, existing since Biblical times. Various ruins of the city are shown below.

[Miscellaneous ruins in Jerusalem]

[The supposed place where Jesus was tried for crimes against the Romans]

[Jerusalem’s oldest man-made artifact]

On the tour, I also got to see a view of the Jerusalem skyline, including sights of the city’s many synagogues, churches and mosques.

[Jerusalem skyline]

[Mosque in Jerusalem]

[Church in Jerusalem]

[Synagogue in Jerusalem]

On Monday, my family toured Jaffa, a region of Tel-Aviv. Since Jaffa has historically been a port city, it is near and has ties to the sea.

[Jaffa beach]

[Boats at Jaffa]

[Location where future Pope John determined that non-kosher** foods are religiously permissible to eat]

[“Sea Mosque” in Jaffa]

[Jaffa clock tower]

[The Setai hotel, formerly the prison where Ikeman*** was held for war crimes]

In Jaffa, my family ate at a restaurant called The Old Man and the Sea (named after an Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name), where I got to taste Israeli cuisine, including the iconic falafels and humus. What struck me as most interesting about the restaurant is the appetizers. Specifically, there were a lot of appetizer dishes (shown below).

[The Old Man and the Sea]

[Appetizers at The Old Man and the Sea]

On our way back to Jerusalem, we stopped at the newly-moved American embassy there.

[New American embassy in Jerusalem]

On Tuesday, I visited the Kotel (Western Wall), the last standing piece of the ancient Temple****.

[The Kotel, emptier than usual because I visited soon after Sukkot*****]

For the rest of the day, I got prepared for and went to my cousins’ wedding (no pictures shown to protect the privacy of my family members).

In conclusion, though Israel is a small country infamous for its political conflicts, it has many great sights to offer and a deep history to delve into. I would recommend doing your own research about the country and perhaps visiting it yourself if you ever get the opportunity.

P.S. One thing I notices throughout the trip was the large amounts of wildcats in Israel. In just the few days I was there, I counted 28 of them. Though they are an issue for the Israeli ecosystem and urban environment, they are also quite cute.

[Wildcat at Jaffa]

*The Jewish Sabbath, lasting from Friday night until Saturday night

**Koshrut is the set of dietary laws described in the Bible which many Jews eat by. A kosher food is a food which observers of koshrut may eat.

***A Nazi official partially responsible for the Holocaust

****In the days of Ancient Israel, the Israelites (predecessors of modern-day Jews), used the Temple as their main worship place to connect with God. Though the Temple has no significance in the present practice of Judaism, many Jews still consider it the most important location in all of Judaism.

*****Sukkot (also known as the Festival of Booths) is a Jewish holiday in which many Jews visit the Kotel. Most Jews around the time of year in which I visited Israel who want to visit the Kotel would do so on Sukkot, not a few days afterward like I did.

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