Spring break was AMAZING. Magical, even. I got a chance to go to Israel with 19 other classmates and I really can’t imagine doing anything better during that week (I can’t believe it has already been a month since, wow). Our schedule was jam packed with activities giving us a wide range of experiences all around the country and we were all raving about it when we got back.
I’m breaking down the trip into multiple posts since there is just so much to share. Let’s start off with the first two days! Friday night I boarded a plane to Istanbul and met five of the others on our trip. We had a short 1 hour layover before flying off to Tel Aviv and arriving at night in time to catch Purim (it’s like Halloween!).
The next day, we bused over to Jerusalem and toured the Western Wall tunnels and Machane Yehuda market. At night, it was Purim time again, since apparently they stagger celebrations and it was Jerusalem’s turn to party. The market by day became an outdoor club by night!
This was my first time being in Tom Bradley since they renovated! This piece of art hung overhead as we lined up for security.
On the plane, I opted for chicken as my first meal.
After about 12 hours on the plane, we ate breakfast prior to landing in Istanbul for a layover.
My remote didn’t work so I couldn’t watch any shows, but I did watch the map for a long time.
On the Istanbul to Tel Aviv leg, we all got a quick snack.
First glimpse of Tel Aviv from the air!!
As we got closer to the airport, we saw more of Tel Aviv upon descent.
At the Metropolitan Hotel, the rest of our party was busy pre-partying before heading out for Purim!
We got in late so there wasn’t much food left.
Out we went to party on the streets (mainly Rothschild)! We even brought our sign. 😉
Photo cred: “Mr. Photogenic”
I borrowed a friend’s V for Vendetta mask for a bit as we got pizza on the way back to the hotel.
The next morning, we got our first glimpse of the beach before leaving Tel Aviv for Jerusalem.
There were all these towns on hills that I barely captured on the right here.
Our day tour for the day was the Western Wall tunnels. Check out the giant cemetery in the distance.
Underneath the tunnels were arches that are veeeery old. This used to be a bath.
This is where they uncovered a bath and water mysteriously filled it up! Our tour guide Shani was there for the excavation. (He’s awesome btw!!)
After all that time underground, it was nice to come back out to the daylight.
We then took some time to visit the wall and write our wishes to stuff in the cracks.
The men’s side was disproportionately larger for some reason… ahem.
Up against the wall, you’ll hear plenty of chirping from the birds that are chilling on the plants and cracks.
After the Western Wall, it was back on the bus to go over to Machane Yehuda for lunch and browsing.
On our way to the market! Who knew that later tonight it would be a raging Purim party?
They turned this post into a FB icon.
Dinner that night was at a nice fancy place, Mona Restaurant.
Check out our awesome security guard for the day! He may have had a gun, but he was the sweetest (and who could resist that crown?). 🙂
Back to the market that night for some dancing!
These crazies got on top of the bus stop awning and I was so scared it would break.
I spotted Mary Poppins! Her costume was SO GOOD.
And that wrapped up the first full day of being in Israel. It was only the start to something truly special. I’ll try to get the other posts up quickly…