Thursday, January 26, 2017

Israel Travelogues: On The Road


First impressions of Eilat

As people were getting off from the bus you could see that in Eilat there are hotels for every price range- which is quite optimal because regardless of one`s travel budget one can visit the place. What I saw later in Jerusalem was that the price value ratio is much better in Jerusalem than in Eilat. I experienced it especially during my last night which was a bit of a disappointment but luckily my first night in Israel which set the tone for the whole trip wasn`t.

I stayed at Motel Aviv which was within five minutes walking distance from the central bus station. I was satisfied with the place and I can recommend it to others visiting Eilat. The staff at the reception was friendly, the lobby looked good, the WiFi was working. The room was simple but clean, there was a TV, a fridge in it, the bathroom looked good and was clean as well.

After checking in I bought my bus ticket for the next day. It was a good idea to buy it in the evening as the receptionist suggested because the bus was completely full the next day. The ticket cost seventy shekels (approx. seventeen euros). It was already dark so I did not see too much from the city that night but my first impressions of Eilat were quite positive. The people I met were helpful, they spoke English at the ticket office and it was safe to walk alone in the center. The weather was the same as in spring in Europe. When I ate my dinner later on the hotel terrace I could sit in a jacket and a T-shirt, no jumper was needed. There was also a pool on the hotel terrace which was up and functioning.

Surprise Sunrise

I set my alarm clock for 6 am in order to be able to have a coffee before going to the bus. There was no breakfast at the hotel but this no breakfast meant actually a free Italian breakfast-like breakfast with coffee, tea and waffles. I am not sure if it is a local habit but also at the hostel in Jerusalem there was a coffee machine and tea what you could use all day long as much you wanted.

As I was getting ready I opened the window and to my surprise I saw the beautiful sunrise you can see on the photos below. Somehow I thought that it will be still pitch-dark and the sun will rise only later. The night before I did not even realize that my room had a mountain view because I was too much occupied with getting my photo gear ready for the next day in Jerusalem. Hunting for plugs was interesting because there was some script in red in Hebrew with some plugs and arrows on it but I could not understand it and I did not see any plugs anywhere in the room. So in the end I unplugged the TV and charged the camera battery and my phone there.

At the breakfast there were two Polish ladies besides me who were traveling later with the same bus to Jerusalem. The man working at the reception prepared my coffee which was a really kind gesture and there was just the same good atmosphere in the hotel in the morning as it was the evening before.
Good that I had my water and some food with me for the trip from the previous day because they did not accept credit cards at the shops at the bus station. The bus station itself was surprisingly small, I expected something bigger because of the amount of tourists in Eilat. 

Quite many young soldiers (guys and girls too) were traveling on the bus with us. I was a bit intimidated when I saw the first guy with a gun on his shoulder standing in front of me in the line. It was the first time in my life that I saw a shotgun from this close in an everyday situation. On the other hand the soldiers traveling with us were behaving just like normal everyday young people. And since they were not aggressive or arrogant, after seeing the third, forth etc. soldier you got used to them being around very fast. After a while I felt even safer thinking that these people can be our personal body guards in case something bad would happen. The bus left Eilat in time and we had a great outlook on the Red Sea as we left the city. The trip took four and a half hours during which we crossed the Negev desert,  passed by kibbutzes, palm groves and the Dead Sea and finally we arrived in Jerusalem at the end.

Next: On the way to Jerusalem. 

No comments:

Post a Comment