Toronto to Tel Aviv

Toronto to Tel Aviv

I picked up Matt and Becca Baker at their home and the three of us drove to Toronto to catch our flight to Tel Aviv.  Toronto to Tel Aviv is cheaper than JFK (New York City) to Tel Aviv.  So, we’re doing it this way.

Whoa!  When I got to the airport, long term parking is EXPENSIVE here.  I’m beginning to wonder if it was such a good deal to fly from here.  Oh, but we’re splitting the parking expense.  It might workout okay.

Matt and Becca made it on the flight and we met up with John and Linda at the Toronto Airport.  We’re all going to be on the same plane together.

The Flight

The people at Air Canada are nice and friendly.  The plane is a new Boeing 787, however, I am not impressed with the cabin.  They took the cheap way out.  I’m sure it is fun for the pilots and perhaps the crew, but here’s what isn’t good about Air Canada’s rendition of the 787…

  1. The seats are too narrow.
  2. The seats are too close together.  (Delta probably has barely 12″.  I think this had about 9″ between the front of the seat and the back of the seat in front of you.  For a size 11 foot… that’s not enough.)
  3. For a brand new model, the air quality still sucks.  When will they figure out how to fix the smells and stuffiness on an airliner?

Tel Aviv

We touched down in Tel Aviv and were on our way to pass through the passport checks and getting our luggage.

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On Our Way Out of the Airport
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Passing Through Passport Checks
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Passing Through Passport Checks

We got our rental car in Tel Aviv and they discovered it had a leaky roof.  So, we had to wait about an hour for them to find and clean a van for us.

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Worn out from the flight
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Jumpy – A good name for this van
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In the Van en Route to Jerusalem

The van is a Citroen Jumpy.  It’s a fitting name for a van with a Jumpy clutch.

Jerusalem

We arrived at the Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem, got checked in, and took some time to get settled.  I’m in a 4-bed dorm room, and so far, it looks like only one other person is in it.

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Father Abraham

The dorm room was too small to photograph and not impressive, but above you can see the hallway.  But, for the price… it isn’t bad.  5 nights for about $220 and that includes breakfast and earplugs.  (Yes, they have free earplugs so you can blockout your roommates’ snoring.)

Our next stop is the Mount of Olives and the Orson Hyde Gardens.  There we viewed the old city and then visited the Catholic’s version of Gethsemane.  I say the Catholic’s version because we don’t know exactly where Christ suffered and bled, just that it was somewhere on the Mt. of Olives just outside the city walls.

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A Jewish Funeral Procession

Traffic was held up and Matt spotted this funeral procession.  He stopped so I could jump out and get this picture (above).

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Outside the Orson Hyde Gardens
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Matt and Becca Baker
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John and Linda Harmer
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Gethsemane
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Matt Baker Describing the Location

Dinner

Dinner on the first night at any new location is always difficult.  Matt and I knew of places, but finding a place was another story since is getting late.

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What Are They Looking At? (I can’t remember)

We discovered a market I didn’t know existed.  (It’s rather cool!)  We went looking around and found a shawarma shop that was closing, and so we kept looking.  Finally we found a shawarma/burger place open.

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A Nice Burger with a Mid-Eastern Flavor
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Our Little Sidewalk Cafe
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The Jewish Market Area

It’s back to the hostel (the building with Abraham at the top) to get rested for a big day tomorrow.

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Our Hostel

 

New Years Eve 2017

New Years Eve 2017

It’s New Years Eve 2017 and I’m going to bed early.  I’m doing this because tomorrow I leave for Israel first thing in the morning.  I want to be well rested.

Being the 5th Sunday, the Priesthood and Relief Society meetings were about the new curriculum for adults.  I see this as a step closer to a Zion Society.  It’s an inspired and good move.

Matt, Becca, John and Linda are all excited about the trip.  While I’d like to say nobody is excited as I am, it wouldn’t be true.  We are all excited.

Missionaries

Elizabethe has been bugging me to make her curried chicken recipe.  So, I made it… with my own twist.  She told me this is what she’ll be living off while I’m in Israel.  I told her I will be eating shawarma.

Travel Anxieties

I get travel anxieties.  I anguish over things like… what if they make me check my camera bag (I don’t like being without it when I travel).  Or, what if the tell me I can’t take my beef jerky on the plane, etc.  They are all based off previous experience.  The problem is TSA is not consistent.  (Personally, I think some of them confiscate stuff to keep it for themselves.)

That said, I have found travel from this area to be less stressful.  Most of my bad experiences were at Oakland.  Rochester is great… oh, but I’m not leaving from Rochester.  I’m leaving from Toronto and I’ve never flown out of Toronto.