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  Maren & Kirk

Israel

Facts about the country

Capital Jerusalem (contested)

Population

5.8 Million, 2.7 million Gaza Strip

Main Languages

Hebrew, Arabic, English

Electricity

2 Plug System 220 Volts 50Hz

Currency

New Israeli Shekel

Exchange Rate for US $ as of May 2001

4.10  NIS per 1 US$ 

Safe to Drink Tap Water

Yes

Size

26990 sq km

Transport

bus, minibus, taxi, rental car, plane

Cash Machines (ATMS) Yes
Credit Card Usage Yes
Religion Jewish, Muslim, Christian 
Measurement System Metric System

Recommended Budget per Day in US $ 

Total Budget per Person Accommodation Meals Transportation Other
35 $ 8 $  8 $  8 $ 11 $

Main things to See (we give descriptions only on places we visited)

Things to See  Visited Brief Description Recommend (10 is best 1 is don't bother)
Jerusalem Y The Holy City for Jews, Christians and Muslims.  Highly contested place with tension.   It is divided in three parts, Old City, Arab East Jerusalem, and West Jerusalem. Some main sites are Harama-ash Shariff Temple Mount,  City Walls, Dome of the Rock, Western Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, East Jerusalem, New Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Yad Vashem, Holocaust Museum, 9
Tel Aviv Y The modern city by the beach, where one goes to have fun.  Main attraction  are the beaches and the nightlife. 5
The Galilee Y This is the territory where Jesus did most of his preaching and walked on water at the Sea of Galilee.  Nazareth is the childhood home of Jesus. Tiberias is the town along the Sea of Galilee where most likely stay when visiting. 6
Bethlehem Y Here is the Church of Nativity where Jesus was born.  It is a holy place for all three religions. Other sites are Milk Grotto Chapel, a shrine to the Virgin Mary's lactations and  Rachel's Tomb. 7
Akko Y An ancient city like Jerusalem with an impressive city wall.   7
Dead Sea N The place to float on water.  High content of salt allows the human body to float on top.  Nearby is Ein Gedi, an attractive Oasis. 7
Nablus N
Hula Valley & Nature Reserve N

Ramla

N

Popular activities and Tours (Being not included does not mean they do not exist)

Hiking / Trekking x
Scuba Diving x
Historical Sites x
Sightseeing tours x

Ballooning

Buni Jumping

Safaris

Boat tours
Fishing x
Horseback riding x
Canoeing
Camping x
River Rafting
Sky Diving  
Abseiling  
Surfing  x
Windsurfing x
Kayaking
Sailing x
Mountain biking x
Rollerblading  
Motorbike  x
Sand boarding
Snorkeling x
Water Skiing x
Others

Feeling and Opinions on Israel 

The political situation is not good. One feels the tension in the air.  Both sides need to compromise more if anything is going to get done.  What one learns in Israel, do not get into political discussions with either side.  The person you are speaking to will probably have a set opinion, not open to other ideas.  Israel has a lot to offer and the historical and religious sites are not to be missed.

 

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