Page 9 of ozray Travel Blog Posts


South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago October 5th 2018

Left home 8:30am. Krissy kindly drove us to the airport. Heavy traffic and got to the airport around 9:15am. Had checked-in the night before so just had to drop-off the bags. Everything gets more automated as time moves on. Self-serve to get your luggage tags then check in the bags yourself. Problem is the machine kept saying we had straps on our bags and we ended up having to put them in tubs before they went through. At 19.4kgs and 18.5 kgs we don't have much room for any extras. We tried reducing our luggage but it's hard when you have to pack for cold and warm weather. As usual the automatic passport check didn't believe it was me and I had to be checked through manually. Then I was asked to go through the full ... read more
Belles Artes Fine Arts Museum
Belles Artes Fine Arts Museum
Castillo Forestal

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv April 29th 2018

Last day in Israel, packed our bags and said our farewells to Michal. After a wonderful stay with them, John drove us to a local train station for the 20 minute trip to HaShalom Station. He was kind enough to come in with us and assist us with the luggage and in buying the correct ticket. The train wasn’t very full as it was just after 9am and we got into the last carriage as John suggested and got the side section which saved us carrying our bags up or down stairs. When we got to HaShalom the lift was right in front of us so it was all perfect. Then we asked about lockers and found 2 large ones available for 30NIS each. Put the bags in and then went to the shopping centre (next ... read more
Tel Aviv Government Complex
Sarona
Office Buildings behind Sarona

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv April 28th 2018

Had my first sleep-in on this trip and woke up at 8am thanks to our comfortable accommodation at the Bostock house. Had some of John’s muesli for breakfast which was great as it’s my usual type of breakfast. John then drove us to the old port of Jaffa which we had only briefly visited the day before. This time we had a leisurely walk through the whole area which was great. Very interesting walking through the Ottoman era alleys and admiring the views of Tel Aviv. We then drove to the Neve Zedek area which was the first area of Jewish settlement when Jaffa became too crowded. There are many original houses, some needing a lot of restoration work. It was very interesting walking through and seeing all the families out and about as well. It’s ... read more
Old Jaffa Port
Old Jaffa Port
Old Jaffa Port

Middle East » Israel » Haifa District »  Caesaria April 27th 2018

Last day of the tour and we start off at 8am for the short walk to the Church of Annunciation which has mosaics contributed by many countries around the world including Australia which has it’s contribution inside the church. The church is built over a Byzantine era then crusader era church which in turn houses the remains of what is believed to be the house of the Virgin Mary and the location of the Annunciation by angel Gabriel that she would give birth to the son of God. Then walked down to our waiting bus (another van had taken our luggage down) and we headed off to Haifa on the Mediterranean coast to look at the Bahai Gardens that go up Mount Carmel and then a drive to the top where we had a great view ... read more
Church of The Annunciation
Church of The Annunciation
Church of The Annunciation

Middle East » Israel » North District » Acre April 26th 2018

Started today at 8am, first destination being Akko (Acre), site of a Crusader castle occupied by the Knights of St John (Knights Hospitaller). Much of this castle is still intact and houses a museum about the Crusaders. We had a good amount of time looking through the castle and then stopped for a coffee break. Before we went through a tunnel which connected originally to the castle of the Knights Templar. Mahdi had said in the bus earlier that he understood how all the middle eastern food like shawarma, falafel and hummus was exotic and different when you first arrive but after 2-3 weeks you’ve had enough and he promised to take us somewhere for lunch that didn’t have falafel and he kept his word and took us to a café in a shopping centre where ... read more
Akko Crusader Castle
Akko Crusader Castle
Akko Crusader Castle

Middle East » Israel » North District » Nazareth April 25th 2018

Departing from Jerusalem today so met at 7:20am this morning to get bags into the bus and we got away at 7:35am. This is the first day we got some proper rain and the sky was quite an unusual colour. Took about one hour to get to Jericho where we visited Hisham’s Palace. This is an Islamic archaeological site from the 8th Century. It was destroyed by an earthquake. It is famous for it’s intact mosaic “The Tree of Life” but we were not able to see it. In fact all the floors were covered by cloth and dirt so we couldn’t see any mosaics at all. However it was still very interesting and one of the rooms had multiple columns reminding me of Luxor temple but on a much smaller scale. We then had a ... read more
Hisham's Palace
Hisham's Palace
Hisham's Palace

Middle East » Israel » South District April 24th 2018

Left hotel at 7:30 today for our trip to the southern end of the Dead Sea and Masada. Unfortunately my assigned buddy, Juliet succumbed to the cold she had been fighting and decided not to join us today. We got to Masada around 9am and stayed until 10:45am. We all took the cable car to go up but Pierre, Tash, Greg and Steve were keen to walk down so Mahdi said they could leave the guided tour and start walking at 10am. Masada is a fortress built on a mesa like plateau and King Herod had palaces built here around 39BCE. However it is most famous for a siege in 73 CE when Jewish rebels against the Romans are said to have committed mass suicide when it was inevitable that the Romans were about to break ... read more
Masada
Masada
Masada

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Bethlehem April 23rd 2018

Started off today at 7.45am for our day trip to Bethlehem which is situated in the West Bank. This is the area that DFAT on their Smart Traveler website has listed as "Reconsider your need to travel". I understand the reasons for this but we are so glad we went because we actually felt good that we were contributing in some small way to the Palestinians who live here under some difficult circumstances. Before that however we had a couple of stops. First was a viewpoint overlooking the Mount of Olives where we had a marvelous view of Jerusalem and then a short drive to the Garden of Gethesame, where the Bible says Jesus and his disciples spent the night before the crucifixion. Next to the garden is the Church of All Nations, which is also ... read more
Garden of Gethesame
Church of Mary Magdalene
Church of Mary Magdalene

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District April 22nd 2018

Early start this morning at 7:15am as there would be a long line to enter the Courtyard of the Dome to see The Dome of the Rock. We entered the Old City through the Jaffa Gate and our first stop was The Western Wall commonly known as the Wailing Wall before but Western Wall is now preferred. It is actually the only remaining part of the Second Temple. As it was so early there were not many men at the wall and we noticed that the women’s section was much smaller but had more women. Up close you can see all the messages pushed into cracks and Daisy did write one as well, that she pushed in. We then left the Wall and saw this very long line, not realizing that that was the line we ... read more
Old City
Via Dolorosa
Via Dolorosa

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District April 21st 2018

Opportunity to sleep in today but still woke up early at 7am. We took our time showering, packing and having breakfast and checked out of the hotel around 10:15am. Short walk to what we thought was our Intrepid tour hotel, Holy Land but it turned out it was another Intrepid group booked, not ours. There was conflicting information in our tour notes, so I was half expecting this. Anyway, the Holy Land people were good enough to call the Azzahra Hotel to check that we were booked in there and sure enough we were. Fortunately just another short walk to the Azzahra. It was too early to check-in so we just left our bags there and asked the very nice lady at reception how much it should cost for a taxi to The Israel Museum. She ... read more
Israel Museum - Crusaders
Israel Museum
Israel Museum




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