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Published: June 28th 2015
Our final morning in Jerusalem would consist of a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial and museum. The 45 acre complex consists of various sculptures and memorials, a synagogue, publishing center, research center, and several other things. It was established in 1953 and sits atop the Mount of Remembrance. Running on probably 12 cumulative hours of sleep since arriving in Israel, the morning was a bit of a struggle, but I do love Holocaust-related things so I persevered.
The actual museum's layout was a winding trail of multimedia displays tracing the history of the Holocaust, though I will say they seemed to bounce around a bit from the Warsaw uprising to the death camps to the rise of anti-semitism, etc. Adding to the confusion were literally hordes of what looked to be Israeli military trainees who had no sense of space and through whom we had to continuously squeeze to get by. I'd been to the Holocaust museum in D.C., toured Auschwitz, etc. so I was by no means blown away by the museum, but it certainly was an experience and a treasure trove of artifacts and memories. Once we'd passed through we grabbed a quick lunch in
the cafeteria, and for once I actually ate a big salad - no hummus or falafel to be found!
Next stop was Tel Aviv, the big city! It took maybe an hour to get there - I passed out so I can't say much about the ride, but upon arrival it looked like just miles of beautiful beachfront and palm trees. Yaaaassss! Before settling into our hotel, however, we were subjected to a bit of chorus torture. Israel's channel 2 apparently wanted to run a segment on us, which meant we needed to don our tuxes in the blazing sun and sing through a few songs while they filmed and interviewed. This took place at the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, our venue in the city. In the end it wasn't too painful, and it was exciting to see ourselves on the news obviously!
Once that was through we booked it for the hotel, which was located right on the marina and beachfront. While the hotel looked a bit tired, the rooftop pool and bar, as well as immediate access to the beach, were incredible. Our schedule in Tel Aviv was very open, so we'd be
able to relax and soak up the sun for almost 3 full days. Ptown-mode was about to commence, aka we'd become party monsters. Oops! That night we had a welcome dinner on an oceanfront boardwalk as the sun set. Had some decent meze and calamari washed down with some wine before we rode into the night. Destination? First Evita, which was kind of like a Club Cafe, and the place we'd have an official BGMC event the following night. Then? BOAR. We weren't sure what to expect at a club night named after swine (and another night was called beef), but we were sure it wouldn't be kosher ;-) It not surprisingly ended up being super fun - a dark, smokey dungeon of booze and hot Israelis. How bad could that be?
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