Sunday, November 1, 2009

A trip to the Land of the Bible, October 2009

My wife and I just got back from a trip to Israel, Jordan and Egypt last night. It was a hectic 15 day land trip that left us tired and worn out. I guess we have been spoiled by taking many cruise trips of late or we are just getting too old LOL. On the other hand, even the younger members of our small group of 15 people complained about the tight and physically demanding itinerary. I'll share with you pictures I have taken during our trip in the course of many future postings. In the meantime here's a few for now.

We took an Air France flight from LAX to Tel Aviv, Israel with a 4 hours stopover in Paris. At the airport in Paris, the priest with our group held a Sunday mass...the first of many masses I attended. Ganito pala ang pilgrimage! I am not a religious person, I did not know what I was getting into when my wife cajoled me into joining her on this trip LOL. I wanted to go to South America instead! It turned out to be an OK trip for me. I was amazed at the religious devotion shown by all the members of our group and the people of all religious persuasions that I ran into in the different countries we visited.

I checked out the prices of booze in this tax-free airport shop and I was reminded that it was sometimes cheaper to buy them outside the airport with tax and all.


We ran into this kababayan who was on his way to Pinas for a two weeks vacation from his job at a cruise ship based in Europe.



Our hotel room in Tel Aviv was a let down from what we expected but, what the heck, we were just there for the night.

The view from our balcony was ok.

15 comments:

RJ said...

Wow! Susubaybayan ko ang post na ito. It has been my (life-long) dream to see the Holy Land, as well as the other places mentioned in the Bible...

docgelo said...

so while we were in boracay (i'm done posting my series), you were in holy land pilgrimage-WOW!!! this is the reason why you were gone in the circulation for a while. i wish to bring not only my wife & kid but also my parents to pilgrimage too one day; my mom particularly longs for this. it's in my must-do wish list...i guess every catholic should hope for this just like going to mecca for muslims.... i'll definitely follow this series.

Dennis Villegas said...

wow buti ka pa nakapunta na sa holy land..i also dream of going there someday maybe in Gaza strip hehehe ;)
The view from your balcony is not only ok, but breathtaking. I will await more of your photos, Bert!

bertN said...

RJ,you will be able to visit the Holy Land, it is just a matter of time and priority for you. Btw, we met a big group of Australian based Pinoys on a pilgrimage there.

docgelo, I read your Boracay posting and more than ever, I want to visit the place and hopefully, soon.

I'm sure you'll have the opportunity to visit the Holy Land with your family. It is worth it.

Dennis Villegas, we did have the opportunity to visit areas controlled by the Palestinians, not in Gaza though LOL.I don't think they'll allow us to go there.It is a hot territory LOL.

You are an adventurous young man, I'm sure you'll realize many of your dreams.

rolly said...

hahaha, South America and a religious pilgrimage... nasa opposite ends ang choices mo 'no. At any rate, enjoy ka naman so okay lang.

bertN said...

rolly, I enjoyed the trip immensely. It was the right choice.

BlogusVox said...

My wife wants to visit Jerusalem. If I'm not asking much, could you please give me some pointers (i.e hotels, travel expenses etc) so I could plan everything before we proceed?

bertN said...

BlogusVox, we joined an organized tour from LA and paid a fix amount to cover airfare, hotel(breakfast and dinner included), travel insurance, all local tours, entrance fees, etc. The only thing not included is tips to the driver and local guides ($5/ea/day), hotel baggage handlers ($1/luggage) and security escorts in Jordan and Egypt. It was a bit stiff but it saved us a lot of hassles. You will probably be better of, expense-wise, if you search the 'net and do it on your own. Just be forewarned that the price of bottled water can range from $0.50 to $6.00 for the same size bottle depending on where you buy it and toilet is seldom free, a dollar for one or for five people, again, depending on location LOL. What a racket! US dollar is generally accepted everywhere and traveler's check is a no-no. No need to change currency to local.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

Physically tired but spiritually energized you all must be, I presume? There must be a halo hovering above your head now LOL! Awaiting your series of MidEast photos/stories.

PUSANG-gala said...

15 day lang trip? wow---but I guess I would not notice if I travel in that area for it really is a place where every Christian should at least visit once in their life.....might give me ghost bumps every now and then if I were in your situation....I mean, maybe the feeling is indeed overwhelming.

Missy said...

wow that would be a nice and unforgettable trip, kakainggit naman, post more pictures po ah ;-) and more views hehehe

bertN said...

The Nomadic Pinoy, "There must be a halo hovering above your head now LOL" There probably was but it must have disappeared after we spent our last night cruising the Nile with a couple belly-dancers on board LOL.

PUSANG-gala, for some of our companions the feeling was indeed overwhelming. A few of them broke down and cried.

Missy, I hope I can post more interesting pics later.

dodong flores said...

I used working in a travel agency and the travel package that I would want to have for myself is the Holy Land travel package. I wish I can visit there, too! It must be interesting to be there personally in the place where our Lord Jesus Christ once roamed about and preached...

dodong flores said...

Typo: it should be I used to work...

bertN said...

dodong flores, I'm sure you'll have a chance to visit the Holy Land. You are still young and you have many years, good years ahead of you.