hello everyone !
i was only in israel for a few days but i still enjoyed my trip to jerusalem last week , i figured a few days in israel is better than staying here at home watching television
i got to lax early because i knew el al interviews all passengers prior to boarding , oh my what a process it was , i kept getting question after question , i will discuss this later in more detail
after taking off from lax the el al flight got to ben gurion airport on monday afternoon , after i got through passport control i collected my luggage and found the taxi stand outside , and i wrote down the name and address of the jerusalem inn, but the funny thing is the driver could not find the hotel , so he drove to a taxi stand and he had his friend drive me to my hotel because he said he knew where the hotel was located, but guess what , he could not find it either LOL , luckily for me before i left i had seen images of the street and front pictures of the hotel , so i already had an idea of that it looked like , so when we passed near horkanos street and i told him "this is it" and finally i got to my hotel
before i left i booked guided tours with bein harim and while i was in jerusalem i joined a guided tour with sandemans , and both companies met and exceeded my expectations , i know there were some complaints about bein harim tours , but i guess it really depends who you get as your tour guide , haya and eyal were great , and the tour guide from sandemans (allan) was fantastic , the holy city 4hour walking tour was so much fun
i did not have time to visit every location on my list but i did manage to see the four quarters in the old city , bethlehem , nazareth , sea of galilee , caesarea , acre , and jericho
now back to lax check in !
one of the memories that will stay with me forever was my experience with el al security at lax , ohhh my !!!
i remember i got to lax early in the morning because i already knew el al interviews passengers prior to check in, so i was a bit nervous in line waiting my turn , and i noticed the process was not taking that long because the people in front of me were only asked a few questions , so i thought to myself this will not be that bad , i was wrong !
i dont know why but i assumed if i got a female to interview me she would go easier on me than a male , but that was not the case , when it was my turn for the interview a young woman about half my size started asking me questions , and the questions just kept coming , then she kept asking me about my trip to istanbul , (i have traveled to rome , istanbul , athens) but not once did she ask me about rome or athens, all she was interested in was istanbul , i was thinking to myself what does istanbul have to do with my trip to jerusalem , she then pulled me to the side and told me to wait
so here is a young woman who is very thin and much shorter than I am , and yet she made me feel very nervous , then one of her coworkers came to meet me and he started to ask me similar questions , while he was asking me similar questions she was standing there next to us and looking straight at me the whole time , then I was told to wait and a different person came and he started asking me similar questions , at this point my excitement about traveling was gone, i was feeling really down because while people were being allowed to check in, I was still just standing there feeling like I was some sort of criminal , finally he asked me are you excited about going to Israel and I tried my best to smile and said yes I am , the young woman who started the interview process told me I would have to give up my carryon bag and I would get it back when it was time to board the airplane , however this process was not over for me
at the gate when people were about to board I heard an annoucement on the loudspeaker and I was to report to the boarding gate , I thought it was so I could get my carryon bag back , i was told to have a seat , then one of the El Al employees started rubbing some sort of liquid on both of my shoes , then I was given my carryon bag and finally allowed to board the airplane
since i was a solo traveler , was that the main reason i got many questions ? or is it because i am a man ? or is it because i was nervous during the whole process ? or maybe its a little bit of each
it was a tough process but i recommend a visit to israel if you can go , i know reading about my experience with el al security might make some of you discouraged about traveling , but i still say you should go , you just gotta hang in there during the whole process , believe me i was starting to get frustrated and angry , but i was able to calm myself by thinking about how much fun i will have in israel
just do your best to maintain your composure , remain calm , and answer all questions honestly
dont be afraid of the interview , go to israel !
i would love to go back to israel someday for sure and visit some of the places i did not have time to see :-)
thank you all for reading about my trip to israel