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Jerusalem Trip

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worcester
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9 posts
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Jerusalem Trip

We are going on a trip to Jerusalem and Bethlehem in October. Organised by Thomson Celebration ship. Part of the package includes a 2 hour walk following the steps of Jesus. Has anyone done this trip?

Are there any stops on the way, is it very hilly and what type of attire should we wear?

We are both 65 plus and any comments would be very helpful.

Many thanks.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
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1. Re: Jerusalem Trip

I don't know exactly where your tour is taking you or how you will be transported, but within the Old City of Jerusalem, at least, you will be walking. There are a lot of hills and up and down slopes within Jerusalem, and the streets are old to ancient with a lot of cobblestones. These aren't steep mountains, but you will be up and down a great deal, and there are steps.

In terms of attire, for sure wear comfortable walking shoes, well broken-in, with moisture-wicking socks, NOT cotton socks! (This is key to preventing blisters.) Polypropylene socks (you can get them in running stores or on line) that wick away moisture are great. Until I bought them a few years back, I got blisters on every Israel trip because I walk so much there. Now, I never do.

You will be going in holy places, so there are some dress rules. For both men and women, knees and shoulders must be covered to enter churches, synagogues, or Muslim holy places. That means slacks or jeans for men or women, or for women, skirts or capris to at least mid-calf length. No sleeveless tops, unless you bring a shawl of some type to wrap around your shoulders as needed. If you enter any Jewish holy sites (Western Wall, Yad Vashem's Hall of Remembrance, or a synagogue), men will need to cover their heads. A ball cap or other hat will do (you should both have hats on anyway for sun protections); you can also pick up an inexpensive kippa (skullcap) on the straight, or tacky cardboard ones are usually provided. :-)

October can still be quite warm; I would wear loose-fitting clothes that breath (for example, khakis rather than jeans), but have a light jacket or sweater as well as it gets cool in the evening and occasionally when the rains come early, October can see coolish days as well.

Enjoy your visit!

Douglas Duckett

Jerusalem
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2. Re: Jerusalem Trip

Hi,

I'm assuiming that you are referring to the Via Dolorosa.

In that case, if no proven physical diabilities, the walk is easy going and comfortable small steps to climb.

If you have any further question, i'll be glad to assit.

Enjoy your stay with us :-)

Yossi Tal

Israel Licensed Tour Guide

tour.israel.yossi.tal@gmail.com

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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5,913 posts
140 reviews
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3. Re: Jerusalem Trip

Since you are asking about stops and how hilly it is and mention your age, I am assuming that you are concerned about the walk. I have led a couple of seniors trips to Israel. We didn't do this exact walk but walked our feet off in the Old City of Jerusalem.

So this is my opinion: If you are mobile, able to walk a couple of kilometers, are able to do stairs without needing a handrail, and are able to walk on cobblestones (uneven ground) then you will be fine. Stairs are built into the roadways so they are spaced quite far apart and are not high.

The walk will be at a slower pace. You can't really move a group very quickly through the crowds. If you are doing the via dolorosa, you will be stopping at each location where Jesus stopped (or something significant happened) but there may not be a place to sit. Except for a couple of people in my groups, everyone was able to manage just fine in the old city. The people unable to do this had significant issues that didn't allow them to walk on stairs or uneven ground.

Douglas gives good advice about shoes. I would also add that it would be better if you had a sole with a grip as those cobblestones are worn pretty smooth in places and it can be a bit slippery if you are wearing flat soles.

This is a fascinating area to visit. If you have other specific questions regarding your mobility, we would be happy to answer them.

worcester
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9 posts
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4. Re: Jerusalem Trip

thank you for so much info we are going on Thomson Celebration cruise excursion from Ashdod by coach

Thanks again

Israel
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for Israel
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5. Re: Jerusalem Trip

Having done this tour many times I suggest the following: if you are elderly with difficulties standing on your feet for long periods of time, do not take this tour. If you are not used to walking around, but are healthy, no problem. As mentioned wear good shoes, take a hat, put on sunscreen(yes in October) and be sure to have a bottle of water. The walk up from the parking lot in Bethlehem is very steep but not very long, but it can make one short-winded.

Regarding Jerusalem, there are two options (you won't know which one by the itinerary). One is starting at the Wailing/Western wall which requires constant up-hill walking. Some on flat pavement, most on cobblestones and steps. At the end you must walk down steps. Or walk down a lot of steps and back up shallow steps. In either instance you cannot avoid the steps. The walk is slow with a group and your ship generally has a minimum of 10 buses on this route on any given cruise, so expect crowds.

The tour is not for someone who cannot get around on their own, has heart/breathing problems. Everyone else, as lazy/out of shape as they feel they are will do just fine and sleep well at night.

Chana

Israel

6. Re: Jerusalem Trip

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