Rayna and Mattea trip, December 2010

Day 1
Arrival to Tel Aviv, Pickup and transfer to Jerusalem, Old City Jerusalem
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 2
Jerusalem: Foot step of Jesus, Garden Tomb, Church of Agony and other Christian sites, night show in David Citadel
Overnight: Dan Panorama Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 3
Drive to Dead Sea, Qumeran, Ein Gedi, Enjoy floating on the Dead Sea
Overnight: Oasis Dead Sea Hotel, Dead Sea

Day 4
Massada, Drive to Mitzpe Ramon via the desert and the Big Crater, Sde Boker to Ben Gurion Tomb
Overnights: Ramon Inn Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon

Day 5
Ramon Crater, Alpaca and Lama pharm in Mitzpe Ramon, Ein Avdat, Chan HaShayarot activities
Overnight: Chan HaShayarot

Day 6
Drive to Eilat, Yotvata, Timna Park
Overnight: Caesar Premier Hotel, Eilat

Day 7
Diving with Dolphins at the Dolphin Reef, Camel ride
Overnight: Caesar Premier Hotel, Eilat

Day 8
Drive to Tel Aviv
Overnight: Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Towers, Tel Aviv

Day 9
Drive through the cost, Caesarea, Zichron Yaacov, Haifa
Overnight: Colony Hotel, Haifa

Day 10
Akko, Rosh HaNikra, drive to Ramot
Overnight: Sagi Lodging, Moshav Ramot

Day 11
Golan Heights: Wineries in Katzrin, Chocolate ‘De Karina’ and workshop, Tel Dan reserve and night Jeep Ride at Golan to look for animals
Overnight: Sagi Lodging, Moshav Ramot

Day 12
Safed, Hula Valley and the restored Hula lake
Overnight: Sagi Lodging, Moshav Ramot

Day 13
Drive to Jerusalem, Machane Yehuda market, Time elevator
Overnights: Eldan Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 14
Sites in Jerusalem: Zoo, Science Park, Botanical Gardens
Overnights: Eldan Hotel, Jerusalem

Day 15
Archeological Dig in Beit Guvrin, National stalactites cave, Mini Israel, drive to the airport

20 Replies to “Rayna and Mattea trip, December 2010”

  1. Mom had always share with us stories when each time she visited
    Israel. She showed us dozen of beautiful picture she took during her
    trips. My sister and I were trill with her experience and wanted to go
    there to witness it our own, there is a say in Chinese – Travel and
    see for our own is better than reading from the book (humm I don’t
    know whether I translate it correctly but anyway it is true isn’t?)

    Finally it was our turn to come this year. Mom had decided to bring us
    along to visit this ‘Milk and Honey’ country, I cannot hold my
    excitement and started to count down the days of going
    Lol (laugh out loud), guess my sister and I had inherited our mom’s ‘
    travel bug’ inside our DNA
    Ha ha ha.

    My sister and I had decided to write a journal during our trip to
    Israel so that we can trace back what we had done.

    O yah! I had forgotten to introduce myself I am – Cheok Yui Law ( my
    classmate likes to call me Rayna the sting ray Lol), let me also
    introduce my sister – Cheok Mun Law ( Munchy we always call her that
    way ha ha ha Mattea the Munchy biscuit Lol). I am 11 years old and my
    sister is 9 years old, with this introduction I would like to share
    our once in a life time experience with you.

  2. Day 1: written by Mattea

    To begin with I ‘Munchy Law’ will start our first day of our journey.

    Finally after 14 over hours of flying time we reached Israel international Airport
    Call Ben Gurion Airport (it was name after their ex-prime minister). After we go through all the custom check point and security, mom collected our luggage and we headed straight to the arrival hall. There were lots of people at the exit but mom spotted a man who wore a glasses with a big smile on his face that waved at us. Mom introduced us to him and his name is – Uncle Moshe! His impression to me was he has a great smile and he has hair in both of his hand Lol (towards the end of the journey he became our ‘Big Friend’ to both my sister Rayna and myself).

    Our first stop in Israel was to visit auntie Myrna Sheolieth – A kennel owner; an author as well as dog lover Lol. Both sister Rayna and I are dog lover too so when the moment when we enter the kennel we feel excited as we get to see so many dogs. The Cannan puppies are cute, they lick my hand lol sister Rayna was too afraid to put her hand to let the puppy lick her lol.

    After visiting auntie Myrna, we headed to Jerusalem and check in a hotel call
    Dan Panorama. The weather was cold, windy and drizzle a little I like it and hoping to see some snow but no luck sigh!

    After a little rest our tour begin. Our first stop Jaffar market- very interesting place- all the stall are small but selling lots of different kinds of stuff e.g from toy to food … Etc .

    Places that impress me was how they preserve the ancient building till now. We went through the Step of Jesus tour, the place were Jesus was crucified or you could also say nailed on the cross, but scientific way is call crucified.

    Okay! for day one lights off and good nite.

    P/s: The first Hebrew word I learn is ‘Shalom’

  3. Day 2: written by Rayna and Mattea

    Area : Jerusalem

    After having our breakfast in the hotel (Dan Panorama), we start to explore this one of the most holy place on earth.

    Our 1st stop Mount Scopus (Mattea & I read as MT Scorpio LOL sounds like isn’t it?)

    Standing at Mount Scopus it enable us to view the beautiful scenery of Jerusalem form this point. With the explanation from Uncle Moshe we have a better understand of what we are seeing.

    2nd stop Mount Olives

    Why is it called Mount Olives? Well it is very simple because there are lots of Olives trees LOL (good explanation???) The Mt of Olives has great significance for both Jews and Christians.

    We visited the Church of Agony which is also called Gethsemane as well as the Church of All Nations hummmmm I wonder why they name it
    differently but anyway this is where Jesus spent the last hours praying there before the Romans arrest him. The Church itself is very big, I am sad….. Mattea when over to touch the rock and we said our little prayer too.

    3rd Stop Israel Museum

    There are many section in the museum, from Archaeologist Dig to Modern Art.

    Well we started of with the “Stone Age” exhibit, we saw many sharp tools that the people used back then, we even saw the tusk of a mammoth and a hippo’s joint too wooow they are very big, I can’t imagine how big these animal could be!

    We than move on to the Art section (Mom like arts), we saw the painting of Picasso Pablo too, how lucky I am ha ha ha.

    Lastly we went to “Garlic Museum” ha ha ha you must be wondering what is that isn’t it? Well my mom called it “Garlic Museum” because it look like the half cut garlic LOL! The actual name is called “The Shrine of the Book” this is where the dead Sea Scrolls placed, the top of the building structure is a pottery cover and as you walk down you will sees the whole pottery like structure that exhibit the Dead Sea Scrolls. Unique!

    4th Stop Garden Tomb.

    This is where it says that Jesus body was place after the crucifixion. It was a very peaceful garden and it is nice to walk around the garden, but
    again I am feeling sad too. This is the last stop of our tour of the day.

    O Yah! We had pizza for dinner and mom ordered a kids meal for us but do you know what? the “kids” pizza turns out to be an “adult” size for us which was too much for us LOL their serving were very generous i would say LOL anyway we pack the other pizza with us and it was a good ideal after all ha ha ha because in the middle of the night i went hungry again and it is back in my tummy now LOL. OK ready to sleep.

  4. Day 3: written by Mattea

    Today after breakfast we check out and prepare to go to “DEAD SEA” Yes!
    Yes! Yes! I want to float on the water!!!!!

    It was a long drive i guess uncle Moshe drove 5 over hours from Jerusalem to Dead sea wooow he must be very tired LOL! On the way to Dead Sea we visited Ein Gedi Nature Reserve – is located on the eastern edge of the Judean desert, on the shore of Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth.

    In the parking lot we saw an Ibex jumped onto a car and eating leaves from the tree (What a clever Ibex i think to myself but i the car owner is going to cry LOL). After entering the reserve park we saw even more Ibex and they are really really cute, we also saw Rock Hyrux they are also very cute too. As we walk along the path we meet a spring water fall the water was cold, mom and I put our feet into the water but sister Rayna refused to do so because she saw some snail in the water and was too afraid that the snail will craw onto her leg LOL if i remember it correctly the water is rain water and flow from Jerusalem hummm did i get it right uncle Moshe???

    Ok! Now serious matter Sister Rayna and I wanted so much to float on the Dead Sea that we beg mom to let us and Yes! finally she had agreed
    to let us but the problem is we didn’t bring our swim suit, well mom always has her way of doing thing, she bring us to a shop to buy what we needed LOL at this point we can’t wait to get change and jump into the Dead Sea LOL.

    Finally we reached the Hotel – Oasis Spa Hotel (tho the dive is only 20 – 30 min but it seems like years to get to the hotel LOL), we check in and
    get ourself change. Mom and uncle Moshe brought us to the shore woow it was freezing cold but sister Rayna and I won’t give up until we float on the water, after a few try we managed to float but very quickly mom said we have to go back to the hotel before we catch a cold but promised us to swim in the hotel pool if it wasn’t too cold for us. Yes! the pool water was warm and we have fun playing in the pool till mom say we have to move, reluctantly we get out from the pool to the room.

    After dinner we wanted to play bowling at the next door hotel but no luck because they closed sigh so we have to go back to our room and nite nite for the day LOL Lights off Szzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  5. Day 4: written by Rayna

    Today after breakfast we are suppose to check out and visit Masada.

    On the way to Masada, my cute sister Mattea compose a song called “Ein Gedi” and it goes like this:

    Ein Gedi, Gedi,Gedi, Ein Gedi, Ge__di.
    Ein Gedi,Gedi, Gedi,play,play,play (later the journey my sister input more words into it) both she and uncle Moshe was singing all the way and they even plan to release this Ein Gedi album once they had compose enough song. Silly but fun too LOL.

    Ok! Back to Masada – King Herod built this palace magnificent palaces on the cliff in the desert that have almost everything even a swimming pool too and ironically he had never stay a single day in it weird isn’t it? Anyway it turn out to be a story of the heroic stand of the Jewish rebels against Rome. We took a cable car to reach the top of Masada and uncle Moshe explained to us the war, the snake path, where the Roman solider camp…….as well as how the war ended, it was a very sad story/history.

    There are few interesting site, I particularly like the water system model
    because I got to play with the water and see how the ancient people collect their water from rain fall. I can only say they are too smart.

    After Masada uncle Moshe drove us to Ramon Inn our hotel it was another long drive again but along the way i got to see lots of different terrain that is so different from my country – Singapore.

    That night we have an Ein Gedi party LOL we watch TV and eat tibits, fun
    OK nite nite see you tomorrow.

  6. Day 5: written by Rayna and Mattea

    Today we check out and will drive to Chan HaShayarot (we will stay in a bedouin cabin and eat in a bedouin tent), on the way to Chan Hashayarot
    we make a few stop at different attraction.

    Mitzpe Ramon – Uncle Moshe explain to us how the crater was form through thousands of years in layer and layer, it’s uniqueness and the geology studies, it was interesting to even listen to it because it input knowledge into my little brain LOL and also see the great work God had made.

    We drove to Sde Boker to Ben Gurion Tomb (Ben Gurion is the ex-prime minister of Israel), there is a little walk way that lead to his tomb and it is like a garden and I can see Ibex around this big garden hummm interesting. Uncle Moshe said we can put a small stone on the top of the tomb it is like putting a flower but in Jewish custom they put stone. hummm something new to me but always good to know another culture.

    En Avedat National Park – It lies along both sides of the Wadi Zin ravine on the northern fringes of the Avedat Heights, which are situated between the anticlines of the central and northern Negev mountains. It was fun walking like this in the wadi, we can hear our echo when we talk and the sound from the spring water too. Mattea suddenly came out an idea of dancing incoporate with her Ein Gedi song silly sister LOL and uncle Moshe likes her idea and dance together with her ha ha ha.

    We visited the Alpaca and Lama pharm in Mitzpe Ramon, I feed the Lama and Alpaca but sister Rayna was too scare to feed the animal because she scare they bite her hand off LOL. there are few farm dogs, I like them, sister Rayna and I after our handy craft we went over to play with the dogs and we have so much fun petting them till mom say we have to go and was unwilling to do so, we told mom that we want a dog behave just like them (Border Collies) and mom agreed with us too LOL. I hope i can visit this farm again.

    Finally we reached the bedouin cabin, we check in do our homework that assigned by mom before we can play again.

    Dinner – we have our dinner in a bedouin tent, it was interesting as we have to see in the desert and on the cushion kind of relaxing LOL the dinner serving was big, we have a whole chicken with rice with vegetable etc.. mom said this is not possible for us to finish the food and it is going to be a waste but uncle Moshe said we don’t have to finish all if we can’t as this is a culture too LOL I learn something again LOL we have good meal and follow by coffee and tea and sweet biscuit.

    We have Ein Gedi party again, this round sister Rayna tells the story and I act (there is no TV in the cabin), we have three stories after all LOL. Uncle Moshe & mom said we acted well.

    Ok what a day and nite nite again. Everyday we are pack with so much fun LOL.

  7. Day 6: written by Rayna & Mattea

    Good Morning!!! Again we are on the move again. We are driving to Eilat
    which is also a long drive too. ( We begin to feel like a bedouin already after moving from places to places LOL).

    Ok! Lets talk a little about Eilat – Eilat is first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Exodus. The geology and landscape are varied: igneous and metamorphic rocks, sandstone and limestone; mountains up to 892 metres (2,927 ft) above sea level. Hummm interesting isn’t it ?

    Uncle Moshe said that we are going to make a stop at Yotvata to have our ICE CREAM!!! We want ICE CREAM, we want ICE CREAM, we want ICE CREAM….. finally mom gave up and agreed to buy us ice cream. (see sometime it does work isn’t it? ha ha ha! Once we arrived sister and I run to the ice cream corner, woooow there were lots of choices of ice cream and sorbet that honestly i would love to have them all LOL but we are only allowed to have 2 scoop of ice cream sigh! After we got what we want we begin to taste it hummm Yummy (to let you know their serving is big which i like it ke ke ke)

    Ok! we continue our drive to Eliat city. We stayed in a hotel call Caesar Hotel, we have a good view room. When we reached the hotel we told mom that we wanted to go for a swim, and we ignore her advice as given the fact it was already 5 plus the pool is going to close. Well true enough it happened LOL stupid us as now we have to go back and change again LOL (Mom is always right!). We spent the rest of the hours doing our homework and watch TV program till dinner time. (OOO did I mention to you that the cartoon is in Hebrew? LOL anyway we still enjoys it LOL)

    Ok! nite nite lights off …………………………………

  8. Day 7: written by Rayna

    This morning I woke up with excitement because we are going to swim with the dolphins. My sister Matter and I was trill and can’t wait to fly there LOL.

    It was a short drive from our hotel, guess around 15 mins drive. As usual we let the adult handle all the ticket issue LOL, we just need to enjoy ourself lol sometime it is good to be kids I think to myself ha ha ha.

    Mom register both my sister Mattea and I for the dive with a private instructor each, “DIVING” did i heard it correctly??? I had never did one in my life this is going to be something big for me ha ha ha! with a mixture of feeling excitement and worry (actually mom worry more than us LOL),
    we waited patiently for our turn to come, the lady who in-charge hand us our diving suite and flipper to tried on to prepare ourself before the dive.
    We was very good girl sitting still and listen carefully to the briefing given by the instructor, after all the understanding and hand sign, we was all prepare to go to the water LOL (the gas cylinder was very heavy that sister Mattea instructor have to help her to hold onto it before she fall LOL).

    As you can see from the above photo taken by one of the diver it was me Rayna the sting ray LOL (fortunately I didn’t see any sting ray LOL), diving with dolphins was a truly amazing experience for both my sister Mattea and me and we enjoys it very much. Maybe sometime somewhere we will want to do it again in the future. Under the water we saw beautiful coral, all kinds of fishes, turquoise water and the dancing dolphin……. all this is just beyond words can describe you will need to experience yourself.

    After diving with the dolphin we went on a camel ride. It wasn’t my first time riding a camel but it was the first time for my sister Mattea, it was exciting to ride on a camel because now everything look shorter than me ha ha ha and that makes me feel good ha ha ha!

    We proceed to the Cinema to watch a show call ” Tangled Rapunzel” it was in Hebrew but with English subtitle we enjoys the show. We have
    shushi for our dinner this round ke ke ke we went to one of the Japanese restaurant in Hilton Hotel our first Asian food after so many days ha ha ha
    the food was great and we have a sumptuous meal that night Yummy LOL.

    Lights off snozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

  9. Day 8: written by Rayna

    Today we have to say good bye to Eliat and drive to Tel Aviv which is also a long drive.

    On the way we stop at Timna Park – It is a very big nature park that require us to drive through the valley. Timna Park is one of the breathtaking places in Israel, a site which combines amazing landscapes with a fascinating historical story. Timna Park also boast rare geological phenomena together with copper mining sites known as “King Solomon’s Mines.” There is this sandstone “Mushroom” like pillars was created by erosion. Uncle Moshe explain to us how it was form and also share with us the history of the place.

    We drove in further to a place where we could fill the bottle with different colour of sand to make our very own art piece as a souvenir to bring home.

    After this we proceed the drive to Tel Aviv and when we reached Tel Aviv it was already evening, guess what we have for dinner? hummmm THAI FOOD!!!! Uncle Moshe and mom bought us to this restaurant that cook very delicious Thai food and we finished the dishes all LOL Yummy.

    We check into Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel & Town, we have a sea view room which was nice and they even have complimentary chocolate biscuit for us ke ke ke by the way they have good spread of breakfast too.

    What a day and again is time to rest. nite nite.

  10. Day 9: written by Rayna

    Uncle Moshe pick us up at the hotel at 9am, mom check out the hotel and we are all ready to go, this round we are moving towards the Northern part of Israel we will drive through the coast, Caesarea, Zichron Yaacov, and overnight at Colony Hotel, Haifa.

    Our first stop is to visit Carmel Market at Tel Aviv, we shop for food/fruit stuff so mom can cook as authentic Chinese food later LOL and our special order Mee Suan yummy. In the market I saw all kinds of fruits and vegetables, I had never seen such a big pomegranate in my life woow Mom
    said that there is a hairy man selling pomegranate juice at Acco the place we will be going tomorrow and we should try LOL.

    Along the way to Caesarea we saw the burned trees, almost the whole mountain (MT Carmel) was burned with fire, it was recent accident before we came to Israel. According to Uncle Moshe one irresponsible teenager
    accidentally set a fire in the forest and didn’t inform the adult in time to avoid the tragic happened, many life was lost. Sad.

    Caesarea – Is a port that built by King Herod the Great and named after his patron, Caesarea Augustus. During Roman-Byzantine period Caesarea was a very important city in Israel. As we walk into the entrance we saw few
    sculpture with no head and before we move on Uncle Moshe explain to us
    why is that so and the importance of Caesarea during Roman- Byzantine period.

    We saw the Theater which can contained 4000 seats, was the center of cultural life in Roman Caesarea. The Ancient Port – one of the largest in the Roman Empire, was also one of the most advanced of its day. Anyway they gave up this port due to massive earthquake (Hope i recorded it correctly LOL). Than we move on to the Aqueduct, The Crusader Fortress etc.

    We have great time there collecting seashell LOL and running around the shore. It was a fantastic view.

    Zichron Yaacov – Zikhron Ya’akov was founded in December 1882 when 100 Jewish pioneers from Romania, One of the first Jewish settlements in the country, Zichron Yaakov was established by Baron Edmond de Rothschild.
    Zichron Ya’akov also has one of the highest percentages of English speaking olim in Israel, at 15% of the towns population.

    I like the architectural design of the houses very Germany kind of feel and walking in the small street LOL We have Japanese Shushi for lunch and the owner is from China and mom have a nice chat with the chef, is like finally someone speaks her language LOL. Ice cream yes! we have our ice cream again after lunch, sister Mattea was upset because she drop her ice cream on the floor so i share with her half of mine share and she was happy again. Mom praise me for that kind act.

    Last stop Haifa – The view of the Bahai Terrace Garden was spectacular (especially the night view). We stayed at Colony Hotel it was a very “Alice in the Wonderland” feel hotel very English style LOL like it!.

    We had Chinese food that night and again fry Ice cream ha ha ha.

    Tired good nite.

  11. Day 10: written by Mattea

    We set out early in the morning after breakfast to Akko, Rosh HaNikra and drive to Ramot which we will spend our next three day staying in
    Sagi Lodging,Moshav Ramot

    ACCO(AKKO) – it is also called as Acre. This is a rare mix of east and west, authentic sites of times gone by, a unique meeting place of art and religion. Lot of things happening here from the pass that include ancient Hellenistic, Roman remnants, the Crusade and Ottoman period etc. Woooow what a history!!!! We visited the Knights Hall, The Hospitaller Fortress, The “Refectorium”, The Beautiful Hall,The Turkish Bazaar etc. History comes alive ha ha ha!!! We also walk through the tunnel that lead us back to the main street. We had tried to look out for the hairy man pomegranate push cart but could not locate him anyway we still managed to get our pomegranate juice LOL the juice is so sweet and we love drinking it. (Phew! lucky i didn’t find him ha ha ha otherwise i will “shave him” before he make the juice for us ha ha ha OOOpps hope he didn’t see this ha ha .)

    The next stop we went to Rosh Hanikra – Rosh Hanikra is a limestone and flint cliff on the Israel-Lebanon border. We took the cable car to the base of the cliff to stroll through the grottos, it was windy and slippery but the view was great. Uncle Moshe told us Many years ago the IDF blew up the tunnels of the railway in order to prevent invasion by the Lebanese Army.

    It was a long drive from Rosh Hanikra to Romat and on the way we stop at a supermarket to get our groceries before heading to the lodge so mom can cook for us Chinese food ke ke ke.

    Finally we reached the place we are staying – Sagi Lodging,Moshav Ramot
    it was a very lovely lodge, we have our very own kitchen, heater and jacuzzi too. We like this place very much because right in front of our lodge we can see the Sea of Galilee and they have play ground, hammock and space for us to run about (I would want to come back again and again to visit this place), the uncle owner was a very friendly person and so as his wife (she would ask us every morning do we want egg LOL).

    Dinner as requested by us mee suan yummy and we also have rice wrap too.

    sleep now.

  12. Day 11: written by Rayna and Mattea

    Our program for today will be visiting Wineries in Katzrin, Chocolate ‘De Karina’ and workshop, Tel Dan reserve and night Jeep Ride at Golan to hunt for wild animal woooow we are so excited.

    Mom bought few bottles of wine in the wineries, mom is that kind of person who doesn’t like to ask too much instead she prefer to read and see for herself until she sees the need to ask and that makes uncle Moshe almost pull off his hair LOL!

    On the way we saw “Snow” woow that is also first in our life to see
    real snow, uncle Moshe park his car at a side to let us touch it and play with it for a while it was cool LOL.

    Chocolate ‘De Karina’ is in a kibbutz (but already privatized – I don’t know what is privatized mean but i know from uncle Moshe was they keep what they earn). The moment when i step into the shop everything looks so mouth watering to me, I saw lots of handi craft items made by Chocolate e.g the house, the mountain………..etc. Sister Mattea bought a few pack of Chocolate for our auntie. Mom register us for the workshop
    sister Rayna and I was having great fun in designing our very own Chocolate and we spent our whole afternoon doing it.

    Time to go for the Night safari hunt LOL but because we were still early we when to the mall and mom said there is an arcade at the second floor
    Ha ha ha “Game Time”, four of us play in the arcade (that include the 2 big adult ha ha ha), sister Rayna and I started to collect token in order to claim prizes later, uncle Moshe and mom was very kind enough to help us too.

    Ok doki times up we went down the mall and meet another uncle which i forgotten his name, we move to his jeep and the hunt begin. It wasn’t a long drive to the nature park, sister Rayna and I have a important job to do, each of us was given a projector light to hunt for the animal (we seat behind the jeep and it was an open roof top), the first animials we saw was the rabbit than follow by the cat (I- Rayna found it LOL) some other
    animals like cow, jackals, gazelles, fox(that was found by me Rayna), porcupine and not forget the wild boar family too. We stop for a while to have a cup of tea and Israeli biscuit (yummy biscuit, OO forgotten to mention to you that uncle Moshe introduce us a biscuit call winter ice cream which was very delicious too and it is only available in Israel.) after the rest we continue our hunt.

    Back to lodge mother cook us chicken porridge which was yummy too.

    nit nite.

  13. Day 12: written by Mattea

    We are going to visit a few places today : Safed, Hula Valley.

    Safed – Safed is the highest city in the Galilee and of Israel. The Old City of Sefed was a hub of creativity that drew leading artists from around the country therefore it is also known as Israel’s art capital. Both side of the street displayed lots of art pieces that one might think that they are actually in the gallery while walking in between the street. You can hear lively music played by the merchant and beautiful art work that you won’t want to take your eyes off them. We bought a piece of art home too, the artist’s name Moshe too (What a coincident I think to myself maybe Moshe is a very common name and who knows maybe if I shout “Moshe” dozen of eye will look at me ha ha ha OOOPss uncle Moshe is going to …….LOL). We also visited the Candle shop too the lady who’s hand are so dedicate that she turn the wax into beautiful art pieces and all the candle in the shop is done by her woow what an amazing auntie, while we were engrossing watching her step by step doing her job mom said is time for us to move on.

    Our lunch was Yemenite Food I had forgotten the name of it but it looks a little combination of pitta and pizza, it was very very delicious that we order our 2nd pieces LOL. (I never had enough wanted to eat more LOL)

    We spent lots of time in Safed that almost forgotten that we have to visit
    Hula Valley (I know mom love this place LOL art and her never apart.), Uncle Moshe have to remind her LOL.

    It was another 45min drive to Hula Valley from Safed. Hula Valley formally is surrounded with swamps but was drained in the 1950s as an attempt to alter the environment to suit agricultural needs. It is a big nature park therefore it was not possible for us to walk so Uncle Moshe
    rent a buggy to drove us around the Hula lake. We saw lots of different kinds of bird migrate to this piece of land they make lots of noise too, I also saw otter (Uncle Moshe and Mom had an argument of the animal as mom said Otter and uncle Moshe said Lutra but in the end both turn out to be right LOL *everything was cleared when we visited the Israel zoo during the later part of our trip* both are equally childish OOpps LOL),
    It was a nice ride and we have fun watching the birds.

    Dinner – This round uncle Moshe the culinary chef cook for us LOL according to him, he just put everything together LOL anyway it was delicious.

    sweet dream nite nite.

  14. Day 13: written by Rayna

    Today is Christmas Eve and we are driving back to Jerusalem and again a long drive from where we are.

    We make a stop at Jordon River (The River that Jesus baptized), we saw many cat fish in the river and they are fat too.

    This round we are staying at Eldan Hotel Jerusalemnot far from the city as the previous in hotel. We tried to visit Machane Yehuda market due to sabbath which is on every Friday there are lots of people trying to grab what they can because basically all shop will close after 3 plus 4 in the afternoon (something new to me), we have a hard time getting a parking lot in the end mom say lets check into the hotel and forgo the visiting of the Machane Yehuda market.

    We have hard time finding a place to eat our lunch too as most of the restaurant had either closed or going to, but luck was at our side we manage to sneak into a supermarket and get some food from there LOL
    we even have shushi too, what a blessing LOL. After we get what we need we headed to the hotel room and start eating our lunch cum dinner
    LOL (by the time we reach the hotel it was already 5 plus in the evening).

    Well since there is not other program due to sabbath we just play game and watch TV program as well as homework LOL.

    Ok! What is Sabbath? It is generally a weekly day of rest and/or time of worship observed in Abrahamic religions and other practices, Jerusalem
    is a very religious place that they still keep this practices until today. Sabbath starts every Friday like I mention before from 3+ in the afternoon till the next day evening hummm guess 6+ – 7 if i am correct. By then the Shop will open for business again as usual. Interesting isn’t it?

    I am going to watch TV program now and eat till my tummy full so bye for now.

  15. Day 14: written Rayna and Mattea

    HO HO HO MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Today is Christmas day and we are in Jerusalem ha ha ha first time in my life that i celebrated this special day in Israel, surprisingly people here don’t really celebrate this day therefore it is just a normal day for them but according to uncle Moshe some other part of Israel like Tel Aviv they might have more things happening in those area but not so much in Jerusalem, hummmm i wonder why.

    Anyway today we have whole list of activities to do firstly we went to the Israel Zoo. There are lots of Israeli adult bring their kids or grand children to visit the Zoo, it was a big Zoo that require lots of walking but that’s ok for me, I saw lots of different kinds of animal that i had never seen before in Singapore zoo, I saw Ibex, monkey, snake, owl, Otter – Lutra (remember I mention about it? the 2 big kids fight over the name of the animal?? LOL OOpps) and many many others. I like the Children Zoo
    and we have our Ice cream there too ha ha, my sister Rayna and I went into this corner whereby i can have an up close and personally with the sheep i touches them and there are lots of them (we don’t have this in our country). Again mom the time keeper said is time to move and unwillingly we say good bye to the animal.

    Time elevator is our second stop, it was a ride with 3D effect that bring us to the pass history of Israel which was very benefit for me because now i know Israel better then before. The moving seat, the splatting of water and the sound effect makes things so really LOL.

    We went back to hotel for a rest and later the evening we will be going to the Wailing wall and watch the night show in David Citadel.

    Wailing wall is also called Western wall , it is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple’s courtyard and is one of the most sacred sites in Judaism outside of the Temple Mount itself. There is a partition that separate the Man and Woman, as for me naturally we move to the woman section LOL we say our little prayer and touches the wall, when we leave we walk backwards
    face facing the wall as a form of respect (something new to me).

    We than proceed to the David Citadel to watch the light show. We were there early therefore we sit and waited for the time to come. suddenly a big group came and they are ahead of us LOL the big uncle and auntie don’t really know how to line up and take turn instead they just squeeze to get into the small entrance what a chaotic sight sigh! The light show was fantastic it caught all of our attention suddenly we spotted to real
    cat at the scene which is at the corner of the wall ha ha ha funny. We enjoys the music and the light show all was perfect.

    We have Shushi for dinner yummy and that’s the end of the day, we feel upset because tonight is the last night in Israel tomorrow we are going back home.

    nite nite

  16. Day 15: written by Rayna and Mattea

    We woke up very early this morning because there are lots to do before we catches our flight back home.

    Archeological Dig! Yes! you heard me correctly we are ready for the dig in Beit Guvrin LOL! We are all changed and ready for it, I had never been to any of this sort of activities but what come may, it must be interesting i guess after all lots of thing we had never did but all done in Israel LOL.
    There is an auntie who brief us through and than we proceed to the “cave” deep under ground, she then brief us again and we begin to our exploit dig LOL, we work as a family everyone of us trying very hard to dig as deep as we could and whenever someone found something we would give a big hand to praise that person. Nice team work! We had collected many bucket of finding e.g pottery, lid, animal bone, animal teeth
    etc. it was very rewarding. after the dig we move to exploring the cave in another site which mom didn’t allowed us. Uncle Moshe was waiting at the foot of the mountain to receive us but we were waiting for him at the top of the mountain LOL but mom makes new friend during the wait LOL she is always friendly to everyone she meet and get along with people well (I guess is a skill LOL), Anyway smart uncle Moshe managed to find us (I have to say he is very smart and he knows what he is doing LOL).

    So we get changed to clean clothing and carry on to Mini Israel. Everything in Mini Israel is so small (stupid me that’s why it is call mini Israel LOL) it is like within few hours i can visit all the places in Israel hummm nice.

    We went to Tel Aviv and have our Ice cream and walk at Jaffa seaside, it was a very nice night view.

    Lastly uncle Moshe drove us to the airport, after the security check we had pizza for our dinner. My sister said tie her in one of the pillar as she doesn’t want to go home she wants to stay in Israel and I agreed with her because we begin to love this country and wanted to explore more.
    Mom promised us that we will come back again but this round will have to wait till we finished all our study hummm guess 10 – 15 years later???? But now i have a dream to study hard and visit Israel again in the future.
    Who knows by then uncle Moshe is already a very old uncle ke ke ke ke OOOPsss! but his smile will remain.

    Shalom! Israel and uncle Moshe!

    **Thank you uncle Moshe for taking care of us and you are the best!!! by the way mom will be back sooner than us ke ke ke.

  17. Hi auntie Nas

    Hope you enjoy reading our journal, Israel is really a very beautiful country and especially travel with uncle Moshe is a blessing too because he knows lots about Israel, maybe you would want to join mom to visit Israel next round LOL !

  18. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your journal, Mattea and Rayna! Learnt a lot about Israel too. Thank you for sharing your beautiful account. Happy New Year! Magdalene (your mom’s friend) 🙂

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