Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Before I begin I would like to apologise for the long delay, I no longer have constant access to a computer so I will be writing with less frequency, nethertheless this exciting account of my intrepid ventures and fun-packed stories of the land of Israel will continue, I of course do not want to upset my beloved readers. Well that enough with the pre-amble, on with the story.

I left you last with my leaving Jerusalem in the middle of a snow storm and coming down to Eilat, the subject of todays blog. Eilat is a small, incredibly tourist city at the southern most tip of Israel, it sits on the red sea and find itself sandwiched precariously between Jordan and Egypt, two borders which are thank God peaceful. Eilat is not Israel. Of course Eilat is Israel but Israelis dont really see it as such and Eilat truly does not feel like Israel. If it wasnt a port it would be just tourists, and the Israelis trying to scam as much money from them as possible. There are many differences between Eilat and the rest of Israel, for instance Eilat is tax free, everybody speaks English (actually it was like that in Jerusalem as well), and cars actually stop at Zebra crossings, which is a real shock especially since as a pedestrian you are sure a car is going to zoom across one even if you are half way across, which is what happens in the rest of Israel.

So the question is why come to Eilat, three reasons exist. First because it is on the beach and the sea is beautiful, second because the weather should be good (note the should, rant to follow) and third and most important everyone is there, and everyone includes my family. I mentioned before that I saw my family when I was down here on tiyul, and it was really lovely to see them after a few months, and I couldn't wait to spend some quality time with them. Now I should say I love my family with all my heart and I couldn't be luckier (I have to say that they are reading this) but that doesn't stop them from driving me absolutely mad. O.K. its reciprical I annoy them as well, especially Gaby (16) my sister, but still was time with the family really the best way to relax, however not having a choice in the matter, I trekked down to Eilat to see them.

I arrived at the Royal Beach hotel (5 star, being with family obviously has its perks) at arround midnight and tried to enter my room quietly so as not to wake anyone up, needn't have bothered as Gaby made so much noise when I came that she obviously woke up Raphy (10) my younger brother. Of course the first thing she wanted to do was try out the nargillah i had bought her (and of course talk to her dear brother.) The next morning at breakfast I saw my parents.

I would like to tell you that I spent the days basking in the hot sunshine with occassional dips in the sea or pool, that would be a lie. In total I think I spent one day on the beach because the weather left a lot to be desired, ie for the most part it was cold and miserable, not beachy weather. My days consisted of shopping, lazing around, seeing friends and some sitting by the beachh. On Friday the three of us went with my dad to the underwater observatory, which is a small observatory out at sea where you can walk down a flight of stairs and be underwater (hence the name), and you can see all the fish and corals, it is a lovely idea and very serene and peaceful.

I was also lucky enough to be able to spend some time with my grandmother Miette who was out in Eilat as well. She is lets just say somewhat eccentric, I have told her so many time, and whilst she is wonderfully funny and great to talk to she can also be somewhat embarrasing, I have told her that as well. The rest of my family is just as embarrassing, I was thus always absolutely terrified that they may meet my friends, and any meetings that did come about I tried to end as quickly as possible, not always successfully.

On the whole the evenings were spent in the various bars of Eilat, particulalry the Three Monkeys which was the bar under the hotel, its vodka laden chocolate milkshake as well as its actually pretty good band, was enough to make me come back several time. It was also the main haunt for most of the machoniks.

New Year's eve was spent first at a Chinese restaurant called Wangs where we had a lovely meal, and then onto a bar called Nikki Beach with Gaby where we met everyone else. This was the first time that Gaby had met many of my friends and if you are reading this Gabs, you made quite an impression. On New Years day my family returned home and so I went to the slightly less well appointed Eilat youth hostel where I was to spend the next two nights.

That afternoon I went to Kibbutz Ketorah where I will be spending the last part of the program, to see some of the AJ6 Machoniks who had just moved in there. It was really lovely there and they had turned it into home after only three days of being there. The next day a few of us went to Kings City which is a theme park in Eilat. It was great fun and it included a water splash ride, a 4D film which was very cool and a magnetic room where you could reinact your favourite Matrix moves. The next day it was on the bus and back to Jerusalem to prepare for the next part of the program.


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