Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our trip to Israel - Part 2

A delicious breakfast at Prima Royale, and our tour guide was right on time.  We spent three days with this Israeli Expert Tour Guide - we are now huge fans and very can highly recommend him! 
Doron Matiash - www.doronway.co.il - email: matiash@zahav.net.il - cell: 972-(0)52-2892526

This is the way to tour Israel, a small bit at at time with a small group.  We loved it. 
Our first day we went first to Mount Herzl, and left only a couple of hours before IDF officer Hila Betzaleli, was killed when a lighting rig collapsed on the central Parade Ground. They were preparing for ceremonies the following week. She was only 20 years old.  Several others were also injured.

Unaware of the tragedy, we continued on to the Western Wall. Doron's knowledge of the history, people and archaeological dig actively happening was amazing. 

We were escorted underground along the 360m tunnel, coming up in the Muslim Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem.  Armed guards escorted our tour group back to the start.  Were they necessary?  Of course.  The level of security is something you very quickly get used to, in part because the Security Staff are so very polite and professional. 
Many of the soldiers we saw were in their 20's, laughing and enjoying the beautiful weather, taking pictures in groups and learning 1st hand about the history of their nation.  Just like we were.  Only they're all heavily armed and prepared for war at a moments notice.  Did we feel safe?  Absolutely.