Travelling shapes your youth, and fashions a certain spirituality!
In particular when Israel is your destination. This blessed land is a destination your traveller’s spirit will remember. Here you will come face to face with history and culture. Whatever your religion, Israel will stir your spirit.
The very first stage has to be Jerusalem.
The view of the city from the Mount of Olives is quite simply stunning. Looking over the rooftops, you are reminded that King David came here, barefoot with his head covered, crying after his son Absalom rebelled against him. A little lower down and it’s Jesus who comes to mind. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane with Peter, James and John.
Then there is the old town, its Wailing Wall, the Temple of Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Way of the Cross. Between the ancient stones of the city, you feel overtaken by humility and contemplation. It certainly leaves an impression, in particular when the Tower of David is brought to life with sound and light.
But Jerusalem is not just a biblical site. The new town has a completely different atmosphere. It’s worth taking the time to visit its museums. Don’t miss the Israel Museum and its Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. The same goes for the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.
Moving away from Jerusalem, head to BETHLEHEM, a name loaded with significance for the entire history of the western world. For it is there that Jesus was born.
VILLA BROWN JERUSALEM
A stone’s throw from the old town, this is a private 19th century villa. Retaining elements of preserved architecture, this little gem has been renovated to become a charming luxury boutique hotel.
Israel, the Holy Land, is also a land of surprises. Of all the things it is hiding, one is both funny and surprising:
THE DEAD SEA.
The lowest body of water on earth at 422 m below sea level, this expanse of water is home to lunar landscapes and hypersaline water. Floating for a few minutes gives you the funny feeling of being weightless. Our favourite spots? Kalia or Ein Gedi.
TEL AVIV, the grand finale of the trip.
A change of scene and ambiance. It’s a modern, hip city.
Volleyball games take place up and down the long beach. The country’s youth live life with gusto with their tops off and muscles bulging.
On one side, there is Yafo, one of the oldest ports on the Mediterranean. Coveted by every civilisation from the Egyptians to Napoleon, today it is a charming marina that plays host to small fishing boats and luxury yachts alike.
In the north of the city lies the neighbourhood of Neve Tzedek, a must-see. This small, very Mediterranean village has a singular atmosphere. Here you find the artists, artisans, potters and goldsmiths and you can delight in discovering the little labyrinthine streets littered with low ochre-coloured houses.
But Tel Aviv also has a unique Bauhaus neighbourhood that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To walk around it is to immerse yourself in one of the major architectural movements of the 20th century. Make sure you look up! Everywhere oriental or Art Deco features play with lines and concrete. And for another trip, with just as much architecture to admire...
THE NORMAN TEL AVIV
A distinctive hotel from the 20s that has been reconverted into a very chic boutique hotel close to the Boulevard Rothschild, the vibrant centre of Tel Aviv’s White City.
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