Our First Impression of Israel
Sitting in my hotel in Jerusalem, I ponder upon what is my first impression of Israel. From the outside, this country of conflicts and controversies poses a kind of insecurity to people who want to visit it. I too had my apprehensions.
1. Not so conservative – Living thousands of kilometers away and hearing all kinds of news, I always thought Israel would be very conservative. In fact, barring one, all the dresses and tops I packed were long skirts, trousers or tops with with long sleeves . Tel Aviv, our first city, made us change our views, very quickly. It looks like any modern society of the world, though it is conservative in its own sense.
2. Beautiful landscape – Large parts of Israel is desert, but still the landscape is very beautiful with gentle rolling hills all around, scenic valleys, beauiful beaches on the mediterranean sea which are not crowded and green fertile oases expanding into the distance, that supports plethora of flora and fauna. To add to it, spotted here and there, are ancient ruins, some of them more than a couple of millenia old. Whereever you stumble, there is a biblical story waiting to be heard!
3. Vegetarian Food – First thing that we noticed was, you don’t have to ‘look’ for vegetarian food. Variety of it is right there in front of us! The tasty Falafal and hummus in a pita bread with various sauces is my favorite. There are soups, fries, baked vegetables, bourekas, quiche and many types of bread and cheese etc. The list goes on. Olive is an essential ingredient in Israeli cooking. Many Israelis now opt for Vegetarian or Vegan food. Don’t be surprised if you see a restaurant sporting 100% Vegan sign!
4. English speaking – English is spoken by most. I am told that many Israelis speak at least four languages! Hebrew, Arabic, English and the language of the country from where they arrived here after the formation of Israel. Our guide could speak five.
5. Jerusalem has character – Jerusalem, the source of the 3 important mono-theistic religion, is like no other city I have visited in my life. Mostly conservative, most houses sport the same color as the old city since they all use the same stone, dolomite. I have been to many religious towns but this one is clearly different. Though all houses seem similar yet there is something which forces us to love it more and the reason is not religion alone!
6. Cost of living – It is more expensive than most Asian countries. In fact almost as much as Europe! While speaking to people here, I figured, there are a lot of things that have to be imported. Water is life and ensuring the habitable parts of Israel has enough water is a challenge.
There are two more days to go and there is so much to see and learn.
What else to do and Where to Stay in Israel
Hotels in Israel. Book your hotel now!
More Stories on Israel for you
- Hitchhiking in Turbulent Israel
- A complete guide for a 2 Days in Jerusalem Itinerary.
- Yoga in Israel
- Yemenite Art in Israel
- Our First Impression of Israel
- A Visit to the Biblical Places, Ports and Cities that still exists
- The baptismal site, the Jordan River bank where Jesus was Baptised!
- Exploring the Pastoral beauty of Tiberias
- Celebrating Yoga Day
- An enjoyable jaunt around Jaffa
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Great read…… The people I’ve talked to here in the states from Israel say that it is expensive there. They buy there Cameras here in the states to save money . Just a thought.
Yes, US is cheaper than Europe also so it makes sense to buy from there.
Wonderful. Now a days finding Israelis travelling to even remote parts of India is common. Recently I met a group of Israelis on a conducted tour and they all spoke English. The mountain goat (Tahr)you have captured looks majestic. The species we find here do not sport a beard.
Yes, we saw many people from Kerala especially in health sector. .. otherwise it was hard to find an Indian. 🙂
I think the animal is Gazelle, they were so beautifully camouflaged with the surroundings.
Great photos. Waiting for more. The majestic animal maybe a Gazelle, though I am not quite sure.
Thanks so much. I also think that it’s a Gazelle.
Praise the Lord .Israel is on my bucket list from a long time will email u few query . have a great time in the Holy land.
I am back now. Sure, I’ll be glad to answer your queries but before that read my upcoming posts.
Great post! Planning a trip to Lebanon and Israel in October and this will help!
Errrr… Israel and Lebanon don’t go hand in hand due to political situations. There are a few countries you’ll have to avoid if you are visiting Israel.
Concise, well written post. Told me so much about the country and makes we want to go there now. I am a vegetarian and would love to go to a place where vegetarian food is exciting… food is such an integral part of travel.
Absolutely! I don’t think any vegetarian will have any difficulty there.
Cool,looks like a great place, and I am so happy to see that wildlife is still thriving in such a densely populated land, that has been inhabited ever since humans started living at one place….looking forward to more….
Israel is not densely populated!!! India is. Most part of Israel is desert. 🙂
Informative post as usual. Point #3 makes everything simpler to visit the country (at least for me :D)
Yes, I was also very happy to see veg food there. 😀
this is a country I never wanted to visit till I read your this post. looking forward to knowing more abt it.
Now you should ! 🙂
You are in Israel! Wow…lucky you Nisha 🙂 keep bringing us stories 🙂
Now I am back !! Sure, stories are many. 😀
Interesting information about Israel. Look forward to reading your lovely stories.
The stories will follow shortly. 🙂
Thanks a lot for showing a different country 🙂
You are welcome. This was just a glimpse, the film is yet to beseen. 😀
Wow!! My first impressions of this place were courtesy – books and novels that had their plot revolving around Israel. This is a great post, adding another dimension to the mental image I have of this place.
I would love if you comment with your name and not with your blog’s name. We like real people. 😀
I too would have doubted the security aspects and availability of Vegan food – not now 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Lovely pics, as always!
Not sure why there is ‘?’ after now…I added a smiley there.
Yes, it happened earlier too. What device are you using to comment? Probably my site doesn’t like that and is asking you by ????
Don’t worry, I changed it to smiley. 😀
Such a myth around these countries. Unless we visit them, we always have doubts about everything.
And I changed those ???? to smilies 😀
Informative post..Did you go as a group or as Solo? Would love to visit Israel soon!
Thank you. I went with my husband. 🙂
Let me know if you need any more info on Israel.
Its really interesting to read your first impressions of Israel, I fear my opinions have been formed only from heresay and the media – which can be very misleading! The food sounds amazing, and the landscape quite remarkable – I would love to go and see for myself!