The fifth day (yesterday) in Israel was a half day. Being a Sunday, we had the morning free to do as we pleased, and I chose to sleep in. I eventually crawled out of bed and got my gear together to travel back home later that night. Our schedule was for the entire group to meet in the lobby of the hotel just before 11.00am to begin the day. I showed up at 10.50 but was the only one in the lobby.
I waited and waited. And I waited some more. Panic began to set in as it came to be 11.10 and no one had showed up in the lobby. My worst fears had been realized.
I had been left at the hotel.
And just when I thought all hell was going to break loose, one of the ladies from the group showed up. She was like an angel sent down to tell me everything was going to be ok. Apparently, she and her husband had been told to meet at 11.15. The three of us posted up in the lobby and waited for everyone else to show up.
No one showed up.
We were all under the impression that those that had gone to church were to be back by 11.00. Right? Right. But no one was there. It literally took until about 12.30pm for the bus to come back to the hotel with all the people from church that morning ready to go. It was crazy, but no big deal! The day got started.
We took off to Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
It was a very moving experience to walk through this museum and see images and items left behind from one of the world’s worst memories. If any of you are ever in Jerusalem, I highly recommend going to Yad Veshem. Make sure to devote enough time to it though. There is so much information and countless images that you’ll easily spend hours in the museum.
The last half of the day was spent in Ein Karem, the possible birthplace of John the Baptist. It was a quaint village just outside of Jerusalem.
My flight to London Gatwick was set for 8.50pm, but Hannaniah told me I needed to be at the airport three hours before takeoff. I thought he was joking or over exaggerating the security requirements, but he was not.
Y’all, it took a solid two and a half hours to go through the security system at the Tel Aviv airport.
It makes sense because that is an area in great turmoil, but lordy, it took forever. While waiting in line, I got to talking to the guy in front of me. Turns out, he is 20 years old, half swiss half brit, and is a dancer for a modern dance company in NYC. Really awesome person! He and I cut up and giggled and complained the entire time until he was taken off to have his case searched. Turned out, his entire SELF was searched. Poor thing.
I waited for him on the other side because we had to take a shuttle to the other terminal just to get to the gate. So much struggle. On top of all of that, we needed food. I munched on a chocolate bar and croissant while waiting for him. When we got to the new terminal, I let him grab some grub before running to the gate. We all landed safely back in London Gatwick around 12.30am. Looking slightly like zombies, we made our way through the airport to the next stops.
Fast forward through long grooling night, I landed back in Dublin this morning.
But my travels are not over yet! They are only just beginning.
This Wednesday I fly home to the States for a much deserved visit home. Then I go to France next weekend, and England the weekend after that! It’s gonna be long and tiresome. But I am ready for it!
Keep checking back to see how I am surviving!
🙂 ❤ MC