Monday, February 26, 2018

Satisfactorily planning our trip to Israel. Otherwise known as buying water shoes.

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About three weeks ago, Tom announced that he had booked a business trip to Israel. Of course I immediately invited myself along. I suggested that he book our flights before his meetings started, so we'd have some time to tour around.

Tom's meetings were set for Monday, so he booked our flights the Thursday before. Those reservations didn't last long. I am not going the whole way to Israel for a long weekend. We compromised and Tom booked the tickets so we'll have a full week to take in the birthplace of about twelve religions and an outpost of the Roman empire. 

Speaking of the Romans, here's what I just learned reading Sapiens: Christianity only became a real deal when one of the Roman emperors, Constantine the Great, for some reason, decided Jesus was his man. By all accounts, this was an odd choice. The Christians at that time were just this weird little sect tooling around on the fringes. It would be like suddenly the United States turning into a Hare Krishna nation.

Back to planning our trip to Israel. First things first. I immediately began shopping for water shoes. The reason is simple. First, I noticed that there is this ancient water tunnel that runs under Jerusalem called Hezekiah's tunnel. That looked cool. Then I noticed in order to go in this tunnel, you need water shoes that actually stay on your feet for a half-kilometer trek through knee high water. Also, water shoes were recommended for the Dead Sea, another must-see attraction. So you can clearly understand why finding the perfect pair of water shoes was of the highest priority.

After a few hours online, I looked into booking hotels, our itinerary and how to get from place to place. I learned that apparently most normal people book their pilgrimage to the holy land with plenty of advance notice. "Do you have space on your tour on 2/19?" I would write. "2/19 2019?" they would reply. 

This became a problem. 

Another thing that became a problem was no public busses running on Friday nights or Saturdays and the intricacies of renting a car and finding our way around. After a very stressful week, I think I finally figured most of it out. Or paid someone to get most of it figured out might be the better way to put it.

Meanwhile, Tom just ran out to buy himself some shoes. We leave tomorrow. 

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