Toiletries and Medical Supplies:
For anyone who has health problems - and even those who don't - I highly recommend taking out health insurance before you leave. Bring all the medication you need, as well as the
prescriptions, just in case. If you need a refill in Israel, you will have to see a
doctor: Pharmacies will not fill prescriptions automatically - but again, it can
be done. I just helped a friend of mine whose meds ran out when he was here.
It's a pain in the neck, though, so please bring a full supply. If you
need a fridge in the room to store meds, you should call the hotel ahead of time. Many hotels
do have them but not all.
Hopefully, you will not need it, but Israel has very good health care. There are first aid
clinics (called Terem) in all cities, with good doctors and diagnostic services.
You pay a fee and get reimbursed by your insurance.
Medical tourism is also a becoming more common, and many hospitals have special departments to handle patients who come to Israel specially for a variety of medical procedures.
There is a series of WayMarked Ways maps. The series contains about 20+ maps of 1:50,000 ratio that include topographic description of the area plus a clear marking of the waymarked ways in the area (with the matching color of the markings on the way).
Although it's in hebrew, you don't need to know the names of the settlements in order to navigate.
Maps can be bought in most bookstores or travel gear stores.
Surprisingly, trying to find an appropriate link, I found out you can order maps online from the governmental agency which publishes them.
If you want to bring any emblem of Israel I suggest to bring a Menora.
The menorah is described in the Bible as the seven-branched candelabrum made of gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Fresh olive oil of the purest quality was burned daily to light its lamps. The menorah has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and is the emblem on the coat of arms of the modern state of Israel.
You can see my Menora which I brought from Israel (though it wasn't made of gold, haha!).
What to bring home from a trip to Yardenit (the Holy River of Jordan)?
The New Testament states that John the Baptist baptized unto repentance in the Jordan.
Jesus came to be baptized by him there.
Modern visitors usually dress in white robes to enter into the Jordan River.
You can see how I looked like in White Robe after ablution in Jordan at Yardenit.
You can see my Certificate which proves that I visited Yardenit and made an ablution there. (hidden photo).
What to bring home from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher?
For Eastern Christians the best gift is the Holy fire which is described by Christians as a miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter.
But how can we move the Holy Fire over thousands kilometers? There is a way! We can light candles from the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and quickly extinguish them. In such a manner we can take the Fire and bring it home!
You can see the Holy Fire at my extinguished candles, which I brought home from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
What to bring home from a trip to Jerusalem?
I’ve chosen a set of traditional Holy Land’s gifts in small bottles which you can see on my picture:
Holy Water (Aqua Benedita),
Holy Oil (Assite de Olivo),
Holy Earth (Terra Sagrada),
Holy Insence (Incienso Sagrado) and
Holy Cross with a figure of Jesus Christ.
Actually I’ve bought several such sets to present them to my friends and colleagues. They were very glad...
What to bring home from a trip to the Holy Land?
Bring Baptismal crosses! Unfortunately I was not baptized yet… But I hope to be baptized sooner or later. You can see my future Baptismal cross which I bought in the Russian Orthodox Church (Mary Magdalene Church) in Jerusalem.
When I was in Yardenit I’ve put it in waters of Jordan. So it’s waiting to be put around my neck…
I’ve also bought several other crosses for my family.
What to take to a trip to the Holy Land?
Take the Bible or if it is too big and heavy, take the Gospels! What a pleasure to read them when you have just seen the holy places described there. Better before going to sleep or when you are waiting your flight in an airport or flying back home…
You can see my family Bible (edition of 1912, 100-years soon!). I couldn’t take it with me– too heavy, haha! But I took a small modern edition of the Gospels.
What to take to any trip?
Don’t forget a photo camera (better two cameras)! You will be able to recall all the places you visited many years after the trip. Otherwise you will forget your trip in several months or years.
Last three years I prefer SONY Cyber-shot DSC-W170 with a 8Gb memory card (though I should change it soon I guess).
I’ve taken 1090 pics in this trip around Israel (about 100-150 a day). Better size in my opinion is 16x9. I’m able to watch them on my 42-inch TV-panel with full HD quality and put them on my Webshot and Panoramio pages.
Usually I resume my pics into 10x15 size for printing photos (though I don’t do it last two years), into 3x4 size for watching on PC-monitor and into 420x560 size for putting them on VT.
I can’t imagine my trip without my video camera SONY HDR-HC7E. This is an HDV camera. I’ve taken 5 cassettes (1 -85-min and 4 – 63-min). Now I have a 5,5 hours HDV film (1440x1080) which I can watch on my TV-panel in full HD resolution. I’ve made a lot of clips which I’ve put on my Youtube channel (for everybody) and Yandex-video channel (for Russians).
My video camera is also a photo camera. I’ve taken 360 pictures with its help. In total I’ve got 1450 pictures by means of the SONY Cyber-shot and the SONY HDR-HC7E. Besides that I’ve had 1630 captures out of my video film. In total – more than 3000 pictures, which will remind me my trip to Israel.
What to take to any trip?
First of all don't forget a guidebook (better guidebooks) and a map (better several maps) of a country and cities you are going to visit.
For Russian tourists I suggest to take the “Israel. Vokrug sveta” guidebook. There are a lot of guidebooks now in our shops. Some of them may be better but rather expensive. This guidebook is the best choice in the “price-quality” criteria.
The best map in my opinion is “Karta Izrailja” by “Ideal’ny Mir” Tourist Company. It has maps of Israel, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv – Jaffo, Haifa and Eilat.
Travelers often forged that they need to get an
International Cell Phone Rental
when traveling to Israel or anywhere in Europe for that matter, if you use your cell phone you will be shocked to see the bill you'll get, check out sites like www.cellomobile.com, where you rent a cell phone, get a local phone number and pay almost nothing.
As far as clothes are concerned:
- Shorts and T shirts are fine for most places in August.
- In order to visit holy places (Christian / Jewish / Muslim), modest clothing is necessary, especially for women.
- Sandals are fine for easy walking; good shoes are better for the cobblestones of Jerusalem and other old cities, and for hikes (like climbing Massada!).
- For going out in the evening: casual dressing is the rule, unless you are going to attend formal dinners or weddings...
- Don't forget to get a hat, sunglasses and strong sunscreen!
Miscellaneous: Reading material, besides a guidebook and a small Hebrew phrasebook:
- If you are going to visit ancient Biblical sites, a copy of the Bible is handy.
- a book or two about Israel, to get into the atmosphere and get another perspective: non-fiction, such as "Oh, Jerusalem"; fiction: one of Amos Oz's novels, for example.
Luggage and bags:
Zip lock bags are a must! They will come in very handy on the beaches and especially down in the dead sea. Especially if traveling with kids. On beach they are great for collecting sea shells and throughout Israel wonderful for gathering various leaves or flowers to dry in a post trip album, or collecting rocks and various pebbles. Down in the dead sea they are great for gathering some mud! and salts. Also try an empty mineral water bottle and fill it up with dead sea water. Great for facials- and best of all! FREE
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: layers layers layers
Photo Equipment: For kids, disposable cameras,
or instant cameras...
Miscellaneous: Try visiting an Ethiopian Absorption Centre and meeting new Ethiopian immigrants to Israel. A very meaningful experience...try Mevaserret Zion Absorption Centre between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Will need to get in touch with the Jewish Agency for Israel to pre arrange - but very worthwhile enhancement to any trip to Israel even with kids!!.
Winter time: November - March, Make sure to have warm clothes, and a coat. Even if you'll be luck to enjoy some of the warm winter days nights will be COLD.
Summer time: April - October, Although April may be a bit chily sometimes its still spring time and warm most times.
Summer is VERY hot here, especially at the southern area of Israel.
Avarage Temp' around the country during summer time is 35c at the center, And its very humid.
At the south (Beer Sheva, Eilat, Dead Sea, Massada and the desert) its usually around 40c !!!
You dont need much clothes but be sure to have a hat and a sunblock.
Luggage and bags:
Large Beach bag or hold all with a zip to stop the contents falling out when they go through security checks at the border.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Flip flops, rubber reef shoes, hat, sunglasses, suncream, swimwear.
Photo Equipment: Remember to take lots of pictures of your trip but not in or around the border crossings
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Towel
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