As promised here is the next blog post!
The next day we went to the Golan Heights. (Remember when I mentioned that in the last blog post) These mountains are surrounding the Jordan River and are the boarder between Israel and Syria. The exact trail was called Nahal Banias if you are curious to look up more about it. The hike was beautiful and included a waterfall at the end.
Next, we headed to the Jordan river for some casual rafting. I mean CASUAL. There was only one semi rapid. Although, I am not against a more lazy river type journey.
After we departed and headed for Netanya, where we were staying for the night. Our hotel was the nicest of all the hotels we stayed at throughout the trip and of course it was our shortest stay. It was right next to the beach and each room had a balcony view.
Immediately a huge group of us wanted to go to the beach before sundown (in about an hour) to take pictures and put our feet in the water. The tour guide said for liability reasons, no one was allowed to go near the water. So of course, we went into the water.
I have to say that karma can be a real bitch. We happily took pictures of the beautiful beach and stripped down to our sports bras to jump into the waves. As we were running, I felt something glide across my leg. At first I though it was a piece of trash or maybe a shell, until 5 seconds later when a stinging pain swept across my entire leg. Without warning, I began running out of the water. My leg was covered with red lines and was beginning to swell.
In total confusion and pain, I burst out laughing. I was just stung by a jelly fish. This is maybe the liability thing our tour guide was talking about. I even remember ironically yelling about how stupid that rule was as I took off into the waves.
I know what you are immediately thinking…Did you get peed on?
Well we all gathered around my leg, figuring out what to do. We all remembered that Friends episode where Monica was stung by a jelly fish and came to the conclusion that somebody would have to pee on my leg. A very nice friend, whose name due to privacy I will not just lay out, agreed to do the act.
Thank you so much friend! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
I limped up the stairs, trying to not get caught by our tour guide. We went into the bath tub and it happened. It only semi worked. The swelling was going down, but the pain was still there. Once someone pees on you, there is nothing to do but laugh. I couldn’t help it. Eventually the Aleve kicked in and the pain dimmed.
After the whole jelly fish fiasco, we had only a short amount of time to get ready for our night out in Tel Aviv. The trip only allotted one night where we were allowed to leave the hotel at night and go to the bars. Of course it was the night where I could barely walk without pain. Luckily wine helps with these kinds of aches.
We had a crazy night out , but our hotel was a 40 minute bus ride from the street we were allowed to go out on. This meant we were bused to the bars and then had to be back on the bus by 12:30am to get back to the hotel. Just imagine 39 drunk college kids on a coach bus in Israel. You get a very nice picture of how the bus ride back was going. Since the people who planned this trip really wanted to mess with us, we had to be packed and out of the hotel by 7:30am. Not sure why our night out was planned for the night before one of our longest days. Everyone made it out alive!
The next day was Taglit Day, meaning there were a myriad of activities planned for us all day. All of the birthright trips were included in these events and there were hundreds of birthright people running around the city. Of course it was like a giant camp reunion. Everyone knew everyone, whether they went to camp with your cousin, or somehow are actually related to you. The program gave us all matching shirts. It was like Taglit had thrown us a giant bar-mitzvah and these shirts were the give away. You remember in middle school when that next day everyone would wear the give away and you would feel so left out if you weren’t wearing the give away because then you knew you weren’t invited? Of course that was never me? Right?
This was the day that we met our Israeli soldiers. For the last part of our trip, Israeli soldiers, who were our age, joined our trip. This happens for every birthright trip and makes it very special. We were only with our soldiers for 5 days, but I feel so close to each of them. I feel like I was able to learn so much about their country and life just by talking with them. It was an honor to be able to get to know them better!
The Taglit day was interesting to say the least. They wanted to expose us to Israeli culture and set up stations for each group to visit. Our first was a music station. A local DJ was set up in a basement bar. It is was supposed to have a club feel. Instead of having a cultural impact, the DJ was promoting himself, in a bar where everyone was sober and awkward. He told all of us that we should come to his show in Moscow, Russia and then went on about his Instagram likes. It was strange hour.
Next, a group that was semi like the Blue Man Group did an activity with us. The room was split into 4 sides. One side had two giant sticks, the other had drumsticks and a bucket, the other had diver fins and my side had nothing. I guess you can say that my side had the gift of clapping and slapping our bodies. Each side made noise from their objects and of course, all the noises meshed together to make music.
The final event was my favorite. We were given time to play volleyball on the beaches and there was a Zumba class and music. Do not worry, I put my feet in the water and did not get stung again. After, all the birthright trips were taken to a central location for a concert. A big Israeli band played for us and we danced the night away. Again, what’s a bar-mitzvah without a cool band and swag?
Then we embarked on a two hour bus ride to our Kibbutz. I will talk about the Kibbutz in the next post since this one is getting long.
Until next time, please enjoy this photo of the girl that peed on me…