Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

Destination: all the way..........

From Greece to Israel.

Week 50 + 51, monday 12 December - sunday 25 December 2011.
The first day of this week I went to the office of Salamis shipping in Perieaus to fill in the papers and to pick a date for the transport of my bike. After ten minutes I had a place on the ferry for the next Thursday. Once back at the hostel I sorted out a flight ticket to Tel Aviv. I wanted the cheapest and fastest one available. It turns out to be a flight on AEGEAN airlines. I booked the ticket for € 169 for Thursday. I would leave at 22.30pm and would arrive in Tel Aviv at 00.30am. After this I booked a room in the “Old Jaffa” hostel in Tel Aviv, located in the old harbour area. After  all of this was done I bought myself
a beer to celebrate my next episode of my trip.  Later in the week I went together with Nikolas and a friend into town to drink a beer / coffee. We had many nice chats and walked trough the city for an hour. On Wednesday I started to repack my cases again and saved 3.2 kilo of stuff I hadn’t used in the past periods. I have sent this package home and now I have some more space for my little backpack I bought when I was back in NL. I found out that I also had quite a lot of tin food, and promised myself to eat this in the next couple of days. With less weight it is always better to ride especially when the roads are in worse condition. On Thursday morning I woke up at 06.30am to start packing my motor. Partly I had my stuff already prepared the evening before. After a last breakfast in Youth Hostel No. 5 Nikolas picked me up at 08.15 to guide me to the port of Lavrio. By a fantastic costal road we drove down to the port of Lavrio. We arrived here at 10.00am and after only twenty minutes of paperwork I delivered my bike at the ferry. After all this we went to the center of this small place to drink a cup of coffee. After the coffee we went to the “temple
of Poseidon” which is located at a rock which rises 60 m above the sea. We took lots of nice photos and after another hour we headed towards a place to eat a Greek lunch. We had a table full of food, of course too much for the two of us. We took the rest of the food with us in a doggy bag, so Nikolas didn’t have to cook the next day. After lunch we drove further to some other geological places, but those were closed. Around 17.00 we went to the airport and after a last goodbye Nikolas went back to his place for another appointment. Nikolas thanks for the fantastic day and all the chats we had during my stay in Greece.
Till 22.30pm I spent my time at the airport by reading, eating and drinking. The plane took off exactly on time and after a short flight of not even two hours I landed in Tel-Aviv. By the check of my passport they had to figure out how it was possible for me to have two passports. It took them one and a half hours and lots of questions before they decided that I was allowed to enter Israel. It was by now 02.00am and I took a taxi from the airport to the “Old Jaffa hostel”. After thirty minutes I arrived and a note told me that there was a bed reserved in room number 9.  The next morning I
woke up quite early despite that I went to bed late. After a simple breakfast I went out to discover the area of Old-Jaffa. I also took a long walk along the beaches of Old-Jaffa and Tel-Aviv. When I came back at the hostel I met Kate, A girl from Australia who lived in Holland for the last nine months. In the evening we went out for a drink and ended up in a bar with music from the 80’s and 90’s. After a couple of beers and two shots of Jaegermeister, we were both a bit tipsy so we decided to buy a falafel, an Israelian snack with fried ball of ground chicken and/or beans. Those balls and different salads are served in a pita with hot sauce and tahini sauce. Saturday and Sunday I spent walking around in Old-Jaffa city and took lots of pics. On Sunday evening we went
again into town but stayed this time in Old-Jaffa. We found a nice small cafe and they served us nice beer. It wasn’t that busy so they served us some shots of Jako, an Israelian drink with a taste of anise. And this night again we became tipsy because of the amount of alcohol we drunk. Again we went to a place to buy a falafel. Kate told me about a hiking trail in the north of Israel called “the Jesus trail”. She had plans to do this trail and because it sounded quite nice and so was the idea created to do this trail together. We also made a reservation at a hostel in Jerusalem to celebrate Christmas over there. After this we would head to Nazareth to hike “the Jesus trail” together.
On Monday I took the train to Haifa, where I could pick up my
motorbike. Arriving at the shipping company we filled in the necessary papers and after paying 2450 SIN I was allowed to go to the port for the clearance of my motorbike. The first check was at the gate opposite of the shipping company and this took thirty minutes and they searched in every pocket of my clothes and bag-pack. Finally I was allowed to go further to the next office, the customs. It took them a while before they understood that I had  taken a flight myself and that my motorbike came by ferry. Not earlier than after a senior officer had cleared out the story they stamped some papers. Now was the time for the motor check. This took less than thirty minutes, but after this there was another go to the customs.
The last office I had to visit was the port administration, of course  the computer had some problems. Finally after paying  254 NIS I was able to leave the port at 17.15pm. Because the sun was already down I decided to find the hostel in Haifa. I found “Port-Inn” without problems and booked a room for the night. Later in the evening and some nice chats I found out that it was worth to visit the city. So the next day I went into town and took the shortest metro in the world up to the panorama view for a tour at the Baha’i gardens. Baha’i is a religion with two holy places in the world and they are both in Israel. One is in Haifa and the other on in Akko. With a fifty minutes tour they explained the main rules of the Baha’i religion. For more
information of the Baha’i religion check the link. Back at the hostel I met some other travelers and later in the evening we went into the city to take photos of the Baha’i gardens at night with all the lights. After this we drank a couple of beers at a bar and later on we continued drinking at the hostel. Here I met Nadia, a girl from Canada who lives in Switzerland. After brainstorming  the plans for tomorrow we decided to go together to Akko. Akko has an old city center that is listed on the UNESCO world heritage list. There are two groups of
people in the old city, 72 percent is Jewish and 28 percent is Arab. There are still remains of the Crusader town witch date back to 1104 to 1291. To read more of this fabulous place, take a look on this link “The old city of Acre” Acre is the Arabic name for Akko. We spent the whole day visiting all the places and took again lots of photos. We eat here “humaras” this is a yoghurt with olive oil and herbs and you eat this with bread. Because of a long day walking I went to bed early. On Wednesday I loaded my stuff on the bike again and after I had topped my fuel and checked my tire pressure I was on the road again in the direction of Jerusalem. The ride was not that long only one hundred and forty six kilometer and with a break
halfway, it took me les than two hours to get into Jerusalem. With my GPS it was easy to find the “Jerusalem hostel”, but it took another hour to get trough the traffic. I waited quite a while and then finally I decided to overtake the line. I was almost poisoned by all the cars and busses. The hostel was located at the main street in Jerusalem, but lucky as I was I was able to park my bike right around the corner. Within ten minutes I met Jeramy whom I had met in Old Jaffa and another ten minutes later I met Kate. The same evening we went with the three of us into the old city of Jerusalem. Jeramy has been in Jerusalem more often and that’s why he explained to us a lot about the places and history of the old city. Later that night we
went to a cafe to drink a couple of beers to celebrate our reunion. The next day Kate and I went to the old city again and visited the Western wall / Church of the holy Sepulcher / Lutheran church of the Redeemer / Mt Zion / King Davids tomb / City of David / Room of the last supper / Tomb of the virgin Mary / Chamber of the Holocaust and many other historical places. On Friday evening I met Nadia again who also wanted to be in Jerusalem during Christmas. Our plan was to go to Bethlehem for a service during Christmas eve. Unfortunately
there was too much rain and it was too cold. The next day we heard that there was no place in the Church and that the people had to stay outside. There was a big videoscreen but no sound. A lot of people went home earlier because of the rain and the cold. On Christmas day I didn’t do that much because it was still raining and with no raining clothes it was no fun to be outside. Kate and I went later in the evening out for a beer and we discovered a nice beer from Israel called “Jim’s”. In my next update I hope to tell you more of my visit of Bethlehem and other places in Israel.
 

Countries I have visited: