Part 1 -Getting there: Riza and I began our trip began with a 8am flight out of LAX, we had a quick s top in ATL and then one more in New York where we met up with the rest of our group. There were nine of us total heading to Eilat Israel to dive the Red Sea. Only one of our group had been there before, everyone of us has had the Red Sea on our bucket list or some kind of list for quite some time. We were all anxious to get there. From JFK to Tel Aviv airport is a 10 and a half hour flight. Once we finally landed in Tel Aviv, Riz and I had been traveling for 22 hours. We both managed about 5 hours sleep each total since we left, but our grand adventure was just beginning.
The Tel Aviv airport was very nice and very modern. But despite the modernization of today’s air travel, the lost baggage average was not in our favor. Out of the 19 checked bags for our group, 4 of them didn’t make the trip to Tel Aviv. We are hopeful that the missing bags will show up within a day or two. Fingers crossed. Once we got the lost luggage forms and rental cars squared away we headed towards our hotel for the night which lays on the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea. When we reached the hotel we were greeted by a crowded lobby and ensuing chaos of travelers trying to check in after a full day of traveling. After a few minutes we realized why things were so hectic and taking longer than they should. It was Friday after sunset and Shabbat had begun. With Shabbat a lot of things and people are not allowed to work on Shabbat. For instance in the designated Shabbat elevator you were not allowed to press the elevator buttons. It simply went up one floor at a time, stopping at each floor. Until it reached the top, then stopping on each floor on the way down. Needless to say to took awhile for 9 of us and all our luggage to wait our turn to get on the elevator. Once we were checked in, we quickly met for dinner and drinks in the hotel lobby and restaurant. A rum and coke never tasted so good after a day like that and the food was amazing. A perfect way to end our first day of travel.