A Travellerspoint blog

Jerusalem


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After Arriving in Tel Aviv airport in Israel, I had to travel 25 miles to Jerusalem. I wanted to go to Jerusalem because there is so much history and religion there; I thought it would be an amazing, interesting place to visit. When we finally arrived in Jerusalem, I wanted to go see the city but it was very late and I was tired, so I just headed to my hotel and rested up. The hotel I stayed at was called Eden Jerusalem hotel. A single room at the hotel cost $115 a night or $345 for all three nights, and the room was nice and clean, it was not to fancy but had all the necessities. The hotel also came with free breakfast, parking and internet, which is always a plus 

On my first full day in Jerusalem, Monday, I spent the day walking around the old city of Jerusalem. There is so much to see there that in one day I did not get to see everything. There are shops, boutiques and restaurants, as well as many great sites to see. My favorite part of the old city of Jerusalem was the Western Wall, which is one of Israel’s biggest tourist attractions. The Western wall is the remains of the old temple Herold built. It took 48 years to build and destroyed only 6 years later it was destroyed. The Jews pray at the western wall because it is the holiest place in Jerusalem. It was amazing to see so many people coming to the wall to pray.
Western Wall

Western Wall

On Tuesday, I visited some catholic religious sites in Jerusalem. My first stop was the church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is considered one of the world’s holiest shrines to Christians because it preserves the most important moments of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When I walked into the church, you could see so many people praying and worshiping god, you could really feel that this was a very holy place to be. The next site I visited was the Mount of Olives, a holy spot that is associated with many events in Jesus’ life, such as his ascending into heaving and teaching his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. It was honestly such as amazing feeling being somewhere where Jesus once stood, where he taught his disciples. Even though I have learned about Jesus’ life, in the bible, in church, in school and with my family, it is so different to have actually experienced it, to stand where he once stood. When I got to the Mount of Olives, I instantly felt different, like Jesus as there with me.

On my last day in Jerusalem, I went to Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. This is the world’s largest national Holocaust memorial and museum. I wanted to visit this museum because I wanted to learn more about the holocaust, the injustice that the Jews felt just because of their faith. The museum was great; it had outdoors monuments, memorials, gardens and sculptures in addition to the museum. Later that evening, I had to pack up and head back to the airport in Tel Aviv so I could catch my place to Dubai, UAE.

$483
Royal Jordanian TLV 5:45p → AMM 6:30a 0h 45m
Royal Jordanian AMM 8:30p → DXB 12:30a 5h 45m

total cost: $828

Posted by nataliecarlone 19:49 Archived in Israel Comments (1)

Cairo

sunny
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Once we landed in Egypt, I went straight to my hotel room and slept. The plane landed at 1:20am, but I didn’t get to my hotel room until about 2:00 am, so I was quite tired, especially after the long day in Florence and the two plane rides, which always make me tired. My hotel was very nice, I was staying at The Karvin Hotel in Egypt for only $60 a night, so three days cost me $180. It was a very nice hotel, especially for the price. The room was very nice, although not the largest hotel rooms I have seen, and it provides free breakfast, which I took advantage of during my visit. The hotel has three restaurants in it, and one of them is on the roof, which is so cool! After a long day, it was nice to just lie down and sleep finally. I even let myself sleep in, which I haven’t been doing recently because I don’t want to miss anything, but I figured I needed a good night’s rest for the day ahead of me.

When I planned my trip, I knew that I had to see the pyramids in Egypt! You hear so much about them, in class, in movies, on tv, just everywhere, so I wanted to see the real pyramids. I knew one of the best places to see the pyramids would be the Giza Plateau, which is home to three of the greatest pyramids in Egypt, the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, as well as the Sphinx and many mastabas, tombs and mortuary temples. When I first saw the pyramids, I was just amazed by them. Although you see pictures of them and hear all of their statistics, you never really realizes just how massive they are. It is also amazing how the Egyptians built these amazing buildings so long ago with very limited resources, yet they’re still standing. To get a better view of the pyramids, I took a camel ride and it was such an amazing, once in a life time experience
pyramids

pyramids

The next day I spent in Egypt, I spent in the Old city, the Coptic Christian section of the city. The old city has 5 original churches, as well as the first mosque built in Egypt and the oldest synagogue. This part of town represents all the of the major world religions. I visited some of the churches, along with Mosque of Amr ibn al-As, the first mosque in all of Africa and Ben Ezra Synagogue, The oldest synagogue in Egypt. Since I was raised a catholic, it was very interesting to see the places of worship of other faiths. The churches that I got to visit were the hanging church and the church of st. George. There was so much to see in old cairo that I know I did not get to experience everything, but I believe that I saw some very important, historical landmarks while there.

I finished the day by taking a long walk in the Al Azhar Park. The scenery of cairo was amazing, expecially the citadel. The park has a nice cool breeze and less pollution than the rest of the city, so it is a nice place to relax and escape the business and heat of the city.

On my last day in Egypt, I went to the Egyptian antiquities museum. Admission costs 60 EGP, or about $10 CAD. The museum is more that 100 years old and has the worlds largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Seeing the artifacts was fantastic. My favourite part was the famous Tutankhamun collection, which features the gold death mask and sarcophagus and the royal mummy room. I just love seeing traditions of other cultures, and the Egyptians burial traditions of their leaders is truly fascinating. I love seeing all the treasures that the pahroah was buried with and thinking about all the work that his people must have done to prepare this all for him. After travelling aroud the museum for a couple hours, I have to go to the airport and fly to my next destination, Isreal, Jerusalem

$450
Royal Jordanian CAI 9:15p → TLV 11:45a 1 stop (AMM)

total cost: $640

Posted by nataliecarlone 12:38 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

Florence


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statuedavid

statuedavid

The minute I stepped out of the airport, I realized just how beautiful Florence was. Pictures of it do not do it justice. The minutes I got to Florence, I wanted to start exploring the beautiful city, but first I had to stop at my hotel to drop off my luggage. The hotel where I stayed was called Il Bargellino. It was very basic, a single room and it didn’t even have a private bathroom, but it was fine for the few days I was going to spend there. The basic room was only € 45.00 or $58 CAD a night, meaning my hotel stay cost me $174, so that is the reason I chose the hotel. I quickly put my luggage away and left to see the city.

My first stop was the Piazza della signoria, Florence’s most important square. The square is decorated with statues by some of the most famous Florentine artists, such as the statue of David. Although these statues are copies and the originals have been moved inside for preservation, it is still amazing to see such beautiful sculptures. Beside these statues is the site of the infamous bonfire of the vanities, when thousands of books, painting, musical instruments other objects that were deemed sinful were burned under the control of Friar Savonarola. A year later the pope was executed in a similar bonfire, also in the piazza della signora. Although quite morbid, it is very interesting to see where this occurred.

Next, I went to Ponte vecchio, the 14th century bridge over the river Arno. It is very beautiful and is lined with many nice stores, most of them jewellery stores. It is nice to just walk around and look at the beautiful bridge, so beautiful that even the Nazis didn’t want to blow it up. In WWII, the Nazis were blowing up bridges to slow down the allies, but they left Ponte Vecchio because it was so nice.

The next day, I decided to go to the duomo, also known as the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The duomo is the most recognized symbol of the city and I now understand why; it is so beautiful. Inside there are works of art, stain glass windows, frescos and, of course, the dome. After almost 500 steps up, you can go to the top of the dome and see an amazing view of the city

Next, I went to st. Johns baptistery, believed to be one of the oldest buildings in all of Florence. The baptistery is right next to the duomo, in the duomo complex. The baptistery, best known for its bronze, doors is beautiful. The doors are decorated with expertly carved depictions of biblical scenes. The next stop I made was to the bell tower, also in the duomo complex. The bell tower, decorated with white, pink and green marble, is very tall. I climbed the bell tower as well, and once I got to the top I was very tired and trying to catch my breath, but the view was so breath taking that I was having trouble doing so. You could see so much of the city, as well as the duomo from the high view

On my last day in Florence, I decided to go to an art museum, and I chose Accademia. admission was only € 6.50 or about $8 CAD. Accademia was an art school for more than 200 year and has many beautiful works of art. The main attraction of this museum is the statue of David, this time it is the real statue, rather than the copy in the piazza della signoria. All the works of art are very stunning and the statue of David is quite impressive. After seeing the copy, it was amazing the finally see the real statue.
statuedavid

statuedavid

After the museum, I went to the piazzale Michelangelo. The square is on top of a hill and gives a spectacular view of the city. The square, which is dedicated to the sculptor Michelangelo, has copies of some of his most famous statues, like the statue of David (another one) and the four allegories of the Medici Chapel of San Lorenzo. There is also a picturesque rose garden, which I walked through while eating gelato, which was very nice and relaxing. Sadly, this was my last day in Florence, but I am glad that my last day was so enjoyable. Tonight I am leaving Europe and going to the Middle East, and my first stop is Egypt, so I am very excited for that

$518
Alitalia – 7:20p FLR -> 8:15p FCO
Egypt Air - 2:00p FCO -> 5:15p CAI

total cost: $700

Posted by nataliecarlone 00:38 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Zurich and Zermatt


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I arrived in Zurich, Switzerland at about 10 am on Friday morning after sleeping on the plane, so I was ready to start my day sightseeing. First, I stopped off at my hotel, the Swissotel, Zurich. I had a classic room, with one queen bed, a city view, internet, air conditioning and many other amenities. The hotel was basic, but very nice. The hotel was 260 CHF or about $275 CAD. Although the hotel room was nice, I was excited to get out and explore the city.

I visited the Old Town, or Alstadt, a historic section oh Zurich, with cobblestone streets, small stores, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Old town is home to some of Zurich’s most significant religious landmarks, and I made an effort to see many of them, as well as the medieval buildings. I walked around old town for a while, just taking in the beautiful day and exploring the town and I had a wonderful experience doing so. One of the most interesting things that I found while exploring old town was the Zurich toy museum. Here they have a collection of toys for boys and girls beautifully on display and admission was free. I enjoyed this museum so much because it was much different from any other museums that I have ever visited. After a long day, I went back to my hotel and rested up for all the adventures ahead of me.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and headed to the train station. I was catching a train to Zermatt, one of the nicest ski resorts in the world. In order to have a full day in Zermatt, I left Zurich at 6:43 and spent three and a half hours on the train. The train ticket was 59.50 CHF or $63 CAD. When I got off the train at 10:13, I saw one of the most beautiful ski hills that I have ever seen! I love skiing so much that I could not pass up the opportunity to go skiing in the Alps. I got ready to hit the slopes and picked up my lift ticket, which was 140 CHF or about $150 CAD for 2 days. Although it is quite expensive, I was willing to pay anything to get to ski in the Alps.
250px-Zermatt_view_of_the_matterhorn

250px-Zermatt_view_of_the_matterhorn

I spent the whole day skiing and just enjoying myself. It was an amazing experience to ski in the Swiss Alps, one of the largest ski hills in the world. At one point, when I was at the highest peak, I looked down and I saw the most remarkable view of the village and everything around it. Everything looked so small from where I was and it was quite an amazing feeling. It was at this moment that I realized that I wanted to continue to travel the world, even after I completed my dream trip around the world...

After a long day of travelling and skiing, I was ready for bed, but this time I was not staying at a hotel. On my month long trip, I would be staying at many different hotels, but in Zermatt, I had the chance to stay in an igloo village instead. For only 149 CHF or $158 CAD, I stayed in a 6-bed igloo with a huge sleeping bag. Although it was a bit chilly, it was an amazing experience to spend the night in an igloo; not many people can say that they have done that!

The next morning I woke up and I headed back to the slopes. There was amazing, untouched power, along with perfect corduroy and newly made moguls. After I spend the day on my feet, I decided to do something a little more relaxing. I decided to go on the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise Cable Car, which is a cable car that brings you to the top of the Small Matterhorn. From the cable car, you get an amazing view of the mountain and it was unlike anything that I have ever seen before. The scene was just breathtaking. The mountain, which is 4000 meters above sea level, is even more amazing when you see it from up high. Sadly, this was my last day in Switzerland, and I went to sleep early that night, tired from the day’s activities.

Today I woke up early and hopped on the train again, going back to Zurich. The train was 59.50 CHF or about $63, CAD and it left at 7:39 and arrived in Zurich at 10:58. I am going to board my plane very soon, headed to my next stop, Florence Italy.

$501
ZRH 11:45a → FLR 5:15p 5h 30m 1 stop (OLB)

total cost: $1368

Posted by nataliecarlone 00:38 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

London

rain

On Tuesday morning, I arrived in London, England. Once I got off the plane, it was raining, as I expected, but that did not matter because this was my first stop on my much-anticipated trip around the world. Ever since I was a little girl, London had always interested me so much and I wanted to visit, and I was so happy that I was finally there! First thing, I stopped off at my hotel, the Space Apart Hotel, a furnished studio apartment with a kitchen, living space and luxury bathroom, as well as free internet and a LCD/plasma TV. I am staying at this hotel for 3 nights, and the cost is $562 CAD.

After stopping off at my hotel, I wanted to see as much of the city as I could, so instead of going around the city by myself, I joined a bike tour. The tour that I went on was the Breakaway Bike Tour - Grand London. For only £20 or $32 CAD, I got to see many of the famous landmarks in London. The first stop we made was Buckingham palace, where we watched that changing of the guards. The changing of the guards was so cool to see, I loved watching the traditional British military display. After watching the changing of the guards, we went to the London Eye and it was AMAZING! The London Eye is basically a huge ferris wheel, and when you're in it, you can see the whole city from a different perspective. You can see Buckingham palace, big Ben, the parliament building and many other landmarks. Seeing the city from so high up was an amazing experience and I am so glad I got to see it! I also got to see Big Ben, one of the biggest clocks in the world, Westminster Abbey, home to many royal wedding, including Prince William and Kate’s, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, an impressive cathedral built in the 1600's. On the Tour, we also visited the houses of parliament, Downing Street, Trafalgar square, the covenant garden, Millennium Bridge and many other sites. The bike tour was a fun and different way to sight see and I am glad that I got to see everything that I did!

london_-_bike_tour.jpg
london_-_b.._palace.jpg
1london_eye.jpg

On Wednesday morning, I made my way to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, which is a behind the scenes tour of the making of harry potter. As a huge fan of harry potter for more than 10 years, this was something that I had to do while in London and I was very excited! Although admission was kind of expensive, £28.00 or about $45 CAD, it was worth the money. On the tour, you can visit real sets from the harry potter movies, like the great hall, Dumbledore’s office, diagon alley, the Gryffindor common room and many other memorable sets. The Studio also has many props, including the nimbus 2000 and Hagrid's motorcycle, among others. It was such an amazing experience to see all the things that I’ve read about and seen in the movies in real life, it was as if I was actually at Hogwarts, living in harry potters world.london_-_great_hall.jpglondon_-_d.._office.jpg

After this, I headed to the tower of London, a more traditional site in London. For only £20.90 or $33.50 CAD, I see some amazing artifacts from the British monarchy and British history. The Tower of London is a historical tower that holds the crown jewels, the prison cell of Sir Walter Raleigh, and the Chapel of St. John and the Royal Armories. It was so interesting to see so much history in one place
1london_-_t.._london.jpg

Yesterday, I decided to visit the natural history museum, a world famous museum. Admission was free, but I would have been willing to pay a lot to visit this museum, there was so much to see! The dinosaur exhibit was amazing; it was both fun and informative. Some of the other exhibits include animals, insects, birds and human biology. The animal collection is amazing and so many species were represented in this museum. One room even had the world’s biggest animals, there were elephants, giraffes, hippos and whales, and it was quite spectacular! There is also an area about natural forces and the earth, as well as their Darwin Centre and the Wildlife Garden. The Natural History museum was an amazing place to go, with so much to see, my only problem with it was that I did not get to see everything that I wanted.
london_museum.jpg
I spent my last evening in London is the St. James Park, the oldest royal park in London. The park was so beautiful, with amazing flowers and trees that are so colourful and the statues are lovely. The lake, the main feature of the park is so beautiful and is home to ducks, geese, swans and pelicans, as well as a multitude of fish. At the park, I sat down on one of the benches for a while where I just appreciated the beauty of the oar, and then I followed one of the walking paths and there was so much more to see! I even fed a squirrel, which is something that I would have never done, but all the locals were doing it and it seemed like such an amazing experience. The park is located in the heart of the city, but it is so open and natural that you forget you're in the city. From the park, you can see Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. The park was so beautiful; I would definitely go back if I had the chance.
Today I am leaving London, and it is a bittersweet moment because I hate to leave the city, but I am so excited for my next stop, the Swiss Alps!

$92
easyJet LGW 7:10a → ZRH 9:55a 1h 45m nonstop

total cost: $764.5

Posted by nataliecarlone 00:38 Archived in England Comments (0)

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