So, after the much longer hike down Masada, we went to the
Ein Geidi nature reserve. Because after
a long hike, it makes perfect sense to go take another long hike. All complaining aside, though, Ein Geidi was
beautiful. Within the first few minutes,
we saw several ibex and other native animals.
The hike was fairly short, and at the end we found ourselves at King
David’s waterfall. We took some fun
pictures, climbed on some rocks, and said hello to a group of Italian nuns also
visiting the waterfall. Since we were
all still tired from Masada, the visit was pretty chill and we kept it short.
Obligatory group picture with obligatory waterfall
were off to the Dead Sea! You’d think
that there would be at least a little bit of an off-season in the middle of
December, but this place was packed!
There was plenty of Dead Sea to go around, though, so it wasn’t a big
deal. First, we covered ourselves in
Dead Sea mud, which is supposed to contain all sorts of minerals that are good
for your skin. It wasn’t able to heal my
poor sunburned shoulders, but it did make everyone’s skin really soft.
Sea itself was a lot of fun. I knew, of
course, that you could float, but it’s amazing how easy it is! If you haven’t been there, how it works is
basically that you try to sit down in the water, and suddenly your feet come
out from under you and you’re floating!
You could actually just float around a read a book or something for as
long as you like.
trip of the day was to Jerusalem for New Year’s Eve. We all went downtown around 10pm and hung out
in the shops and restaurants and waited for midnight. There’s all sorts of places to go in downtown
Jerusalem, and a group of us wandered around for a while before settling on
somewhere to go. We celebrated the end
of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 together, got some apple pie and ice cream in
a café, met up with one of Liana’s relatives, and then headed back to the hotel
for a much-needed good night’s sleep.
When the announcement was first made that fall term was going to be online, I started talking to friends and looking for places to live. We were debating locations around the country: California, Florida, New York, etc.. there were plenty of options. Then it suddenly hit me, what is stopping us from going to Hawaii, covid numbers were better and a two week quarentine would ensure that numbers stayed down… I proposed this to my friend and we agreed it would be an amazing experience, but we didn’t want to get out hopes up. A month or so later we still haven’t decided where to live, Hawaii seemed too far and too difficult to plan. But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads. We spent some time looking into plane tickets, places to stay, etc… and it actually didn’t seem so impossible after all. A couple weeks later and we were arriving here on the big island!
I visited Amsterdam for a brief two and a half days during my vacation. There were a few landmarks and neighborhoods I wanted to checkout, but did not plan the visit in detail. As such, when it came down to destinations with ticketed entries, I had to skip most of them, since they did not have day-of tickets left for sale. Fortunately, I was able to walk around most of the city and it was generally a good time.