Saturday, April 29, 2017

7 days in Israel, my journey to the Holy Land, part one

Today is the day!

All pictures are taken from my cell phone. Please ask before using them. This trip was very personal and I'd like to keep my photos personal, so kindly ask prior any use.

April the 19th, from Paris to Tel Aviv.

Today is the day: I am traveling to Eretz Israel for the first time. I am feeling happy to leave, but apprehensive at the same time. I fear planes. I am a little bit nervous as I am waiting for a shared G7 taxi that is supposed to pick me up in front of my building. Here he is. I am greating him and the couple that will travel with me to Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport. The young couple is flying to Venice, Italy. The taxi driver finds it weird that I am traveling on my own, without family or friends.
Little does he know: Yeshua is my traveling partner.

We just arrived to Roissy airport, Terminal 2A. I am now ready to meet the ELAL company team.
At the security checking point, some lady is greeting me and speaking to me very fast, in Hebrew. 
I am answering : " ani medaberet rak ksat yvrith." , " I just speak a little bit of Hebrew". The lady is continuing in English, with a few routinary and weird questions: " What is the purpose of my trip? Do I know somebody in Israel? Do I have family there? Do I carry something sharp with me? Did somebody give me something on my way to the airport? Was the luggage with me at all times? etc...

She examines my passport and gives it back to me.

I am too much in advance for the boarding, so I am heading towards Starbucks Café. I am choosing a small part of marble cake and some mint tee. One hour has passed: I am now read to go to the second checking point and to register my luggage. I am getting directions about boarding. On my way, I notice that the gate for Israel has been changed. I am eventually finding the right boarding gate.

A lot of thoughts are wandering through my head.

I am feeling puzzled. How am I going to handle things properly? I don't know the town I am flying to and I don't know the country-at all.
Some lady is sitting next to me. She is smiling and engages a conversation with me. We sympathize as we keep on talking and sharing.
Her name is Nathalie. She is also a languages teacher. She is seated quite close to me in the airplane which allows us to exchange from time to time.

As the plane is taking off, I am silently reading Tefilat ha derech, the prayer aimed at travelers.

I am sitting next to a couple of Americans from Dallas. They are traveling with some other church members for a short trip to Israel. I am explaining them that my beliefs are closer to Messianics. 
The young lady says a prayer for me, for Yeshua to allow me to see the very places that He has prepared for me. I feel that she has been reading the very desire of my heart. I am thankful for the prayer inside of the plane.

We are now about to land...feelings of excitation take place in my mind. The plane is 20 minutes late, but it is announced that we are now very close to Eretz Israel. 
Here we are! It is 18:50 and we are welcomed with Hebrew songs.
My new friend Nathalie, a French speaking Israeli, is waiting for me, for us to walk together out of the plane. She informs me that the friend who was supposed to pick her up will not be available tonight. We decide to cut the taxi costs by hiring the same driver.

During my whole trip, I will be on a wonderful, lucky trail. Great mazal will indeed follow me. 
I do believe that the divine hand was with me from the beginning to the end.

As we are both reaching the passport control zone, some person from the Ministry of tourism approaches me and asks me if I'd be willing to take part to a survey about transport. He will be offering me a smartphone with internet connection and free calls and sms, on the sole condition to keep him updated with my travels. Another benefit is a $42 dollars voucher in the duty free zone on my return trip. Why me? No idea...the man picked me out of a crowd of travelers.

My arrival starts with a real good omen.

Nathalie and I are now sitting into the taxi that drives us to our respective destinations. Palm trees are everywhere and the weather is very mild. 23 degrees in the evening, what a change for me!

We agree to meet each other a little bit later in front of my hotel.

The first journey will end on a high note: Tel Aviv by night.

April the 19th has been very rich in emotions. I am now ready to go to bed before my trip to Tiberias.

I will pendown this amazing adventure to share it with you all.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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