By Jonah M.
1) The coolest place we visited, for me, had to be Rosh HaNikra, which are water-filled caves by the Mediterranean Sea right on the border with Lebanon. These caves had 2 meter high waves crashing into the rocks. When the waves hit the walls inside the caves a loud crash echos throughout the cave system. The water was bright blue and had an almost glow to it. This was well worth getting up early.
2) One of the best experiences of the trip so far was visiting the city of Akko, in the north of Israel. It is a beautiful city with incredible architecture and ruins from the Crusader period about 1000 years ago. We visited a museum talking all about the history of the city and the way society functioned. It was so crazy to see artifacts dating all the way back to the middle ages.
3) After visiting the museum in Akko, we were all starving. We went to a Lebanese restaurant. It might have just been a normal (delicious) meal but, while there, the owner shared his story with us. He was a Lebanese Christian who had to escape after being persecuted by the upcoming Muslim government. He fought alongside the Israeli military and was able to come to Israel and restart his life. However his family is still stuck in Lebanon and he cannot go back because he would be considered a traitor.
4) While this may not seem like a huge deal, I thoroughly enjoyed just sitting on the bus as we traveled. I could visit with my friends, listen to music, watch the country’s amazing scenery go by, and just generally take a break. While on this trip, we are always going and learning. We are only in our hotel rooms early in the morning and late at night. These bus rides give us time to unpack what we just saw and prepare for what is next.
5) We had a long drive from Akko to Jerusalem, but we finally arrived in Jerusalem in the late afternoon. We started our time in the holy city at the Haas Promenade, with an incredible panorama of the old city and the neighbourhoods around it. It made me super excited for our time in Jerusalem.