Today we arrived in Israel after seven intense days of tears, sadness, and ultimately hope. We continue our journey into Israel full of knowledge and know we will be able to see Israel through a new perspective. The Jewish people have endured an immense amount of hardship and we are able to realize how lucky we are. Being able to stand in this country with freedom is something most people never thought would be a reality.
After a 3 hour flight from Kraków, we collected our luggage(most of us) and headed to Caesaria at 5:30am. Everyone tiredly boarded the bus and slept for the hour ride. We arrived at a beautiful arched structure on the beach and ate breakfast from the famous Israeli restaurant, Aroma. Our new tour guide, Boaz, told us stories of Israel and its history leading up to today. We also met our guard, Omri, who loved telling us all about Israel and teaching us different Hebrew words.
Directly from Caesaria we hiked down Mount Carmel. This hike had breathtaking views and allowed us to get to know Boaz better. Luckily, the hike was down hill and lasted about 45 minutes. Everyone began to wake up and take in all of Israel’s beauty.
Straight from the hike, we took a short ride to the Bahaï Gardens. These amazingly crafted landscapes were like nothing I had seen before. Boaz explained the rich history of the gardens and then we proceeded on to the grottos at Rosh Hanikra. Gondola shaped transporters moved us down the mountain to a view of cliffs and a gorgeous ocean overlook. We also experienced many different grottos and cave like structures. Although our day was pretty packed at this point we continued on to a boat ride in Tiberias.
Our spirits were high and we truly started to appreciate Israel and everything it has to offer. Our group took a 2 hour boat ride in a freshwater lake filled with Israeli music, laughter, and fun.
After our long day full of new and exciting activities we reached our hotel in Poriya.
Each of us are sharing small cabins with three other people, and had a delicious Israeli meal. We reflected on our last week in Poland and realized that it was amazing that we have the priveledge to experience Israel.
The start of our Israel journey has started off with positivity and an eagerness to learn. Omri and Boaz provided us with intriguing facts that sparked our interest in Israeli sites, facts, and culture. Overall, we have had a meaningful and eventful trip and I am excited to see what is in store!
-Ali Richter, Sycamore High School