Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan

24th Apr 2015
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 1/16 by Munjal Desai
Jordanian countryside
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 2/16 by Munjal Desai
Wadi Rum desert
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 3/16 by Munjal Desai
Road through Wadi Rum desert
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 4/16 by Munjal Desai
Eilat - Red Sea
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 5/16 by Munjal Desai
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 6/16 by Munjal Desai
The Monastery - Petra
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 7/16 by Munjal Desai
Al Siq
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 8/16 by Munjal Desai
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 9/16 by Munjal Desai
Dead Sea
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 10/16 by Munjal Desai
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 11/16 by Munjal Desai
The Western Wall
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 12/16 by Munjal Desai
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 13/16 by Munjal Desai
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 14/16 by Munjal Desai
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 15/16 by Munjal Desai
Sea of Galilee
Photo of Travel Diary from Israel and Jordan 16/16 by Munjal Desai
Jordan river

I always have the tendency to explore the road less travelled. And this year, I got an opportunity to explore Jordan and Israel, which in my opinion are not preferred by many tourists. But trust me, there is lot more to see and lot more to explore than you've probably thought of.


Our ten days trip was planned with a view to attending an Agricultural exhibition in Tel Aviv, Israel which is held every three years and is attended by people from all over the world as we all know that Israel is well known for its advancement in the field of agriculture. It made sense to include Jordan in the itinerary as Jordan has tremendous archeological monuments and is home the famous new wonder of the world Petra.

We began our journey from Mumbai via Air Arabia (which is budget friendly airlines) and landed in Amman, Jordan. So effectively our Jordan-Israel journey started immediately after we landed.

Day 1

Madaba | Mount Nebo

We immediately departed for Madaba which is 30 kms South-West of Amman. Mosaic works are main tourist attraction in Madaba. One can find mosaic works on the floors of buildings and churches. Madaba has a population of around 60,000. We had our lunch and proceeded towards Mt. Nebo. Mt. Nebo is a place where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land. You can see panoramic view of the holy land from the summit. On a clear day, you can see as far as Jerusalem from the top. After spending some time on Mt. Nebo we departed for Petra, which is 3 hours drive from there.

Photo of Madaba, Madaba Governorate, Jordan by Munjal Desai

Day 2


Petra is one of the most sought heritage sites in Jordan established established as early as 300 BC. And considering its magnificent rock-cut architecture, it is deservedly among the new 7 wonders. Petra served as a capital city of the Nabataens and it was home to roughly 30,000 people.

The major attractions at Petra are As-Siq, Treasury, the Theatre, Monastery and some other points on the way. The whole day trek would roughly be around 18 kms (till monastery). Starting early on the Petra hike is advisable as it will get crowded with tourists. So to get a good pictures clicked, start early. I would suggest to carry lots of water and drink it to keep yourself away from the dehydration. Having a good walking shoes is an added advantage.

Photo of Petra, Ma'an Governorate, Jordan by Munjal Desai

Day 3

Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan | Eilat, Israel

We started early from Petra as we wanted to reach Israel. It was decided to enter Israel via Aqaba border in Jordan, which was 2.5 hours drive from Petra. While going to Aqaba, there lies sprawling Wadi Rum desert. We went for desert safari in the 4x4 jeep which was worth the experience. The desert was vast and wide and endless. The natural beauty would make you awestruck. While going towards the border, we passed through the most barren region of the country. However, the road making its way through the barren land looked most beautiful under the sun.

We reached Aqaba at noon and immediately proceeded towards border. To go past the Israeli checkpost is the most difficult task. I was surprised to see that Israeli checkpost was almost entirely handled by female authorities. Because of my beard, the authorities asked me few questions. After some due interrogation, they stamped on my passport and we were there in Eilat, Israel. Eilat is the most happening city in Israel. The city is located on the Southern-Eastern tip of Israel on the coast of Red Sea. Eilat is famous for its beaches, coral reef, nightlife and landscapes. It is a weekend destination for most of the people in Israel. We spent our day in leisure in Eilat.

Day 4

Yotvata Kibbutz | Dead Sea | Jerusalem

Kibbutz is a traditional collective community in Israel which are primarily based on agriculture. Kibbutz culture is well preserved in Israel and it amazed me to see how they live and manage everything in Kibbutz.

Yotvata kibbutz is in one of the most driest places in Israel where there is very less rainfall. We saw collective farming of Dates and Mangoes. Yotvata kibbutz has one of the most advanced dairy farm in the country.

Much more has been heard of regarding Dead Sea and why it is so famous. Dead Sea is one of the most saline lakes in the world. Its surface and shores are 429 metres (1,407 ft) below sea level which is Earth's lowest elevation on land.

We reached Dead Sea at around 12:00 hours and immediately tried our luck on floating. Because of the high density of the water, you can actually float on the water without drowning in it. It was fun part of the trip!

We reached Jerusalem at 15:00 hours. Jerusalem is known as a holy city in the world. It is the birthplace of three different religions (Judaism, Islam, Christianity) in the world. Jerusalem has been sacred to Judaism for roughly 3000 years, to Christianity for around 2000 years, and to Islam for approximately 1400 years. The 2000 Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem lists 1204 synagogues, 158 churches, and 73 mosques within the city. Israel is ancient yet among the most developed country in the world.

We went to the Mount of Olives and got panoramic view of Jerusalem. I recommend to go to Mount of Olives in the morning as you won't be facing against the direct sunlight. It will be difficult to get the panoramic pictures of Jerusalem in the evening from Mount of Olives. Surprisingly, Mount of Olives comes under Palestine which is considered to be an occupied territory. We went to the Old City of Jerusalem and went to the Western Wall. Western Wall is the holiest site in Judaism. The wall has been a site for Jewish prayer and pilgrimage for centuries. It was time for holy site of Christianity. We went to see Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is the same place where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. In the evening, I went for a stroll on the Bridge of Strings which looked most beautiful under the lightings.

I genuinely feel that 1 day was not sufficient for Jerusalem. However, due to time constraints I had to manage it somehow.

Photo of Mount of Olives by Munjal Desai

Day 5

Tel Aviv | Netanya

We went to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem which was transformation from a historical city to an industrial city. Whole day we attended the AgriTech Asia Exhibition. The exhibition was attended by thousands of people from all over the world. The exhibition showcased technological advances in the field of agriculture.

We had our bookings for stay in Netanya, which is around 30 kms to the North of Tel Aviv. Netanya - Gift of God is a very popular tourist destination. Situated on the coast of Mediterranean Sea, Netanya offers all the buzz you need. The evenings get super refreshing at Inter Active Atzmaut Square. People walking, skateboarding, music - it has everything what you need to revitalize your soul.

Photo of Netanya, Israel by Munjal Desai

Day 6

Tel Aviv

As a part of our tour, we visited few kibbutz and different plantations. We went till Lebanon and Syria border. Evening was spent in Netanya.

Day 7

Tel Aviv

We went to see more kibbutz and some more plantations.

Day 8

Nazareth | Sea of Galilee | Tiberias

Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Nazareth is known as "the Arab capital of Israel", the population is made up predominantly of Arab citizens of Israel, almost all of whom are either Muslim (69%) or Christian (30.9%). The city is described as the childhood home of Jesus, and as such is a center of Christian pilgrimage, with many shrines commemorating biblical events.

We went to see Sea of Galilee from Nazareth. Sea of Galilee is the largest fresh water lake in Israel. We went for a special boat ride in Sea of Galilee from Ginosar. And we stayed in Tiberias. We went for a walk in the evening. One thing to make sure is that everything is closed on Shabbat that is holiday.

Photo of Sea of Galilee by Munjal Desai

Day 9

Sha'ar HaGolan, Israel | Amman, Jordan

We went to see one last kibbutz Sha'ar HaGolan which was located on the Jordan border. The main source of income is a plastics engineering factory. The kibbutz also grows bananas, avocado and watermelons, and has a herd of dairy cows. After visiting the kibbutz, we crossed the Sheikh Hussein border to enter in Jordan. After 2.5 hours of drive in the countryside, we reached Amman. We went to the Rainbow Street in the evening which is always buzzing with restaurants, cafes and pubs.

Day 10

Mumbai, India

Back home.