Israel – Day 6/7

Day 6 – Jerusalem > Dead Sea > Beduin Chafla

This day was definitely the most memorable day for all of us. Early in the morning, we visited the Old City of Jerusalem, which is divided into four quarters – Muslim Quarter, Christian Quarter, Armenian Quarter and Jewish Quarter. Once passing through the Jaffa Gate, it seemed like we entered a maze with roads leading to everywhere. I am sure we would have got lost without our guide!

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The first stop was the Western Wall in the Jewish Quarter. To me, it was a magical moment because I first learned about the wall at age of 8 and have always wanted to come visit. Like other visitors, we wrote our wishes on small pieces of paper and put them onto the wall.

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Next, we visited the Temple Mount, which is widely recognized as one of the most important religious sites in not only Jerusalem, but also in the world. In history, over four religions have made use of the site, including Judaism, Islam and Christianity etc. The site houses the iconic Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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Our final stop was the Christian Quarter where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located. Here we saw many Christian groups from all over the world who came here to visit the tomb of Jesus.

To conclude, the visit to the Old City of Jerusalem was amazing. The experience is just like you visit three or four different countries in just two hours. I was particularly intrigued by how all different cultures and religions can co-exist in the same city.

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In the afternoon, we headed to the Dead Sea, which was by far almost everyone’s favorite part of the tour. When we got there, we were surprised to learn that MBA students from Kellogg School of Management were there as well. During the Dead Sea Mud Party, CBS students even competed with our Kellogg counterparts in various games. With delicious food, excellent weather and upbeat EDM music, our party at the Dead Sea was truly a blast. Most significantly, we all went to “float” in the water! The feeling was very strange, as swimming became very hard as we were floating. But it was certainly a magical moment that I would definitely remember for the rest of my life!

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In the evening, we arrived at Beduin Chafla to experience the life of people living in the desert. Not only did we enjoy belly dancing, we also got to try various authentic food. The tea, which is a bit sweetened, was particularly appealing to us. To make the experience complete, we stayed in the big tent overnight, and had some great bonding time with each other.

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Day 7 –  Beduin Chafla > Tel Aviv

Early in the morning, we all had a chance to ride on camels. It was my very first time and the experience was great. Although I was a bit worried that I might fall down as the camels move around, the ride was actually quite stable.

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In the afternoon, we headed back to Tel Aviv for our final dinner at Mitbach Layla, where we booked the entire restaurant for our group. As we farewell with each other, the bus driver surprised us by singing an Israeli song. While it was sad to leave this wonderful country, I knew I would definitely re-visit the country some time in the future.

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