Shalom Israel! HKG-TLV-HKG

Shalom is a Herbrew word meaing peace, armony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye.

I visited Israel recently. My first time in Canaan, the Promised Land.

The distance between Hong Kong and Israel is 7764km, almost one-third of the Equator length. It is lucky that there is direct flight between Hong Kong (HKG) and Tel Aviv Yafo (TLV), Israel. EL AL Israel Airline operates the direct flights from Sunday to Thursday. I guess due to Sabbath (Friday 6pm to Saturday 6pm) there is no flight on Fri and Sat. HKG-to-TLV is about 12hr 30min, TLV-to-HKG is 11hr! Long flights!

Passengers should arrive the boarding gate at Hong Kong International Airport one hour before the departure time. EL AL will do security check of hand carry baggage again at the boarding gate and the process is about 20 to 30 minutes. One should arrive Ben Gurion International Airport two hours before departure time. There is security check of hand carry baggage at the custom and it will also take 20 to 30 minutes. Keep hand carry baggage minimal!

Israel area is about 20,770 square kilometers (21 times that of HK) and the population is 8.4m (while HK is 7.4m). 75% are Jewish and 20% are Arab. The electricity plug in Israel is Type C (CEE 7/16 “Europlug”). It is better to bring a plug adaptor if you travel to Netanya. It is not easy to get an adaptor in hotel or buy one in shopping area.

Hola! is a startup based in Netanya. Mission: to make the Internet more Open, more Transparent, and Faster!

Hola! is a startup based in Netanya. Mission: to make the Internet more Open, more Transparent, and Faster!

I spend most of the time in Netanya. There are many technology companies. Cisco and Microsoft have huge campus there. There are many ambitious and energetic startups as well.

Beach at Netanya

Beach at Netanya

Netanya is a beautiful city. There are great beaches and many surfers! Mostly sunny day. Bright blue sky, white sand, navy blue Mediterranean Sea. Apartments are built with large balconies. Enjoy the sunshine and the breeze!

Apartments with large balconies at Netanya

Apartments with large balconies at Netanya

I was lucky to have a Tel Aviv leisure trip by end of the trip. Tel Aviv Is the major commercial centre in IsraeI and a popular travel destination. It took me about 30min by taxi from Netanya to Tel Aviv.  I visited the Sarona Market area in the morning. There are many old German-style buildings. They are turned into shops, boutiques and designer stores. (Sound familiar? Xintiandi in Shanghai!) I bought some very nice Hamsa there!

The old German style building in the Sarona Market area are turned in different kind of shops.

The old German style buildings in the Sarona Market area are turned in different kind of shops.

I had Hummus as lunch. Falafel and Turkish coffee too.

Hummus. Delicious.

Hummus. Delicious.

I visited Jaffa area in the afternoon. Jaffa, with many thousand years of history, is one of the oldest port in the world!  The area was called Joppa in the past. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah and Saint Peter.

Saint Peter's Church, located Jaffa area of Tel Aviv. Built in 1645.

Saint Peter’s Church, located Jaffa area of Tel Aviv. Built in 1645.

I wondered how difficult and dangerous it was for Saint Peter and other disciples to spread Jesus’ teaching under the Jewish and Roman persecutions. I was in the place where all these were happening nearby two thousand year ago. Thank God.

Saint Peter’s Church interior

Saint Peter’s Church interior

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20

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