Eilat, Israel. Possibly my favorite place so far! Where do I begin?!
Well, I was still in the Navy, it was one of our port calls. We had our typical 4 days of freedom in any one country. Everyone always darted for the first bar. But not me. I head straight for the beach. This beach was like no other. It was skinny, the sand running curved around the turquoise water. I don't ever remember it being packed, which was nice. I find a good spot, set my stuff down and head straight for the water. It's perfect. The sun had been warming it up all day. The people are SO nice, too! Most countries are nice to us, especially the guys, because they all want to marry a Navy guy and go back to the States, but the Israelis are so genuine.
There was no barrier between the sand and the street. You could walk straight up to a strip mall, and countless bars and restaurants.
After I soak up enough Vitamin D, I decide to go check out the mall. It's your typical outlet mall, plus a ton of touristy souvenir shops. I meet up with a few friends, who are about to get a fish pedicure, in the middle of the mall. They have us put our feet in a small fish tank and these little fishies eat the dead skin off, at their leisure! It definitely tickled, and if you think about it, pretty gross and gnarly! I need a drink after this!
We decide on a pub called "Three Monkeys". Half the ship is there, already drunk.
My friends and I grab a table outside on the patio, still enjoying the breeze as it slowly starts to get dark out. Soon enough, I have to pee. As I make my way from the patio to the bathroom, I have to squiggle through everyone crowding the bar. That results in me bumping into a group of corpsman (navy medics) and they all drunkenly insist on including me in their next round of shots.
Eh, one shot, no big deal, I think, as I agree. They respond by cheering me on and walking me up to the bar. I forget the name of this drink, and if yo know it, kudos to you. The bartender gets some coffee liqueur, and some absinthe, and does something to the glass, and starts swirling it around while tilting it. I'm pretty amazed, then he lights it on fire. Not expecting that! I felt like a cartoon character that got blown up and lost her eyebrows! (They were still there, in case you were wondering). Anyway, so we have to drink these bad boys while they're still hot, it was the weirdest feeling! Also, having never had absinthe before, my stomach felt like shit after. I don't recommend it, lol.
The next day, we head out to the Dead Sea. Legend has it, and it's been scientifically proven that the salt content is so high that we can float on top of the water! It's so cool! It feels like we're the only people left on earth while we're there! The vast space around us makes us feel small.
Next, is Jerusalem. It's packed with so much culture, architect, and history, my heart actually skips a beat. Again, I feel small surrounded by all these huge structures. We see camels walk by as if that's the norm here, as they kick up dirt and let kids play on and around them. The rest of our free time we wonder around all the shops and the outside kiosk stands. A few of us go get tattoos, because why not? We weren't really supposed to, per the Navy, but that has never stopped us! I decide to get two of the elements, water and earth, because that's what Israel is surrounded by the most, that being my most fond memory. With his long blonde ponytail, a tall lanky guy makes us wait in line. As we wait for half of the Boatswain mates to get their ink, the owner of the shop (homeboy with the ponytail) has everyone take 2 shots minimum before he inks us. Now normally, artists won't tattoo you if you've been drinking, but apparently this is an exception. I try a local drink that's some sort of mint lemonade concoction. It's delicious. I think it's called Limonana, but I could be wrong! Anywhom, I decide on my feet for the tattoos. These are my souvenirs. While most people stick with a shot glass, or fridge magnet, I decide to get something that I can take everywhere and add to my own collection!
Here's a few more pictures!
Stay tuned for my next adventure!
Until next time!