Up early again and onto the Airport bus from the hotel to KBP. Only costs 100UAH(£3) per person and departs from right outside our hotel at the main train station. Both flights are uneventful but I'm waiting for the the transit in IST airport to happen first! We only have a 60 minute transfer here from wheels down to wheels up on the next flight, and as I know from experience here at IST is that the transfer security is a fucking nightmare with 2 sections closed and the 1 section open only had 6 scanners working!!!! Q's are huge as is normal here, and I always seem to get the Q with the most arseholes/fuckwits in it!!!!
We make it through and run for the next flight, and seem to make it with plenty of time to spare! Extra security here at the gate, as is expected for a flight to a highly volatile country. Separate lines for men and women too, shoes off, bags open, swabs taken from all over the body and then I'm cleared to pass!
Smooth flight Into TLV and is actually quicker than you realise. Only took 2hr 10min from IST to TLV.
Now, this is where the fun and games start to happen! Had already heard about immigration questioning passengers quite hard before, and was told they have a big thing about Arab stamps in your passport, and are really concerned about Indonesia stamps at the moment! Well, my passport is over half full with different stamps, so my questioning could be interesting!! Immigration girl couldn't care less abut my stamps, but the questioning now turned personal, very personal!!! (bare in mind, I'm travelling with the missus). in no particular order of questioning...………………………..
What is your relationship?
Where did you meet?
Why are you not married?
Do we have children together?
How did you meet?
Why you not live together?
What is your email address, home address and phone number!! (thought that was a very weird question)
Who introduced you?
Where have you flown in from now?
Where have you visited together?
How long are you together?
What is your job?
Where you live?
What is your religion?
What is your reason for visiting Israel?
Why you live in 2 different countries?
How do you see each other?
Where you go to now?
Where you staying?
Are you looking for work here?
Where will you visit?
How long you stay?
Do you know anyone here?
(Answers to all these questions, are I believe, recorded onto her immigration system and will be checked against your answers again when leaving the country, so be truthful)
These are not people to f**k around with, and I seriously doubt there have any sense of humour, so joking with your answers to the girl will I guess get you even more grilling in a private room!!!
Finally made it through. Girl gave me a visa for 3 months and 10 days, whilst the missus only got a 10 day visa from her!! They don't stamp your passport here, rather though they give you a small blue business size card with all details on (and photo) as proof of your visa!(do not loose this card, or your f***d)!!!
Very easy to get to Jerusalem from the airport. We used the Nesher Taxi service, cost 65ILS each(about £15 each), and they drop you off at your door anywhere in Jerusalem. Nesher is basically a Minibus service, and will leave the airport on the hour or when every seat is taken on that bus.
Interesting to see the country as you drive by. Very barren, sandy, big rocks everywhere, lots of shrubs and olive trees and very little else! Never realised that Jerusalem, outside the tourist areas, is so huge and very hilly! Guess I thought it would be kind of a flat area.
Made it to the hotel. Room is kind of on the small size though, but on the plus side the AC is super strong and the owner allows you to use his kitchen area to cook, make coffee, use the microwave, and can even use his washing machine as well if you ask him first, if you want to! The owner is very friendly, and helpful. A nice guy. We are located right on Jaffa Street, and opposite Ben Yuhuda Street which seems to be one of the main areas of restaurants and bars in the evening. Very central to everything really. Went for a short walk to find our bearings and grab something to eat. Found a noodle place which surprisingly made some very good dishes!! Crashed out as its been quite a stressful and full-on day today!