Thursday, March 10, 2016

Exploring Eilat

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Israel - Eilat - Day 1

Well there is really not that much to explore. You can tell it was a very "do nothing day" when there are only a handful of photos. Before breakfast we walked around a bit to see where we are. It turns out we are on lagoon near the marina. There is plenty of hotels and shopping. And, by the way, the airport is right in the middle of everything! There are hotel beaches but to get to the reef for snorkeling you go south down the coastline toward Egypt. There is about 10 km of coral reef down the coast dotted with beaches along the way.

Eilat is kind of the alter universe of Tel Aviv - when we got into the hotel yesterday, we were pretty much one of the youngest couples in the place. When you walk around outside there seems to be much more elderly than young people. Lots of tourists down here, no Americans that we have seen though. The hotel was packed yesterday and trying to get an egg this morning at breakfast turned into an Olympic event. We thought the Egyptian bubbas were fierce - they have nothing on the Jews!

After doing some research and asking around, we decided to take the #15 bus in front of the hotel south to snorkel. We read that the best access was a pier on the Princess Beach that provided equipment - this is the last beach before the Egyptian border. So for a few shekels, we arrived in 15 minutes. The pier was there but nothing else. The Princess Hotel has closed and apparently they were responsible for the beach activities.

Not sure what to do, we wandered up to the road and ran into three Israelis with a car who had stopped to take in the view. They kindly gave us a ride up the beach to the AquaSport - probably where we should have started. Chaises, umbrellas, facilities, etc. No admission, very comfortable. The snorkeling didn't turn out so good. The reef was just a bit too far for me from shore,  and although there were fish closer to shore - nothing really to write home about. We tried a couple of times but the winds were getting stronger.

Although relaxing, the beach area is really not that pretty. The sand is very coarse and rocky. There fences around everything - which I assume is for security purposes.  We watched the Israeli gun patrol go back and forth a couple of times. Not sure if that made me feel safe or scare the crap out of me! However, it was kind of cool looking across to Jordan - where we were just yesterday.

The bus runs every hour, so we decided to pack it in and catch the 2:30 bus. Headed straight for the pool when we got back.  Lots of places to chill here. Beds, huge round chairs.. didn't have the camera but will take pix tomorrow. Don't know if the pool was heated but the temperature was great.  Lolled around some more. Noticed that the average age of the crowd has changed a bit. More families today. Called it quits and now we are in our great room with a beautiful view of the Lagoon. Dinner will be out there somewhere.

We pick up our car tomorrow. Now that we know the lay of the land, we can rent equipment early and drive up and down the coast to find a good place to dive in.  BTW, there are many divers here - so there has to be something out at that reef. Going to see what is out there for dinner tonight.

Next time... Finding the reef

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM: Israel - Eilat - Day 1


  1. Oh well, you guys deserve a do-nothing day once in awhile. Been on the trip now for a month and pretty much on the go everyday.
    Nice hotel room and a nicer view.

  2. I agree with Jerry - I get tired just reading about it. I doubt I could keep up!! Hope your driving & diving adventures are great.