My best vacation in Israel (1991)

By Eyla Benedykt from São Paulo, Brazil

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“Nothing could have prepared me for what awaited us on our arrival.”

It was during a July, vacation time!

I was 18 years old and to travel to Israel was a dream for me. It would also be my first time traveling alone. During the flight with EL AL, I started to think about my life, my family, my Judaica classes at school. 

When the pilot said that we were arriving at Ben Gurion airport, I cried. I stayed in my great-grandmother’s house in Tel Aviv, but it was my cousin Daniel who took me to really ‘meet’ Israel: its beaches with music until nightfall, the Shuk, Dead Sea, Masada, the nightclubs of the hotels on the edge of Tel Aviv, the restaurants.

The marvelous fruits in that heat of 40 degrees Celsius!! And the Khotel!! An indescribable emotion! And the soldiers of the Tzava... all so beautiful! I was dazzled by everything!

The old and the modern in one place! A nation that was breathing with life!

I wanted to enjoy every second! I remember the receptionist at the Jerusalem Hotel, who was not much older than me, inviting us to go dancing in a bunker, the best nightclub in Jerusalem.So different from Brazil! I was ecstatic! Certainly, the best vacation trip I’ve ever had! An energy that I have never found anywhere else...

Photo courtesy of Eyla Benedict

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