Charlotte stayed with Huda last night and I stayed in a hotel not far away. We met again in the morning and called a cab to bring us to the Israeli border. The crossing is called King Hussein Bridge and is located approx. half-way between Amman and Jerusalem. It’s Friday today and thus the beginning of Sabbath, and the crossing is said to close at 1pm. We arrived at quarter to 12 but were told that everything was closed already. If we wanted to cross anyway we’d have to book the VIP service, for US$ 96 per person.
We said good-bye to reaching Jerusalem today and decided to take another cab to the northerly border crossing, called the Jordan Valley crossing, north of the Westbank and a bit south of the Sea of Galilee. That crossing was working longer hours.
The Jordanian border guards wished me luck trying to enter Israel with the Iranian stamp in my passport. On the Israeli side that stamp and the Iraqi one did indeed cause some raised eyebrows and a couple of questions, though it wasn’t serious at all. At the end I was even asked if I wanted my entry stamp in my passport or on a separate piece of paper, thus avoiding any future problems should I travel to any countries on that passport that deny entry to people with evidence in their passports of having visited Israel before. I opted for the stamp in my passport.
So, after 2 hours we were welcomed to the Holy Land. And it greeted us with rain.
Haifa, at the Mediterranean coast, was our destination of choice now. We just didn’t know how to get there. Hitch-hiking was pretty much impossible due to rain and no traffic. Public transport didn’t exist. Taxis were prohibitively expensive. We chose the cheaper option of hiring a taxi to bring us to Nazareth. Half-way there we thought it better to go to Tiberias instead, located at the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. But the driver’s new quote made us decide otherwise again. So Nazareth it was.
With the help of the friendly girl at the local tourist information we found an affordable hostel.