I landed early morning at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv Israel and took an airport shuttle to the domestic terminal where I was greeted with closed doors because it was a little too early. They opened it up within five minutes and I sat inside until security opened up. I was questioned quite a bit, for about an hour total including a back room full body check, but they ultimately helped me get a standby ticket and treated me fairly nice. They are very thorough with their security processes but one can only imagine how necessary it is.
I finally got on an Arkira 757-300 as one of last passengers and boarded up for a 20 minute flight. The aircraft was full and we cruised relatively low for quite a while. The approach into Eilat was great passing by the beach as the beginning of the runway boarders the north west side of the Red Sea. I walked a little way to the Hostel that my friend Bobby told me to go to, changed in the closet, locked my things up and walked around with a new friend that I met at reception who was well trvaeled for the last few months. Mike and I walked around for about 2.5 hours just wasting time and touring around until our rooms were ready. I had a chance to take a dip in the Red Sea that early afternoon and check out the boardwalk. I have to admit that it was very Mexico Riviera with the bars and beach chairs lining up the "ocean."
I headed back to the Eilat Youth Hostel and Guest House, took a shower and napped to where I woke up a little later to Bobby and Donna arriving around 5:45PM. The Hostel ended up being about $40 a head per night but also included a pretty impressive kosher breakfast. Apparently, most Hostels in Israel include breakfast due to necessity of having Kosher meals. No complaints here for sure.
We headed out for a good dinner after catching up a bit and found a good restaurant on the boardwalk. Mike joined us and we even toured the Hilton Queen of Sheeba Hotel. It was definitely a step up from the hostel, but considerably much more. We agreed to change the trip from Petra to Cairo the night before and we partied a little bit that night in anticipation for a 5.5 hours van ride to Cairo leaving at 6:00AM the next morning from the Hostel. Eilat was quick, but we knew that we would be coming back in a couple of days.