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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Views of Jericho

View to SW

View to Mt of Temptation

View to Dead Sea

There were great views of Jericho from the roof of the giant restaurant  and souvenir shop in Jericho.
This seemed to be a major stop for groups of tourist and pilgrims that flock to the religious sites in the West Bank.
A couple tips for tourists. When you go to Israel bring lots of US Dollars, except for restaurants and grocery stores every place I asked the price of anything I was given the price in dollars. You can get dollars from the ATMs but the charges and exchange rates are horrible. For restaurants and grocery stores you will need NIS, new Israeli shekels, but for tours, taxis, and most shops you will be quoted in dollars. Apparently there is no VAT tax, 18%, on transactions in foreign currency. The other important tip is never buy from a shop your tour guide takes you to. This is true most places in the world but very apparent here. The tour guide will get 35% or more from the shop where he brings tourists and you pay it. At one stop we were taken to a shop by a guide who said it was the best and olive wood carvings there were three times the price I found down the street when I went into a shop without a guide. Some shop keepers will ask if you are with a guide and I always made sure they know I wasn't.

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