Day 35 - Snorkelling in Eilat, Beach & Ice Mall (Netzach)
Just after midnight on the first day of Chanukah, which coincided with Christmas Day this year, we arrived in Eilat (the so-called "Gold Coast of Israel"). After a "fantastic" five and a half hour sleep, I woke up - miraculously not tired at all. Due to the huge attention IST has received throughout our trip, we had some celebrities visiting us at breakfast. Maccabi Haifa's basketball team were sitting just metres away from us and I saw the tallest man I've ever seen. Anyway, after that encounter and prayers we continued our day and our first stop was at a separate beach in Eilat.
The beach was divided into two sections, the men's and women's. The shore was full of rocks and I faced a major challenge just to get to the water. The sun was shining and the air was boiling: it just felt like an ideal day for a swim. Myself and some other boys swam out to a buoy around 200 metres away from the shore. We witnessed an amazing view of Eilat, old buildings and the hills of the desert. After the beach we went to Burgers Bar for lunch and Chananya Beach for some snorkelling and some unexpected wrestling matches.
The boat took a nice half an hour to get out to the place in the sea. Music was blasting and we witnessed some hidden dancing talents many of the boys had. The bottom of the boat was glass and that attracted many visitors on our way out to the ocean. As we arrived, we all jumped in the freezing water but to our disappointment we didn't see any fish or coral so we just wrestled on an inflatable mattress over the water (the aim was to be the last man standing). After several rounds we left back for our hotel for a few hours of free time.
In the evening we went to the circular Ice Mall for dinner and following that was ice skating. At dinner both 80's were together again. We started off getting a variety of restaurants we could select from for dinner. After that, everyone took off their shoes and put on ice skates as we stepped in to the icy round floor to skate. Many of us skated for the first time and I think it's safe to say it didn't end as badly as some expected. After that, at 8:30pm we said our goodbyes to the other group and departed ways. We returned to the hotel, happy after another great day. I can't believe there is only a week to go...time has flown so quickly.