After arriving in Eilat, I seem to have left my proper map of the city in my flat, and the freebie map I got from Hertz Israel from somewhere showed Eilat quite decently but nothing that showed the Youth Hostel.
Eilat is safe place and generally free of political problems (apart from there was one bombing about 3 years ago though) and is something akin to Brighton in the UK as a weekend holiday resort with funfairs and bars on the beach, but also with some Vegas style themed hotels springing up a few places along the coast. This one here is strongly influenced by the dome of the rock from Jerusalem.
I took a look at the beach and the shopping mall overlooking the Red Sea, this place is definitely something of a chill out place and you can see why its a popular holiday resort with Israelis from all over the holy land, there is a small airport but I am not sure which places fly there.
There is a bar and restaurant on a pier, so from here you can see four countries, from Israel to Egypt and Jordan and in the distance Saudi Arabia. Underneath the pier you can see some workmen where doing some welding work to the steel bars underneath.
I gave my room mate a quick call, it was then I was told that my airline (BMI) were ceasing flights to Israel after an article in local Israeli news and I would have to change my return flights home. Anyway he gave me the correct street to get to, and although I got to the wrong road at first and knocked on a bomb shelter next to a shop, which a young man was using to practice playing his drums down there, he pointed me to the next street that I had overlooked to find the shelter.
The Shelter! This place is well known amongst Christians that have been in Israel for sometime, as the owner of the hostel is a Jewish believer in Jesus, so are quite a few of the people that just come and hang out there. There is a regular bible study in the lounge often with some of the staff there, its optional though, and the hostel doesn’t proselytize any visitors that come there.
I like youth hostels as a single chap who likes traveling as you can meeting people from all over the world and swap stories of where you have been or quick find some new friends to go out somewhere. It was quite dark by now and there wasn’t a lot of people around when I arrived, I went round the corner to get myself a falafel and sat in the lounge and spent a quiet evening chatting to Canadian and Swedish people and the staff there.
In terms of the Youth Hostel’s ratings its pretty good as far as hostels go, although the bathroom could of been a bit better with no soap or paper towels in the toilets, the showers were ok thought. I was in a small dorm room with 5 beds, two bunks and an extra bed. I didn’t sleep very well the whole of this trip to be honest, there was always something to disturb me some how. During this first night I got woken up by some thoughtless person who arrived late at night, mumbled things in Hebrew and moved his stuff around the room whilst myself and a Canadian chap were trying to sleep. Thought the next day he had some kind of nocturnal OCD habits or something. The small size of the room gave not much space to put shoes, bags and clothes for all occupants.
Anyway I was getting more excited at seeing Jordan, Petra, the Nabutean desert, and tropical fish aquarium in the next few days…