We had a travel day from Jerusalem to the town of Tiberias, a smallish (40,000 people) resort town on the Sea of Galilee. Our drive took us through the West Bank, along the Jordan River with Jordan visible across the way. Along the way we saw a much larger military presence than we had seen in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, including checkpoints on the way out of the West Bank area.
We checked into our new home for the next six nights: a cabin in a small community just outside of Tiberias.
We have stayed in all kinds of places over the course of this trip: hotels, motels, friends’ homes, apartments, pensions, bed and breakfasts, a Bedouin tent, planes, trains, and now, a cabin. Almost halfway through the year, we have been surprised at what differentiates a great place to stay from a crummy one. A kitchen with enough pots, pans and dishes to actually cook a real meal might be the most important factor. A washing machine is a huge plus. Free parking is huge. Internet access can make or break a place. And whatever amenities a place has, it must be clean to make the cut. A few things that do not seem to make much difference: the size of the place, the number of bedrooms, or even the number of beds. A television does not matter in the slightest (we have watched less than two hours of television since we left), nor does room service (never used it) or a telephone (we use Skype).
Our Jerusalem apartment was close to perfect: a well-appointed kitchen, clean and light, within walking distance of the Old City, reliable internet access, and a washing machine and (gasp!) dryer. As a bonus, it had two bedrooms, one with twin beds for the kids. We stayed an extra day to enjoy the nice accommodation, as well as the fascinating city of Jerusalem, and would have stayed longer if it had been available. May we all find our perfect sanctuary from time to time!