Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tel Aviv, Israle: Ben Gurion International, Tel Aviv Israel (TLV)

Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv Israel (TLV)

We landed at Ben Gurion without incident and taxied into the terminal. I could see a few El Al planes all over the place. In addition to a Boeing 747-200 in old El Al colors over by the hangars. My colleague thought we would get a hard stand, but I reminded him that it is a new airport and we may get a gate and we did.

I said my goodbyes, gathered my stuff and headed to the Immigration area. It was a long walk in this huge beautiful terminal! Immigration was a breeze, they just took my passport asked a few questions stamped it and a piece of paper and I moved on. The paper was taken by the next official I met.

I walked over to the baggage carousel and waited for my bag. A note said that I could expect the first bag at 9:55a, it was 9:48a. By 9:53a, the first one rolled off. I spent the waiting time talking to another passenger who was a concert pianist who had just been in Monterey, Mexico for a competition. By 10:05a, my bag showed up and I headed through Customs and outside.

They really spent quite a bit of cash on this new airport. I took some time to walk around a bit and was very impressed by it all. They even have a vineyard and also an orchard which was quite cool. There is a train to three major area cities as well including Tel Aviv for which the cost is 15 EIS. The departure area is also quite nice and seemed well organized although deserted at this time. There flights to places I had never seen before and I could hardly pronounce at all, it was way cool.

We went back downstairs and took a cab into the city for a cost of 110 EIS.