You know the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles? Our return home from Jerusalem was a story of Planes, Trains, a Taxi, Walking, Ice Skating and Hitchhiking!
The roads in and out of Jerusalem were closed on Saturday night because of all the abandoned cars still stuck in the snow. At 7:30 they opened to public transportation only, so we arranged to get a taxi to Ben Gurion Airport at 3 AM. The taxi picked us up, but it kept slipping and sliding on the road from my sister's house. At one point near the entrance to Jerusalem, the taxi got stuck. We got out and pushed. The driver told us to get out and walk up ahead to meet him, so there were were in the middle of the night, stomping around in deep snow and slipping on the glassy ice for about half a mile. Two ultra-orthodox men in a car behind us offered to give us a ride, so I climbed in with my daughter and son, and they took us up to the taxi. My husband, on the other hand, decided to run to the taxi instead. The taxi driver yelled at him, "Don't run!" because he was afraid my husband might have a bad fall and hurt himself, but somehow he managed.
We drove between the cars, buses, trucks, and other abandoned vehicles that were still stuck at the sides of the road. There were almost no other cars there. The closer we got to Tel Aviv, the more cars and the less snow we saw. I called my sister when we arrived at the airport to tell her we had made it. She said we were lucky, because they announced that the road out of Jerusalem was again closed to all traffic at 4:30. She said we were probably one of the last vehicles to make it out that morning!
We took an El Al plane to Zurich, Switzerland, spent five hours in the airport there, and then took a Swiss Air flight to Newark, NJ. This is a video I shot in the train at the airport in Zurich. There's something surprising on the train, so I decided to record it and share it with you. Pretty cool, huh?
The entire journey, from the time we got the taxi to the time we got home, took about 25 hours. What an ordeal. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't been through it myself.