Experiences w/ Iberia Airlines? Travel in Israel?
I'll be flying to Israel for a few weeks at the end of January; the best price I could find was on Iberia Airlines. A few hours in the Madrid airport sounds good, too ... not much of a visit, but I've never been to Spain before ;)
This will be my first time flying international with carry-on only, and I'm trying to pack fastiduously. (Hmm. Did I check a bag going to Korea for three days a few years back? I truly cannot remember.) I just bought a digital scale on Amazon, too -- for backpacking and postage use as well, but inspired by the upcoming trip.
So: does anyone have any experience flying Iberia? Their hand luggage allowance seems to be generous: for those like me in the cheap seats, it includes a 10kg bag* as well as several other allowed items that can be carried on in addition (small briefcase / laptop / umbrella / greatcloak / andirons / etc.)
I was surprised by this -- thought that for a European airline especially I'd be stuck with 8kg or less, and wasn't sure about the "extra" (small) bag. Not that I intend to take anything I don't think is necessary! Even a small laptop, though (necessary) adds a few pounds.
(The link appears very session-dependent, but who knows, perhaps it'll work for you: http://www.iberia.com/OneToOne/v3/pr...cfkmdfhmdfnm.0)
My main bag will be remarkably similar in size to an Aeronaut, though not quite as intelligently designed. Still, seems of reasonable quality, so far. I'm considering bringing my Zephyr as briefcase / laptop bag -- walking around, even briskly, with a packed main bag and the Zephyr seems easily doable for airport distances, and I'll only be switching accomodations once or twice within Israel. This is the first time I've wished my Super Ego was an Ego, though -- I can imagine stuffing the Ego under my seat, but no one will ever buy that the Super Ego is a small briefcase or laptop bag! As a daypack, I think the Ego would be more comfortable and less obvious as a computer bag than the Zephyr, because of the Zephyr's greater stiffness. Maybe I'll end up getting one (Ego) in the next several weeks, but only after trying it on at the Bihn store ... another tempting choice is the convertable packing-cube backpack. Hmmm. And I wonder whether I'm being realistic in thinking that the Zephyr could pass as a "small briefcase." It's certainly smaller than the Empire Builder!
Any comment on Iberia's food? I believe that only one of my flights specified a meal (or, I guess I should now say, "at least one of my flights specified a meal"), for which I requested the Hindu option, since I've never seen Indian food that included mayonnaise. I'm still poking on the Iberia website hoping to find what that meal choice will actually mean.
Any "cannot miss" items on your personal list for Israel, esp. ones in / just by either Haifa or Jerusalem? My own list has only a few items so far; I hope to spend some of my time just soaking up the city of Jerusalem (where I'll spend most of my time), working from wireless-equipped coffee shops etc. as possible (it's a working vacation with several fully free days scattered throughout, rather than 3 weeks of sight-seeing), visiting ancient marketplaces, probably visiting history-oriented museums. I'm lucky to have friends who've offerred me a place to stay for most of my time, but otherwise hope to see the place as much like Rick Steves as possible ;) (By which I mean, interesting and cheap food with an emphasis on grocery-store picnics, interesting real-life local activity, seeing offbeat sights by preference, etc.)
Comments on what to do (and perhaps esp. on what NOT to do) greatly appreciated -- I'm neither an ultra-seasoned traveler nor completely unspoiled, but I've never been anywhere in the middle east before. From an Israeli friend, I hear the weather will be "cold" -- by which he means, apparently, "cool." I doubt I'll need a jacket heavier than the high-tech windbreaker I'm likely to bring.
Trying to read up on the country, from both travel-lit and current-events perspective; one thing interesting, I'll be there during the national elections, which I'm looking forward to!
* For business class, it's even better: one 14kg item on short-haul flights, and 2 bags totalling up to 18kg on long-haul.