The End of a Trek to Israel — Pango, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and Masada

Pango, that pay be cell phone company you see popping up heather and yon in the US has its technology based in Israel, in Kadima, a Tel Aviv suburb. We headed there Thursday AM and met with company CEO Zion Harel and VP, Maoz Tenenbaum. Their offices are in a business park and the GPS was confused, so Zion simply leaned out the window, waved a friendly hand, and pointed to a parking space. Here he is with his product:

payngo

The company’s biggest success story is Tel Aviv and a number of smaller cities in Israel, where over 60% of the parking revenue is captured by the system. They have developed a smart phone app which makes using the system a snap. I was particularly impressed with their program, just launched by their US Licensee, Neal Edwards, that focuses on off street locations, enabling Pay by Cell for major parking operations. The first was at a major shopping center in Phoenix.  They also have locations in Auburn, NY, Latrobe and Scranton PA.  The company is opening its off street application at an Impark location in Manhattan.

We left Pango and headed up the hill to Jerusalem. The city is located 30 miles southeast of Tel Aviv at 2500 feet above sea level. Where Tel Aviv was warm and a bit muggy, Jerusalem was breezy and cool.  I was there at the beginning of July, and I understand it can be warm.

Since Sandra and I had not a lot of time, we dropped our bags at the hotel and headed for the Old City. We entered through the Damascus Gate:

damacas gate II

Inside, the old city looks like this:

inside

The Arabs would call it a souk…a market

The Western Wallwestern wall. Men on the left, women on the right…I was particularly taken by this place. So much history, so many millions that had touched the wall.  When you put your hand there, you can feel the energy. Wow!  Below,  Jerusalem — is also a modern city.  They have kept the ‘look’ — by requiring that buildings be built with “Jerusalem stone.:

jeru skyline

And a local mode of transportation, parked near a filling stations

camel

The ruins at Masada mark a unique point in Jewish history, when Jewish rebels fled Jerusalem and took over the remote mountain, and then when they were about to be defeated by the Romans after a two-year siege, allowed themselves to be killed by their own, rather than be taken by the opposing army and enslaved. The fortress is on the top of the mountain in the second picture. The buildings are a visitor’s center.

 

 masada ruinsmasada

 

last tel aviv pix

Tel Aviv — My recommendations are that you spend a tad more time that I did in this terrific country. I was running the entire time, and although I did and saw a lot, I’m certain I missed most of their  heritage and culture. There is no need to rush around, planes fly every day.

JVH

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