Tel Aviv is vibrant and alive with buzzing culture, a beautiful sun-kissed Mediterranean promenade filled with sun worshipers in an unexpectedly modern city. With traffic gridlocks that would match that of London, its a good thing too that you have the equivalent of Boris bikes in Tel Aviv. This makes exploring a lot easier but we took to the sights on foot after parking the car. In about 5 years time you will be able to explore the whole of Israel on a bike with the proposed 100km national bike trail. The promenade is filled with skaters and runners, ice-cream touting kids on the block, cafes, restaurants, designer shops and night clubs, most of which are open 24 hours. Tel Aviv also seems to be a place where a lot of Israelis living out of town come for weekend entertainment and relation. The city also comes alive at night with party-loving Tel Avivans mingling in the coolest bars around town.
It was in one of the cool alfresco bars on the breezy promenade that I got to meet my boyfriend’s Israeli friends from his army regiment to get first hand recounts of funny army stories. Walking around Israel you will see a lot of soldiers and most as young as mid-late teens, so you can just imagine the teen hormones running riot and add that to an army setting with a group of naughty boys and you have a entertainment filled evening full of funny stories that will make you lose track of time. That is exactly what I had one evening surrounded by army men with many tales of time spent serving their country. Many of them have now finished their services with the army and adjusted to parenthood like pros. It was a real treat to hear stories of a younger Mr Awesome in this vibrant and energetic city with a crew he doesn’t see so much of these days as he now lives in London.
If you are planning on visiting Israel, Tel Aviv provides a great base for exploring other parts of the country. For much of our exploring we seemed to pass through it as we were in Shlomi, the north of Israel. Tel Aviv itself has great transportation but also great for links to other towns as you will find a train going to all major towns leaving from center of the capital. There is so much to see in the city, from Jaffa(Yafo) which can be reached on foot, to museums, bustling open market places and shopping malls which come with extra security at entrances, so don’t be surprised if they ask to search your bag before going in. It seems to be standard all around Israel. Tel Aviv is very diverse in its architecture and residents.
After listening in on the tales from in and round Tel Aviv,
from friendly locals, we thought we could not visit Tel Aviv
and not sample its delicious foods. That would almost be criminal! I was keen to try Israel’s version of humus and find out just what the fuss is about with this Middle-Eastern dish that causes Israelis and Lebanese to go at it yearly in the battle to claim this dish as their own. All in good fun though, as each competes in the Guinesse world record to make the largest humus dish. Lebanon current hold that title. With rambling tummies, we set off to Yafo. This is the old port town of Tel Aviv
and an Arabic quarter of Tel Aviv
. The city’s name was changed to Tel Aviv-Yafo in 1950
to preserve its historical name of Jaffa(Hebrew for Yafo’s Arabic equivalent) as it has association with the biblical stories of Solomon, Jonah and Saint Peter. You will find beautiful flea markets selling antiques and touristy things, also cafes and restaurants with beautiful alfresco dine setting. With all the exploring we worked up quiet and appetite! A bonus to travelling with locals is being showed to the best spots for food. We, of course feasted through some of their favourite spots. If my pictures of the sights haven’t already got your searching for your next flight to Israel I thought some food shots are bound to speed up the inspiration to get you on that flight quickly. Enjoy!
PS. Please let me know if you have any questions about visiting Israel that you would like answered, as I will shortly be addressing some of the questions people have emailed me about.