Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nov 12th – Tel Aviv

From Ashdod, we hopped on one of the tour buses, and went to Tel Aviv, to visit our friends Katie and Aner who live there. We walked from Jaffa in the South, along Tel Aviv's beautiful beaches, all the way to the North of the city.

As you're walking on the soft white sand and dipping your toes in the warm Mediterranean, you couldn't help thinking that if this beach were in Spain or in Greece, it would be absolutely packed. It was 26 degrees (in mid November!), and the beach was fairly empty – when Israel is seen as a peaceful and totally safe tourist destination, Tel Aviv will be overrun with tourists.

Stopping to refuel on delicious falafel and hummus, we continued our mammoth trek, passing through beautiful green parks that are the opposite of what you'd probably expect of Israel, up to the Diaspora Museum. This interesting museum takes you through the journey of the Jews, from the time of the Jewish Revolt in AD66 when they were expelled by the Romans from the Holy Land, across the Middle East, Europe and beyond.

We took the bus down to our friend's flat in central Tel Aviv, and we then went out in the evening to one of Tel Aviv's swankiest and trendiest restaurants. We don't go to restaurants this good in London, yet it was remarkably reasonable, and it was nice to join the beautiful people of the city. Aner was telling us about the "Tel Aviv bubble" – the bubble that Tel Aviv inhabits, which means that whatever terrible things may be happening elsewhere in the country, in Tel Aviv, life tends to go on regardless, and people carry on going to the beach or the city's fabulous restaurants and nightclubs, as if they don't have a care in the world.