Tel Aviv has an impressive skyline of high rises and the longest, whitest beaches I’ve seen in a while. Nearly a century ago, the city, whose name means began to rise from the sand dunes north of the ancient port of Jaffa where wave after wave of invaders, colonists, and visitors have anchored for more than four centuries.
Scurrying around the high-rises, are the young and the yuppie. Women in short skirts, men in suits. It could be any modern business city in the world. Everything looks new (which it is) in contrast to most of Israel, which is built on the ancient.
Being more interested in the old, I really didn’t see much of the city, other than to drive through it. I did, however, take time to stroll along the pebbled mosaic boardwalk. I was still a bit chill for swimming in the Mediterranean (I was there in February), but the water looked inviting. They’ve built breakers a few hundred yards out so the waves are gentle on the beach, which is groomed every morning by trucks pulling enormous 'rakes'.
We did get a glimpse of the nightlife the morning we left for home. It was technically Saturday, but barely since we had to be at the airport at 2:30AM! We could hear the blast of the hotel disco long before we stepped off the elevator. It must have been near closing time because the nightclub seemed to be disgorging their last customers, mostly young women with too much makeup and too little dress with their arm invariably linked through older men with too much paunch and too little hair. A far cry from the old buildings and the ancient traditions of Jerusalem, barely an hour away.
Ben Gurion airport was another surprise. We had arrived in early evening and the airport was so empty we had trouble finding a ride to the hotel. Not so at 3AM the morning we left. The place was packed. After having dragged my sleepy self and luggage through customs, security, immigration, and ticket counter, I made it to the coffee shop. I needed caffeine. Now. The counter clerk handed me a cup with a filter on it, and a pot of water. Waiting for that coffee to drip slooooowly into the cup had to have been the longest 10 minutes I can remember.