Written by MALUSE on 31 Mar, 2009
My German country people are the world champions when it comes to travelling, Israel, however, is not one of their favoured destinations, so it was easy to organise the trip two years ago, we went to a travel agency, booked the flight and the hotels…Read More
My German country people are the world champions when it comes to travelling, Israel, however, is not one of their favoured destinations, so it was easy to organise the trip two years ago, we went to a travel agency, booked the flight and the hotels and four days later we were on the plane.We aren’t pious and didn’t intend to go on a pilgrimage and tick off all the holy sites Israel has to offer, we decided to stay in Tel Aviv (where the international airport is) for two days to shake off winterly Germany and then to go on to Jerusalem for six days. Tel Aviv gave us what we had been looking for and more than was necessary to make us happy: we arrived in the middle of a hot spell, when we landed at midnight it was 22° C, ten degrees more than at home at noon! Tel Aviv is the most modern metropolis of the whole Middle East with ~ 377 000 inhabitants in the city proper (greater Tel Aviv is the city with the largest Jewish population in the world), it’s the financial and cultural centre of Israel. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, for a period of eight months during the Arab blockade of Jerusalem, it also served as the temporary capital of Israel, later, when Jerusalem was proclaimed the capital, most embassies stayed in the Tel Aviv area. Tel Aviv is dubbed The Green City and indeed we saw many streets with a lane in the middle flanked by trees on either side with playgrounds for children and benches for the elderly in between. The Ben Gurion Boulevard took us past the Ben Gurion House in which the first Prime Minister of Israel lived together with his wife to the architecturally unimaginative city hall on the Yitzak-Rabin-Square named after the politician Rabin who was assassinated here in 1995, from there we headed to the Ditzengoff Square praised in all guidebooks for its lively atmosphere and its daily flea market. But there was nothing going on, the whole city was seemingly dead, with hardly any traffic, nearly all shops were closed, we didn’t understand it, Sabbath would only begin at 7 am. Later we learnt that it was a religious holiday, together with the following Sabbath the Israelis enjoyed two free days, good for them, boring for us tourists.Up to now we had seen streets and buildings comparable to the ones in Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, our point of reference when it comes to Mediterranean cities, not too elegant but not shabby, either, a rather well-kept provincial town. We headed back to the beach after asking directions in Russian (you should brush up your Russian before visiting Israel, it may come in handy what with the masses of immigrants from Russia!).The beach of Tel Aviv is 10 km long and covered with light, nearly powdery sand. Due to the long weekend it was packed full, never in my life have I been on such a full beach, I was surprised to discover that I didn’t become panicky but felt good there. The people behaved well, there were no radios, the noise level was bearable.The water is shallow up to the artificial stone barriers/wave breakers about 50 m away from the beach, the water was pee-warm as my grandmother would have said, with the many children it wasn’t only metaphorically so, I’m sure. Whatever, I enjoyed my first swim of the year.From the water I had a perfect view of the shore which reminded me a bit of Miami, there are about 15 high-rise hotels (up to 16 storeys) and many smaller ones, about 50 altogether as well as the Opera house, they’re all modern but each building is built in a different style and that doesn’t look good if you ask me. Not that I would prefer the same style for all buildings, but a master plan by one architect would certainly have improved the cityscape.Tel Aviv is a young city, not even 100 years old, it was started the 1880s as a substitute for the relatively expensive Arab neighbourhoods of Jaffa [a town in the south]. However, the city of Tel Aviv itself was established only in 1909. Owing to its proximity to the port of Jaffa (Yafo for the Israelis), and its status as the first Jewish community that immigrants saw when coming into the country, Tel Aviv quickly grew to become the centre of Israeli urban life, and it remains so to this day. The city was built into the empty dunes! I have the greatest problems imagining this, for me it’s one of the miracles of modern Israel.We experienced a disappointment, however, when we tried to find the area in which between the 1930 and the 1950s approximately 2500 structures in the Bauhaus or International Style were built, this ‘White City of Tel Aviv’ became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2003. We left the promenade at the Opera House and turned into Allenby St., not 100m behind the row of five-star hotels I saw a hostel-like establishment with room rates per hour, the façades of the houses were dirty and decrepit. Suddenly I noticed a really nice house in a side street but when we went near we saw that it was a ruin with holes instead of windows, a poor sight. The houses we passed must have been beautiful when they were built, from the style I’d say that they belong to the first generation of houses in Tel Aviv, but obviously nothing has been done since then and the whole area is turning into a slum. A taxi-driver explained that there was no law in Israel that makes the owners of houses maintain their buildings. Pity!We didn’t find the Bauhaus buildings, never mind, we were depressed by what we had seen and decided to return to the promenade, but first it became worse as we suddenly found ourselves in the empty bazaar of a completely run-down area. Skinny cats were crossing the street looking at us with hungry eyes, oh dear. When I looked into the guidebook later to find out where we had gone wrong, I read that this area was especially picturesque. Picturesque, my back bottom!The promenade is nice and well-kept, surprisingly little entertainment was taking place on it (this may have had to do with the religious holidays), in two days we saw and heard only one juggler, one musician, two women selling knick-knack and a group of Hare Krishna disciples. What we did see in abundance, though, were dogs and pregnant women (not orthodox ones who’re known to have many children). Judging from the way the children in our hotel behaved – one night up to 11 pm a horde of toddlers was running through the lobby, rolling across the carpet, sliding down the ramp for wheel-chairs squealing like a litter of piglets and no adult interfering – we must assume that Israel is a paradise for children.Tourists who don’t eat in their hotels can find some eateries and bars on the promenade, there’s also a disco, the Dolphinarium, which was the site of a horrible terrorist attack in 2001, a young suicide bomber had mixed with the people waiting to enter, 21 people were killed, 120 wounded; a small memorial stands on the promenade. As the attack had taken place exactly five years ago, on June 1, it was decorated with flowers and handwritten posters. We can recommend the restaurant ‘London’ (!) below the Sheraton hotel, besides good food at reasonable prices (I tried and liked hitherto unknown Israeli specialities) it offers a live-show every night starting at 9 pm. We had read that "Haifa works, Jerusalem prays, Tel Aviv parties", from the little we’ve seen we can’t contradict this. One day when we came back to our hotel we heard loud music and saw about 40 people who obviously didn’t belong together dancing behind it in group formation and/or in changing pairs, what made the spectacle even more amazing was that it was 2 pm, about 30° C with 70% humidity!We thoroughly enjoyed our two days in Tel Aviv, the more so as we had the feeling of being the only foreign individual tourists in the whole city.--*LIVES (in case you’ve forgotten your French) Close
Written by dangaroo on 02 Jan, 2009
For many visitors to Israel, Tel Aviv will be the first place they stop. Ben Gurion airport apart from being a place to be grilled by custom officers, is generally the gateway to Israel from Europe or other continents.I arrived from chilly Germany and Poland…Read More
For many visitors to Israel, Tel Aviv will be the first place they stop. Ben Gurion airport apart from being a place to be grilled by custom officers, is generally the gateway to Israel from Europe or other continents.I arrived from chilly Germany and Poland where it was just below freezing and was greeted with mid 20 temperatures. I'd been spending a bit too much time teaching English and writing reviews on dooyoo, meaning a distinct lack in exercise so I was looking forward to doing lots of walking. Having arrived just before dusk, I didn't get to see too much on the first evening - just the Dizengoff Centre (a large shopping centre), Dizengoff Square (once the pride of Tel Aviv but now slightly run down) and the immediate area.I had a shoarma some time in the evening, there were positives and negatives about this - the price at 25 shekels (4.50 GBP) was far from cheap, the size was rather small with the pita the size of a small cupped hand but the choice of ingredients was really substantial - a choice of chicken or beef meat, lots of different types of sauces, various salads, vegetables, pickles and hummus like substances. The taste was great. However, I was on a very tight budget and with beer ranging between 25 and 40 shekels (4.50 and 7.25) in a pub, pubbing it was out of my league! A beer in the shop was even quite pricey at around 8 shekels (1.50) - Gold Star is a decent sup and whilst Maccabee is drinkable, it's not particularly enjoyable.Tel Aviv is a rather relaxed coastal town which I would split into 3 parts, a business zone where the Stock Exchange is, a central area with a lot of restaurants and shops as well as lots of little leafy residential streets just off them and finally the sea front which trails from the old city of Yaffo, up past the soaring high-rise apartment blocks and hotels and finally onwards past the port.Tel Aviv is not particularly large, with a population of about 300,000 and most of the sights rather centrally - it's definitely walkable. If you should choose to take a bus, a ticket is 5.5 shekels for a single ride regardless of distance. Bus drivers are fairly grumpy and always in a hurry and buses are modern with over zealous air conditioning units.The city is incredibly modern, being just 90 years old (from 2009) - you can't expect to see many old buildings!Places to Visit:Neve Tsedek - an area set up by Jewish wanting a better life outside of the then overpopulated Yaffo set up this village in 1887, it's now an expensive part of Tel Aviv on the city limits with some very classy looking houses. A stroll around this area is relaxing and quiet.White City - Nearby is "The White City" an area of Tel Aviv which was built by Bauhaus students after the Bauhaus school was closed and the German Jewish students emigrated to what was then Palestine in the mid-30s during the uprise of the Nazis in Germany. The Bauhaus buildings are a bit neglected these days and many have actually been destroyed, I actually found the run down versions quite charming but some are nothing but ruins. One of the problems is that the Israeli law states that they must be built with exactly the same materials and using the same methods that were used then - which simply is not possible or far too expensive.Florentin is an energetic place with cafes, restaurants and clubs lively well in to the middle of the night, narrow loud alley ways with lots of little art studios is what typifies this area.Hacarmel Market is the Yemenite Quarter of Tel Aviv established by immigrants in 1903, it's got a nice little market albeit not so impressive if you've witnessed something like Khan-el-Khallili in Cairo.Drum Beach - down on the sea front, a place where drummers can be seen rocking out in the evenings. Some really talented musicians down there with full drum kits. This is located close to Yaffo.Apart from that strolling around Tel Aviv's streets or walking up the coastline or perhaps just chilling out on the beachfront is the thing to do. Also make sure you pay a visit to Yaffa, which I'll be reviewing seperately.Perhaps Tel Aviv's best quality is that it's pretty chilled out and unlike religious Jerusalem, no one seems to judge anyone else and you could wear a bag on your head and dance to YMCA with pom-pom's and no one would care. Overall, I recommend going to Tel Aviv but I preferred Galilee and the Dead Sea. Swimming is banned on quite a few of the beaches due to "strong currents", surprising since it's the Med.. but whatever!Getting There------------------I flew in to Tel Aviv from Berlin for a mere 27.99 euros - at the time about 22 quid. There were cheap connections last year from Manchester to Tel Aviv but at the moment the cheapest flights are from Germany with budget airline Tuifly, from Latvia with Air Baltic and from Belgium with Jet Air Fly, all of which are easily reachable by cheap flights from the UK. The prices go up and down and it's worth signing up to those airlines newsletters to keep an eye out for their special promotions.Getting Around--------------------Tel Aviv is well connected to Haifa and Jerusalem by train, comfortable buses travel around the rest of the country and there's also an international connection to Amman in Jordan. Hitchhiking is a bugger out of Tel Aviv because the city is surrounded by highways, though I think I spotted a possible place at the entrance of the highway near the main bus station.Places to Stay-------------------I used Couchsurfing.com when I was in Israel and the accomodation is quite on the dear side with even a hostel being as much as 15 to 20 pounds a night and with the majority having reputations as flea pits. It may be cheaper to get a package deal if you are not intending to use a hospitality website. Close
Written by shamash on 23 Jan, 2007
Tel Aviv stands for beautiful and lively. I have never been to a city with so many drop dead stunning women. They greet you with a smile and a wiggle of attitude. I don't know the statistics but to me the women outnumber the men…Read More
Tel Aviv stands for beautiful and lively. I have never been to a city with so many drop dead stunning women. They greet you with a smile and a wiggle of attitude. I don't know the statistics but to me the women outnumber the men 5 to 1. Let me remind you again that these women are stunning. Imagine yourself drinking an ice cold beer along an endless strip of beaches camped with clubs, bars, hotels and sun worshippers. With every blink of an eye, a beautiful woman appears with an incredible over all tan. But with every positive there is a negative.The residents of Tel Aviv are rude. There is no concept of a line. When you are waiting to use an ATM, old ladies push you off to the side and think nothing of it. In this city you wait for everything. Before entering any store there is always a line because of metal detectors and police officers screening customers as they come in. Men, women and children do not hesitate to push you aside in order to enter before you do. You look at them with shock but they won't lose any sleep over their rudeness. It's a very pushy society.Tel Aviv also has no culture. If you ask five people how to get to the Tel Aviv Museum, you will get six different answers, but ask five people how to get to the nearest Diesel Jeans store and you'll get the same answer from every one. They will also detail their new ad campaign for you. Fashion is what comes first here. It took awhile but I did finally understand Diesel's ad campaign. During the day, there is so much to see in Tel Aviv but after seeing the entire city, you are left with two options. Go shopping with the girls or drink beer with guys and have shouting or hugging matches. They all love to shop and talk loud. I have a shopping shelf life of about two hours at a time and as far as talking loud, I think of myself as a lover not a fighter, hehehe!Jaffa is about 10 to 15 minutes north of Tel Aviv and is a complete contradiction to Tel Aviv. An old medieval castle like fortress encloses old Jaffa. Inside this stone fortress are resident housing, shops and plenty of nice restaurants. I imagine walking into old Jaffa is very much like walking into King Arthur's castle. With all its charm, Jaffa is filled with religious tension. Israelis, Aerobics and Christians all live without much harmony. Everyone looks at one another with question marks, making Jaffa a paradise with much baggage.No one likes to be intruded upon and in Old Jerusalem that is how I felt, like an intruder. Religious beliefs are very strong here. I could not help but feel as though I did not belong. I tried to take as few photos as possible. Their beliefs are much stronger than my will was willing to capture. Old Jerusalem is a lot like Jaffa, full of tension. With so many different people living together, something could snap at anytime. We all know about the terrors that have occurred in the past. The center of Jerusalem is like night and day from Old Jerusalem. Young students dressed in the latest fashion trends line the streets. There is a hill like street in the center of Jerusalem lined with trendy shops and tables full of young people chatting on their cell phones and drinking coffee and beer. It was a nice escape from the beliefs of old Jerusalem.Next I headed to the Dead Sea. My drive to the Dead Sea was a lot like a roller coaster ride. The drive is around four to five hours from Tel Aviv depending on the traffic. The drive itself isn't very interesting, much like driving across Nevada with a much prettier ending. The up part of my drive occurred at an exit when all of a sudden traffic came to a complete stop. Everyone stepped out of his or her cars to see what was happening while I stayed in my car to enjoy the air conditioning. Not five minutes had gone by when everyone made a mad dash for their cars. Then an Israeli police officer slams the hood of my car and stares at me a look that says "I am going to kill you." With police sirens blocking any other noises and drivers screaming at the top of their lungs, the officer demands that I leave. Later I discovered all the mayhem was caused by an Aerobics resident who threw a rock at an Israeli officer and cussed him out. I imagine he was shot to death a few yards from my car. All a part of life in the Middle East.Right before you get to the Dead Sea, a wonderful picture perfect ocean view fills every inch of your windshield. The water is clear blue and is the perfect escape from city life. This is where King David came to get away from being a king. The salt water in the sea cleanses every inch of your body. I must have floated in the sea for an hour. I felt cleansed for the next three days. One thing to remember when visiting the Dead Sea is that this is one of the best places on earth for skin care. It all sounds nice until you meet some of the visitors here. A lot of people have funky skin problems here. As I was swimming in the hotel pool, I came across a beautiful woman. We talked for a few minutes and I noticed she would not expose the left side of her face. Well, she wasn't just there for the calm atmosphere. She had some funk on her skin. Today, not many people come to the Dead Sea anymore because of past terror actions and its closeness to Jordan. If you are in that neck of the woods, don't hesitate to go there, it's worth it. I also visited Masado, which is about 20 minutes from the Dead Sea. It's a mountain top city where the Israelis fled from the Romans way back when. There is a lot more history about Masado but I don't have much knowledge about it.After the Dead Sea, I took a flight from Tel Aviv to Cairo, Egypt. I was pretty nervous going to Cairo by myself. At the airport in Tel Aviv, I was met with a lot of resistance. It took close to two hours before the Israelis would let me get on my plane. They had to hold the flight in order for me to catch it. I had to answer the same ten questions to ten different Israeli officers. It bordered on harassment; I must have flashed my passport more times than I did my fake ID in high school. Later I discovered the reason for my treatment. It seems that Asians are seen as a form of cheap labor in Israel. Ten to fifteen years ago cheap labor was welcomed with open arms and huge populations of Asians came seeking work in the land of the Hebrews. After a while, Asians were able to perform the same jobs as the Israelis. Today, Israel's economy has fallen on hard times much like most of the world. The Asians are now taking a lot of the valued jobs because they can do the same work for half the cost. The Israelis despise them for it and many Asians like myself, are seen as job takers, even if you are just visiting. If you're Asian, don't count on a warm welcome at any passport checkpoint. Close
Written by Peregrine on 28 Sep, 2000
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…Read More
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. Close
I arrived in Cairo at about four in the morning and being as I was pretty nervous to begin with, arriving that early in the morning didn't help. The first person I made contact with at the airport greeted me the same way as Sala…Read More
I arrived in Cairo at about four in the morning and being as I was pretty nervous to begin with, arriving that early in the morning didn't help. The first person I made contact with at the airport greeted me the same way as Sala greeted Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. "My friend, welcome to Cairo," he said. That warm welcoming smile eased my tension. The residents in Cairo are friendly and very curious. At any moment someone will strike a conversation with you which can last for hours. I felt safe walking the streets of Cairo but you want to keep your wits about you. There are three things you want to be weary of when in Cairo. The first thing is to be weary of cheap travelers. Everything is cheap in Cairo. Every US dollar is equal to about six or seven Egyptian pounds. For ten Egyptian pounds you can buy a pack of smokes, two bottles of water and a pack of chips. I came across a few travelers who wouldn't tip or would start a fuse over paying an extra two or three pounds. Three pounds comes out to about ten cents. I wanted to kick those people. The second thing is that shopkeepers and vendors are very aggressive. They can sell ice to the Eskimos. Bargain as much as you can and never hesitate to walk off. Finally, do not swim in the Nile River. I met a few people who went for a dip and ended up close to their death bed. When in Cairo, you should see make time to see Giza and everything else. Also make time for a cab ride during rush hour. Rush hour lasts from about 9pm to 11pm and if you think the Romans are crazy drivers, the Egyptians make them look like go-cart drivers. At first you'll be scared shitless but after a while you'll notice the science of their driving. I didn't see a single accident or a fight while I was there. Throughout the day you will also hear periodic chanting ringing in the air. It sounds like it's from a loud speaker but it's actually thousands of Muslims praying at the same time. It's spooky but very griping to hear. By far, Egypt was the best place I visited.From Cairo, I took a bus to Taba, which is a border town next to Israel. The drive gave me a clear understanding of what being in bum fucked Egypt means. I was in the middle of nowhere. The bus stopped just once during the entire five hour ride, stopping only at a rest stop with a single stall bathroom. I looked ten times worse than the train station bathroom in Trainspotting. I've been kicking myself for not spending anytime in Taba. Looking out the window from the bus, Taba looked like heaven on earth with sandy beaches as far as the eye can see and not a single person in sight. At the passport checkpoint, I was faced with another long wait. This time it took less than two hours, but I wasn't tired or anything. I'd love to spend five hours on a bus and then an extra two waiting.After crossing the border, I was in Elat, Israel. The women were stunning and the water was blue and warm. There is nothing to do in Elat but swim with the fishes, eat great seafood and watch sunbathers. Elat is the perfect recipe for relaxing. Close
Written by Whirlwind on 28 Sep, 2000
Tel Aviv Airport...
The trouble started when I presented my passport to the Israeli Ben-Gurion Border Control. Since my only previous foreign travel experience had been in Central and South America, I had taken the liberty of procuring travel visas to enter adjacent Middle Eastern…Read More
Tel Aviv Airport...
The trouble started when I presented my passport to the Israeli Ben-Gurion Border Control. Since my only previous foreign travel experience had been in Central and South America, I had taken the liberty of procuring travel visas to enter adjacent Middle Eastern countries as I had done before when planning the negotiation of Latin locales. The border control officer was this dark haired matron (for some reason, women make the most intimidating customs personnel).
She listlessly picked up my passport and began browsing first former travel habits and then the newer visas. 'Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,' read one stamp. 'Embassy of the Syrian Republic,' read a second. The officer looked up with a glare that suggested I'd just dumped her to run away with her roommate.
'The Syrians are our enemies!' she declared. I was clueless. Hadn't they sent troops to support Desert Storm in subduing Israel's old nemesis Iraq?
'I want to know every place you have stayed in Israel since your arrival,' she barked.
'Well, the first night I stayed at a youth hostel in Haifa...here's the receipt they gave me,' I replied.
'How did you know about this hostel?' she asked.
'The tour guide told me,' I said, beginning to mix up in my mind hostel with hostile.
'Who is this guide? I want his name!' she said.
'He doesn’t have a name...'
'Then you will give me a description...'
'I’m talking about the tour guide of Israel from the Wausau Public Library that I photocopied pages out of before I left for my trip,' I said.
'You will come with me,' she said. I was obviously too clever of a terrorist for her level of expertise.
I was taken to a waiting area in the back and turned over to another female officer. She was younger and prettier, but twice as vicious.
'You will tell me every place you have traveled in Israel since your arrival,' she said as she began taking apart my luggage piece by piece, examining even my dirty socks as if potentially lethal weapons, (which perhaps they were).
I managed some sort of reply about sightseeing I'd done, but was soon interrupted.
'You have been in Israel for a week, yet you have only one small bag. I find this unusual, don't you? Where is your other luggage?' she asked.
'I don't have any. I travel light. Check it out--there's two changes of clothes there,' I said.
'To me that still is not enough,' she said with an air of impatience.
'I washed my dirty clothes by hand in the hotel I was staying in,' I said.
'Why did you take this radio along with you?' she asked.
I was unnerved by the question. Indeed, I hadn't been so unnerved since I was
hand-frisked by a pistol toting PM at the Bogota International Airport while a soldier stood by cautiously training a submachine gun on me.
It was a radio cassette player I'd picked up in Guatemala City during the Persian Gulf War for the sole reason that it also had short-wave feature on it so I could access the Voice of America during Desert Storm. I had taken it along to record a little local music but now realized I was attempting to leave Israel with a short-wave radio in my possession.
Fortunately the 'SW' label on the short-wave switch was too worn to be read.
'To listen to music and catch the weather,' I answered.
'Why did you bring such a big radio? Why didn't you bring a Walkman?' she
I was getting the impression I was leaving the Iron Curtain rather than the Holy Land.
'Because I don't have a Walkman!' I shouted. This seemed to have the effect of swaying her to the notion that perhaps I was nothing more than a disgruntled tourist.
'It will be necessary to dismantle your radio,' she informed me and directed a
second officer, who was unraveling all of my carefully wrapped souvenirs, to take the radio to the shop to open it up as well.
I was taken to a small cubicle and hand searched by a male attendant who
apologized for having to do it. Then I was returned to my nightmare.
'Will I get my radio back?' I asked.
'What makes you think you wouldn't get your radio back?' she replied. I didn't
bother to ask her if she'd ever been in a third world country.
'You are free to go--an attendant will escort you to your flight shortly,' she said.
I was handed a ball-point pen with the Ben Gurion Border Control insignia
emblazoned on it and a little card that read:
Israel Airports Authority
We apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused to you during the
procedure. We wish you a pleasant flight and hope to welcome you to Israel again.
With Best Regards,
Ben-Gurion International airport
Office of the Airport Director
On the plane I noticed a well dressed businesswoman occupying the seat in front of me and writing a note with the exact same pen as mine. One could only imagine what her Border Control experience had been like. Funny, she didn't look the terrorist type.
Tel Aviv was where I was introduced to 'The Israeli Breakfast'. Every hotel we stayed in during our two weeks in Israel presented a similar spread of vast magnitude. I suspect it was because I was staying in tourist hotels and Americans have an…Read More
Tel Aviv was where I was introduced to 'The Israeli Breakfast'. Every hotel we stayed in during our two weeks in Israel presented a similar spread of vast magnitude. I suspect it was because I was staying in tourist hotels and Americans have an international reputation for demanding quantity in their meals.
Whatever the reason, we were greeted every morning with an impressive square footage of goodies displayed beautifully enough for a Presidential reception. For example: fruit (whole, sliced and in syrup), salad (tossed, fruit, and tabouleh), bread (flat bread, crispy poppy seed bread, Danish, croissants, muffins, rolls, and sandwich bread), eggs (scrambled, hard boiled, or however you wanted them), sliced meat (cold and hot) dozens of cheeses, including Israeli goat cheese, yogurt, cereals, and hot dishes I couldn’t name. All washed down with hot European roast coffee, or tea, or juice, or milk or soft drinks – whatever you wanted.
Since I’m not a breakfast person, this was all a bit wasted on me, but I did manage the yogurt with fruit and honey and a little granola every morning. Fabulous. I can heartily recommend the yogurt. Certainly beats the stuff in the paper cartons at home.
Written by dangaroo on 18 Dec, 2008
Tel Aviv Ben Gurion is where I touched down whilst visiting Israel, it's the largest of the Israeli airports and the only one with cheap flights to and from Europe (Berlin, Munich, Manchester, Riga, Vilnius), a very modern airport with quite a lot of travalators…Read More
Tel Aviv Ben Gurion is where I touched down whilst visiting Israel, it's the largest of the Israeli airports and the only one with cheap flights to and from Europe (Berlin, Munich, Manchester, Riga, Vilnius), a very modern airport with quite a lot of travalators and/or walking to get to customs. Luggage was seemingly safely handled (I watched through the window), although the airport workers did seem to stack them up higher and higher in quite a precarious way. There was no where near as much security and military as I expected, however I was later informed that there is a lot of undercover soldiers.I was questioned for customs for quite a long time but it seemed quite easy going and I think I got an easy time compared to other people's stories, it seems this is generally not the same for Jews but they asked lots of questions - Where am I going? Where am I staying? What do I do at home? How come I have friends in Israel? How long do I plan to stay and many more, it would seem that men travelling alone between the ages of 20-40 are the most likely to be asked endless questions based on the fact that this is the most popular people group to head to Palestine and protest.Despite questioning and walking, it wasn't too bad and there is a convenient train connection connecting the airport to Tel Aviv and Haifa and also Jerusalem with one change. Close
Written by chaim26 on 16 Oct, 2005
UNESCO has designated part of Tel Aviv--the White City--as a World Heritage Site. The buildings in it were built in the Bauhaus style in the early 1900s. The style praises asymmetry, plainness, and geometric figures.
Today, many of the buildings have turned grey with the years.…Read More
UNESCO has designated part of Tel Aviv--the White City--as a World Heritage Site. The buildings in it were built in the Bauhaus style in the early 1900s. The style praises asymmetry, plainness, and geometric figures.
Today, many of the buildings have turned grey with the years. But there are still some that recall the old Tel Aviv. Just take a walk down Bialek or Rothschild streets. You'll certainly find a few!
The city offers guided tours as well. For more information, see http://www.white-city.co.il/english/index.htm.