After a packed 10 days in Qatar and Bahrain I flew over to Israel to meet my brother who was flying in from Italy where he lives. I was initially concerned about coming from Arabic countries straight away to Israel and also receiving an Israeli stamp. In actuality Israel no longer seems to stamp passports, rather they give you a printed ID card which they check when you leave the country. After 10 minutes of solid grilling with random questions, a supervisor was called over and I was given the OK to enter the country.
Finding a superb location via Air BnB (despite all the surrounding graffiti) – we were minutes from the beaches. Like a number of other International cities, Tel Aviv has a bicycle sharing program in place. This is a great way to see a city – especially one that is fairly well spread out. You rent a bike and then drop it off at any of a number of bicycle racks spread throughout the city.
We made a beeline for the Promenade, a long section of walkway and bike-way that accesses a number of beaches as well as plenty of outdoor restaurants. While much of the northern Hemisphere is socked in with cold weather, rain and snow the weather here was beautiful with sunny and mild conditions. We could have been along the beaches in Sydney or Los Angeles – other similar latitude cities that have a similar feel next to each of their waterfronts.
Tel Aviv’s old city is located above the water with a port that is among the oldest in the world – dating back some 4,000 plus years! We wandered slowly, pausing to absorb as much as possible, the stone work in the buildings, the narrow streets, a well family dressed to the nines possibly coming back from a wedding and the numbers of people out to enjoy a warm weekend afternoon.
And we were absorbed with even the little pleasures that you have to find when traveling – things as mundane as watching lazy cats sunning.
The afternoon was capped with a delicious lunch and several fine alcoholic drinks at Ladward’s Coffee & Restaurant overlooking the Promenade. This is one of those perfect days that you don’t want to end – where plans tug at you, but you really don’t want to go anywhere.