Blogs from Tel Aviv District, Israel, Middle East - page 3


Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv February 14th 2017

We're halfway through our trip as we entered into Day 5 of our 7 day journey. The weather was a little more humid than usual but nonetheless I was excited as usual for what today had in store which was a trip to Hazor Tel Hazor. This was going to be another 2 hour drive that would take us to upper Galilee and north of the sea of Galilee. We went ahead and picked up breakfast this time around at Maganda and took it with us to Hazor as we decided that we would eat lunch at a restaurant called Kvish 90 located in Rosh Pina which was 12 minutes away from Hazor. We arrived at Hazor at 10:01 that morning. The city of Hazor lay almost nine miles north of the Sea of Galilee. During ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv February 13th 2017

6 AM sharp I woke up and headed straight for the shower as I attempted to awaken my nerves as today was the day our sight seeing began. I ran downstairs and the group decided to eat a restaurant to get some energy before we headed out at 8 am. We decided to walk next door to a restaurant called Maganda. A friendly staff was awaiting us and we hurried and ate our meals which mine consisted of something called chicken shashlik that I was not sure if I ate because of my empty stomach or because I genuinely liked it. We finished our meal and rushed to car as we set our course to Jerusalem. Our first stop was going to be at Hezekiah's Tunnel. As we left Tel Aviv at roughly 8:03 am that ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv May 23rd 2016

The shekel is a currency that stretches back to biblical times, and has been resurrected to drive commerce in modern day Israel. Although the State of Israel was only proclaimed in 1948, this is an ancient land with a powerful sense of history and a deep religious significance. It's a wonderful thing to witness a country embrace it's past with pride, and the Israelis reintroducing the shekel helps bring that rich history back to life. Israel today is a modern, innovative and technologically advanced country, but steeped in the history and tradition of their forefathers. Located within the bustling metropolis of Tel Aviv is the ancient port of Jaffa, continuously inhabited for 5,000 years and the oldest port in the world. The juxtaposition of the old and the new can be seen at every turn in ... read more
Beautiful square
Jaffa port
Lovely building

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv March 15th 2016

First of all, we almost didn’t go at all because I switched our alarm off at 1am and we almost overslept. Plan A was to find a McDonald’s and get some breakfast on the way down to Luton but they don’t serve it until 0500 and we went the wrong way though Luton town so we didn’t pass one anyway. So by the time we got to the departure lounge BAM was thoroughly mardy. We ended up getting a Frankie and Benny’s breakfast at the airport which was probably the most expensive meal of the trip. The flight itself was alright. We arrived in Tel Aviv Ben Guiron around 1415, caught the train to Tel Aviv HaHagana and exited the train station to our first glimpse of Isreal; dirty, smelly and poor. We stopped at the ... read more
House of Hummus
House of Hummus

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv March 10th 2016

Today was another homework day. Luckily, there are worse places to do homework. Although Marie had to leave early for work, I slept in until about 10:00. At that point, I went to Xoho, a cafe a couple blocks away where I got beer bread. I’m still not exactly sure what it was, but I think it was beer-battered bread with a salmon shmear on it. Regardless, it was delicious. I hung around and worked for a couple hours before moving to an even better place for homework. On to the beach it was. There are several bars on the beach along the Tel Aviv coast, so I picked the closest one. Like most places in Tel Aviv, I picked my own seat, so logically one close to the water and in full view of the ... read more
My kind of bar
Street art
More street art

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv March 9th 2016

Today we did almost nothing and it was everything I hoped it could be. Marie woke up early for her Hebrew lesson while I slept in. We met up for brunch at a local cafe...a typical Israeli breakfast of eggs, bread, and a bunch of different dips (shmears, cheeses, pestos, etc). We went from there to walk through Neve Tzedek, an old Jewish neighborhood that is filled with character. We found shops, street arts, and plenty of cats. The people here love cats, and take care of the strays as their own. There are "cat hotels" outside many buildings, and food and water is put out daily for them. This means that the strays, although common, are very nice, tame, and actually perfectly acceptable to pet. So pet we do. We finally meandered over to the ... read more
Real flowers in March
Life is rough

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv March 7th 2016

And Frenchies. For some reason there seem to be a plethora of those two groups here. About 30 feet from our apartment, there is a juice place that makes fresh-squeezed juice and smoothies out of literally everything. I started the morning there and then walked down to Jaffa, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. I had a walking tour of the area from the same company that I used for all the cities I visited in Europe a couple summers ago. Our guide was, to put it nicely, VERY eccentric. It made for an interesting tour if nothing else. Towards the end, I met two German college students, Daniel and Sevi. It turns out that the German semester system works differently: instead of one semester, a short break, another semester, and then ... read more
A Christian cathedral in Jaffa
An old Egyptian gate
A suspended tree

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv March 6th 2016

I mean, when you've only got two days in Turkey, you have to start them both right. Another breakfast of burek and baklava was the way to go. From there, we headed up to the Hagia Sophia (again), this time actually getting there while it was open. The first Hagia Sophia was built in 360 AD under Roman rule. Twice it was burned down and rebuilt, with the final iteration built in 537, wisely out of stone instead of wood. For the next ~100 years, it was either an Orthodox or Catholic cathedral, until the Byzantines invaded in 1453 and converted it. Thanks to its history and the Byzantines nicely not destroying it upon conquest, many mosaics and murals of important Christian figures remain, including pieces centered around Mary and Jesus - unsurprising, given that Jesus ... read more
The dome
The main room
Ceiling in the upper gallery

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District September 25th 2015

We began the day by singing a few verses of a hymn based on Psalm 34:8. Taste and see, taste and see the goodness of the Lord, Oh, taste and see. This hymn was appropriately chosen because two of our three stops today were associated with breaking bread together. Our first stop was a Jaffa bakery that has been owned and operated by an Arab-Israeli family since the late 19th century. Besides serving good food, they also advocate for peace between peoples of this land. It is part of their mission to employ women and men of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds. Great mission; great food! To read more about this wonderful business, click here: url=http://http/ read more
Brother Barker breaking open the Scriptures...
Baptismal Font
Apse of Crusader Era Basilica

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv August 18th 2015

My visit to Israel is just few weeks old...just over a month...and writing this, you have Old Jerusalem and the West Bank all over the news. Old Jerusalem has just been closed for two days to the Palestinians. I'm not sure I would have been able to go everywhere I went had my visit to Palestine and Israel happened the last few days. I just hope we are not entering in the third Intifada. After all, I visited Syria three months before fighting started in the Spring of 2011! And I witnessed Tahrir Square in Cairo, less than five days after Mubarak went down. Difficult not to feel being in the middle of the action, but feeling and being safe at the same time! Reading again my last entries about Palestine and Jerusalem, I'm just wondering ... read more
Little pool at Hotel Indigo
Old Jaffa clock tower
The city is famous...for the Art Deco buildings...

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