Blogs from Tel Aviv District, Israel, Middle East - page 6

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Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv June 1st 2014

The shuttle ride to Tel Aviv was over before I knew it, such was my exhaustion. To this extent I almost fell asleep on the Orthodox Jewish chap next to me. That might not have gone down well. Our first impressions of Tel Aviv weren’t great – we were dropped off at a decidedly dodgy looking bus station in a decidedly ropey looking area, while having to work out between us which bus to catch, where to catch it from, and in which direction, all while the type of creepy men who hang out at dodgy bus stations were eyeing up Anna’s blonde hair and blue eyes. The bus driver seemed particularly interested in Anna as well, being extra friendly and helpful in telling us were to get off. Also helpful and friendly was the lovely ... read more
Sunset Over Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv Or Miami?
North Abraxas

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District May 23rd 2014

What an amazing day. Except for me, it was the first time for all our group members – both those who had been to Israel previously and those new to Israel – visiting the Ayalon Institute. The museum tells the story of the young people – teens and twenties - who ran the secret underground bullet factory during the three years leading up to the War of Independence in 1948. Our guide was Shachar and he was the best in all my visits here (my fourth visit). If you have not been there, it’s outside Tel Aviv next to the city of Rehovot. Two thumbs up. From there we headed to Yafo for the Co-existence program we had arranged through Mishkenot Ruth Seminar Center, part of the Daniel Centers in Tel Aviv. http://www.beit-daniel.org.il/en/tour-seminar-center/ It was outstanding ... read more
The laundry machine that covered the secret.
Shachar teaches us about Ayalon Institute #1
Coexistence tour in Yaffa

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv May 22nd 2014

So, after being up over 24 hours straight, the sun is just setting over the Mediterranean here in Tel Aviv, the city that never sleeps. Our group will be sleeping well tonight. Great flights on El Al but we all look forward to heads on the pillows tonight. Uploading photos from this first day with our amazing guide, Nadav BenGal. Highlights of day included visit to Independence Hall and Bialik House. Plus walk on the tayelet (boardwalk) along the beach for some of us, with a dinner by the beach. Photos included, hopefully. Group is bonding nicely and expect even more fun when we are more awake and refreshed. We did start to use the Birkon Artzi booklets with lovely readings at historic and holy sites. Highly recommend this for anyone traveling to Israel. I had ... read more
Hurry up and Wait #2
Susan and Peter at Independence Hall
Independence Hall

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv May 17th 2014

Arriving in Tel Aviv We have arrived in Tel Aviv! After an extremely long and cold day in Vienna we were greeted by a night temperature of 19°C and a very clean and organised airport. But before writing about our amazing days in Tel Aviv, I'll add a few words about our journey from Austria. After a long and windy day in Vienna, we found ourselves finally boarding the flight to Tel Aviv, scheduled to land at 0:50. The boarding was in every aspect a different experience. The passengers were mainly Israeli and many of them Orthodox Jews with big black hats and beatiful facial hair. Everyone was carrying hand luggage that seemed to weigh several tonnes and getting everyone on board was a puzzle that I still don't know how was solved. The Israelis moved ... read more
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Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv May 17th 2014

If you put two jews in a room you will end up with five opinions! An iPhone is a peace of plastic with an Israeli brain!It is our second day in Tel Aviv and we are starting it off with a tour of the White City... The White City Despite the terrible jokes of our guide, he provided us with a thorough description of how Tel Aviv began back in 1909. He showed us the architecture of Rothchild Blvd and the surrounding streets while describing the first decades of Tel Aviv existence. According to him, it is possible to walk down Rothchild Blvd and see as the city develops through the changing architecture. Except for the modern skyscrapers, which are from the last decade or so, the most dominant architectural styles of the area are the ... read more
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Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv April 19th 2014

Geo: 32.0452, 34.7697We'd made arrangements for a shared Nesher Taxi to take us back to the airport in Tel Aviv. It is a surprisingly efficient system, as you call them up, tell them where you are and the time of your flight. Within seconds, they provide you a pick-up time calculated by the time of your flight and the estimated time needed for security, and other people in your area also going to the airport. It's a matter of luck in terms of whether you're picked up first or last, but for us it worked out fine. The taxi was there exactly on time; we joined a couple already on the bus, and made a couple other quick stops close to our hotel. We were soon on the main highway toward Tel Aviv, but then the ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv April 16th 2014

Geo: 32.0452, 34.7697I believe our taxi from the gate to the runway took almost as long as the actual flight. Total time of the flight was 18 minutes from wheels up to wheels down. They only flew at an altitude of 8,000 feet and the fasten seat belt was never turned off. I still find it hard to believe that you can fly between the two countries, so needless to say, I'd never done it before. Every time I'd traveled between Israel and Jordan before had been as part of a diplomatic courier run. A car would shuttle us from the Embassy in Amman down to the Allenby (King Hussein) Bridge. We'd walk across the bridge with our pouch, clear the Israeli security gauntlet, and then a car from the former Consulate in East Jerusalem would ... read more
Looking Comfortable in First Class
K's Original Seat in Economy, Before She was Moved
Hope those bags aren't being left behind...

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District April 3rd 2014

I’m back at the hotel after our day with Uncle Shmulik and I hardly know where to begin. After getting caught in traffic and then horribly lost in Abu Ghosh, we finally connected about 10:30. Shmulik served in an Israeli administration that was invited in years ago when the village was nearly bankrupt. The Israeli government built roads and sewers, the kind of infrastructure projects that actually change people’s lives. Since he had worked in this village of 7 or 8,000 people for six years he knew almost everyone whose path we crossed. Our first stop was at a large, newly built mosque in the center of the town. Our guide was Jabar, a building inspector who had worked on the building for the 3-1/2 years it was under construction. While I knew that very Orthodox ... read more
Modest dress to visit the mosque
Mosque in Abu Ghosh
mosque

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District April 2nd 2014

We arrived at our hotel about three. It is such a modest hotel that we had a hard time finding it. The lobby is nothing to write home about but the bathroom is new, the bed is great and we are across the street from the American Embassy, should the be a reason that we need to see the ambassador. It was a glorious day and our hotel is 1 block away from the Mediterranean so we went for a walk along the promenade. The sun was shining, people were on the beach and everything felt "normal". It struck me how unusual this is relative to what is happening in the surrounding countries of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. I watched movie recently about two teenagers, one in Gaza and one in Tel Aviv. In the ... read more
Gym by the Sea

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District April 1st 2014

We left Boston on the first nice day of the year. On our flight to New York the pilot announced that there was an equipment malfunction so we would be coming in fast, but we didn't have to worry because we were landing on the longest runway at JFK. We hit the ground hard, but it was pretty uneventful after all. El Al's security was the know it and love it personal interview. It is very reassuring that they actually look you in the eye, ask questions and listen to your answers. The flight over was long, but I was clever enough to remember that El Al's food is inedible so I brought some of my own and there was a good movie I'd been wanting to see, Mr. Banks. I got some sleep and the ... read more




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