When I was in Israel in 2009, I thought it would be Jerusalem that made an impression on me. But while I found Jerusalem an unique experience in its antiquity, overall it was a bit too stuffy for my liking with its overwhelming religious zeal. Tel Aviv, rather, was more my speed.
My hotel was right on the beach. For an ocean-loving gal, this location could not have been more ideal.
I’ve never felt such soft sand anywhere. I tried to tread lightly over the freshly groomed terrain out of fear of sinking into and being swallowed up by the earth.
Maybe it was the overcast morning, but the beach was blissfully empty while I padded about with my camera. There are few things more than I love to having an entire beach to myself.
I did run into one guy midway through my walk. My new thing seems to be stopping unsuspecting tourists on beaches and taking self portraits through the reflection in their glasses.
Kidding! That’s actually my Canadian friend Mark, whom I randomly met in Switzerland; as these things tend to happen only to me, our paths crossed again in Israel just two months later.
After breakfast, I rejoined my tour group and we moseyed on down past the surfers’ beach and to the ancient port city of Jaffa.
Jaffa is believed to be one of the oldest cities in the world, though has since become a part of Tel Aviv.
It was an interesting contrast to see the cosmopolitan skyline of Tel Aviv just beyond the ancient stone walls.
There isn’t a whole lot to do there once you’re through wandering the labyrinth of tight, steep, windy ways.
Truth be told, aside from tasting the best falafel I’ve ever put in my mouth, Jaffa proved to be a bit anticlimactic. But it did offer a varied perspective on Tel Aviv from the park at its peak.
Tel Aviv as a whole was a great place to just chill out. Plus, it had some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. Whereas in San Francisco, with our magnificent light, the sky changes from fiery orange to dusty pink each late afternoon like clockwork, Tel Aviv was afire in brilliant shades of yellow and black.
It was unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed.
Even the locals don’t seem to tire of it. Can’t say I would either if I lived there.