Friday, July 25, 2008

Julie France- Visiting Tel Aviv (July 15)

July 15

Hello Everybody!
So, last weekend, in Israel...we explored Tel Aviv. It is a a busy city with something to do 24 hours a day. From my experience, the average weekend in Tel Aviv (for a tourist) goes something like this...This is actually 2 days crammed into one, but you get the idea) Wake up (obviously) and grab a something delicious to eat at a cafe at the corner. The food here is definitely a highlight. Walk around the streets. I was lucky enough to have a friend with an apartment on Dizengoff (I can spell it in Hebrew...English, not so much), which is a main street in the city. We walked around on the port, located just a block away from us. This was comparable to parts of Baltimore by the bay, with restaurants and shops right on the water.

A long walk in the opposite direction brought us to Shuk Ha'Carmel (Carmel Market), the largest Market in Tel Aviv. Here you could find anything you wanted, from clothing to good falafel to exquisite hand-made crafts. It was a very lively place to be, and fantastic to just look around. We went later in the afternoon when everyone had to close down and there was lots of bartering going on and such. It was really interesting to watch and try to understand exactly what was being said. It is definitely something you must go see if/when you are in Tel Aviv.

Walking around all day makes one very hot. Luckily, Tel Aviv is located on the Mediterranean Sea, which is located just 4 blocks from our apartment. The Mediterranean Sea is absolutely beautiful. With soft sand and fairly warm water it is probably now my favorite beach. It somewhat reminds of the beaches in LA in that surfers crowd the beach, and there are plenty of sports to play on the beach from paddleball to volleyball. The difference in Tel Aviv is so much nicer. The water is clean and has a nice green-ish blue color, and the surrounding city is so clean compared to LA. There are parts of the water that are relatively calm and families play in, and there are parts with the big waves that surfers hang out in. It is a beautiful beach, the perfect place to spend a hot afternoon.

After the beach and dinner the sun starts to come down, and like any big city, Tel Aviv's night life possesses endless options. My group headed out to a popular place for Israelis to hang out, Ha Mosad. It was a 'really happening' place, with several rooms to dance and several different kinds of music, and a roof top filled with big comfy sofas and big projection screens to play video games on. Eventually, we headed out to the beach for a night walk in the sand.

All in all, I must say a weekend in Tel Aviv is rather enjoyable. There is plenty to do and see, and it is impossible to be bored. I must say though, it was nice to get back to Arad which now kind of feels like home. Back in Arad on Sunday camp started back up again. Camp is still really fun, but it is a real challenge to teach the kids English because they really don't want to learn it out of school. It is a good challenge and I like it a lot, I just wish the camp was longer so I would have more time to figure out what works and what doesn't (and the kids I have are in fourth grade and are absolutely ADORABLE. I like them a lot).

After most days of camp, the program takes us out to do see more of Arad. We have been to a glass museum, which was far more interesting then I thought. I was expecting bottles and plates and such, but what I got was an array of optical illusions and beautiful art. We were lucky enough to have the artist come around the museum with us and get our interpretations of the art and then hear his.

We also went to the Earth Museum, which didn't focus on the science of the earth but man's spiritual connection with the Earth. Once again, I was expecting something totally different, but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the trip. The museums were all great, but my favorite activity was by far meditation in the desert. We went to a building about 5 to 10 minutes outside of Arad so all you could see were the rolling desert mountains and the Dead Sea in the distance. The view was absolutely breathtaking. There we practiced Tibetan breathing exercises and some meditation. It was a very relaxing experience, and one that I could not see going so well anywhere else. That's all for now. Coming up next weekend we are going to the Dead Sea, Masada, and Ein Gedi.

Can't wait to tell you all about it.

1 comment:

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