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A Madcap Tel Aviv Weekend

14 July 2008

This weekend, we decided that a little adventure was required, after experiencing the complete quiet of Jerusalem on Shabbat.  Our first thought was to pop down to Masada, an ancient fortress overlooking the Dead Sea, but a lack of bus space put the hatch on that one.  So, just prior to our bomb squad adventure (check out the post below), we resolved to head out early Friday morning for Tel Aviv, where most things are open on Friday nights and Saturdays. 

 I’m not ordinarily much of a swimmer, but the beaches in Tel Aviv are really something else.  Before the Aswan dam threw a monkey wrench into the Mediterranean ecosystem, the sand used to be absolutely golden, deposited here by the Nile delta.  Still, I couldn’t tell the difference:

 Anyways, after spending most of the afternoon in the water, with plenty of sunburn to prove it (Yes, Mom, I used plenty of sunscreen!), Abby went home to Jerusalem while Ben and I decided to stay for the night and see what happens after the sun goes down.  We went to a hostel that had been highly recommended to me by my friend Erik, who spent last summer in Israel, but their rooms were full.  Fortunately, however, regulation of lodging isn’t as strict in Israel, so for 55 Shekel (about $15), we were able to snag these accommodations:

Seriously, if you’re ever given the chance to sleep out on the roof of a building, I highly recommend it.

The problem with this grand plan, however, is that neither of us is really into the dance club scene.  After assuring ourselves that we were still cool, and that had either of us thought to bring stylish clothes, we would most assuredly be at the club, we went and had a pint or two at a local bar, checked out the beach parties at night, and called it an early evening around midnight.

The next morning, though, we headed down to Jaffa about a mile down the coast from Tel Aviv.  Quite an old city, it’s essentially now a suburb of Tel Aviv, known for it’s flea market, and it’s citadel, which has now been turned into some very nice condos—I think I spotted my dream apartment there, but I’d better hope for the exchange rate to swing rather drastically in favor of the dollar in order to make that happen.  We did, however, pay a visit to a 24-hour bakery, which served up the most delicious donut I’ve ever tasted in my life, as well as this sort of egg pizza.  Thank you, Lonely Planet—I never would’ve tried that were it not for you. 

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