So I am back from my crazy work travel in Tel Aviv and I must say it was one adventurous ride despite of the business trip. Definitely not the calmest and most peaceful place to visit nowadays to get a peace of mind. My mom was petrified when told her I have to go there for work, but I honestly can tell you that I was kind a looking forward this trip as always wanted to see the place as in my mind it was so different – enchanting in a way, and when occasion arose that I had to go there to represent my company in an event – I had all those mixed feelings – thrill for having a new adventure and slight fear of unknown and newspaper headlines flying by of all terrorist attacks, bombing and everyday war alerts..
However my collaborators and partner living there was truly welcoming and helpful organizing everything (even airport pick-up ) that made matters easier and once they sent me the hotel recommendations along the beach – all my doubts were out of the window and couldn’t wait to go.
The hotel eventually we stayed was Carlton overlooking the beach and I must say – that hotel is truly something..
It was a great pleasure after a really chaotic and stressful week of travels and long working hours, snow and rain falls around the Europe land in a place where the outside temperature is 26C and that has beach. Felt almost like I have gone to holidays when first time stepped out of he airport and had the hot air breath and sun kissing me. (oh sweet happiness).
As arrived first from my colleagues I had couple of hours to enjoy the view, hotel and seaside and this is what i did.
As soon as I checked in I dropped my bags and went exploring the hotel and the facilities.
The next picture- stop was rooftop bar, restaurant and swimming pool. And the view asked it self: ” take a selfy, girl! Just do it! ” So I did it!
..whenever you get + 26C on beginning of March in Europe? Never, right? So selfies in a sun for sweet envy those back home is a must!
This place is enchanting when the night falls as it overlooks all the city from the above with a light night breeze in your hair. One of the top bars/restaurants to visit in TelAviv as well so make sure you have reservation.
Guess my biggest regret is not having a swim in that roof top pool due to a tough schedule, but determined to return and do it next time!
When the night fell it offered completely different look to the city – from above it gave a sense of metropolitan city that never sleeps and mysterious but from below, where the streets where empty as was Saturday night (shabbat), it was dodgy, gloomy and not so friendly at all.
This is the city view from the rooftop bar by night.
The second best thing with the best view was the breakfast terrace on the beach. As we all know breakfast is the most important meal to start your day right than did not mind waking up earlier to enjoy it properly, especially if you hit the gym beforehand, like I did.
..and from the breakfast onward was just work and some more work so skipping the boring part and going directly to the last part of my trip – the 2h Old Jaffa visit (old city and part of Tel Aviv) right before departure.
By The way do you know what means Tel Aviv? Tel – is mountain and aviv is a Spring. Now you know – you are welcome.
The Old Jaffa is really small and historical part of the city where nowadays find home fisherman, artists and some posh restaurants and night clubs surrounded by the acient city walls.
The legend has it that Jonah was swallowed by the whale-like fish but he surprisingly survived and returned back home that’s why the old part of the city has made a whale bronze statue of it.
Old Jaffa is just a tiny part of the Tel Aviv but truly historical and remarkable. After our tour has finished there was just left 20 minutes to taste a bit of local bazzar (market) and actually taste some local food too.
So had some walk-by-shots to give you a small glimpse of the streets.
…and that’s it my friends. This short but intense trip trip to Tel Aviv truly made an impression to me how people are living in a such of country where the terror and fear gloom on every corner but the same time they seems to be enjoying the life at fullest, appreciating the things they have and celebrating each day with a smile.
It’s a strong and truly proud nation and hope that next time will manage to see more of it! Especially looking forward to visit Jerusalem.
To sum up some practical tips to bear in mind:
Airport – be prepared that arrivals, unless booked assistance at immigration will spend quite a while. Beware of passport stamps from middle east countries;
they check+scan bags randomly at airport as a normal procedure but arrival is not too big issue;
make sure that at your departure you arrive at least 3h before. the controls are truly long;
They have an short interview questions for every passenger and can request to open bag. ( happened to me)
make sure you recall where you stayed in past days, who you know, when you arrived, etc.
they can open your bag after you check it in even if locked as security procedure( happened to mine)
everything in airport is really expensive so buy souvenirs in the city
make sure you try Halva – Arabic and Hebrew traditional sweet
Don’t walk around accompanied and make sure have a local tour guide that speaks language
in Bazzar – you must bargain – it’s a law
take only official taxis
be prepared that some people will be rude and truly direct – but don’t be offended – that’s the culture – straight to the point