Monday, 28 November 2011

A Weekend in Tel Aviv

My Dad came for a visit not long ago and took us all for a weekend stay in Tel Aviv, Israel's second largest city (after Jerusalem). Tel Aviv is the country's business and cultural centre. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the Diamond Exchange are based in the city and, for the arts, the Habima National Theatre is excellent and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is world-class. The city also boasts several impressive museums. Arguably, Tel Aviv is where the action is. Tel Aviv can be proud of some great beaches and promenades, nightclubs, plentiful shopping and appetising restaurants and outdoor cafes. On this occasion though we  were accompanied by older family members and friends and, with the kids in tow, we were really just looking for some quality time with Grandpa.
We strolled through the open-air market off Rehov HaCarmel, purchasing delicious baklava for our afternoon tea. It had been raining earlier in the day and the market was close to closing. Things were being sold off cheaply and the vendors were in full voice, attempting to clear their stalls before the Sabbath.
After a delicious but rather large evening meal, I took time to myself the following morning to explore one of Tel Aviv's prettiest districts, Neve Tzedek. The first Jewish neighbourhood to be built outside the walls of the ancient port of Jaffa, Neve Tzedek (meaning Oasis of Justice) is the perfect place to stroll around on a lazy afternoon - or in my case, morning - to escape the hustle and bustle of uptown Tel Aviv.
Neve Tzedek's narrow streets are home to some beautiful and original houses, many restored to full glory. The original buildings display features that can be traced to the Bauhaus architecture of pre-Nazi Germany and the Art Nouveau movement. The Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, Israel's premier dance centre, located in the heart of Neve Tzedek, is a prime example of a beautifully restored building constructed in the Bauhaus style.
One cannot visit Tel Aviv without going to the beach... that's what my kids say! Technically the beach season is over but that didn't stop them! Grandpa deemed it too cold to sit there for long but the hubby and I endured several hours in the breeze, watching the boys build the most fantastic structure, which received many admiring glances from passers-by. On reflection, I do wonder if they were admiring - or mocking - our ability to sit out in the cool air for so long, rather than the sand castle building that was going on. Well, at  least it wasn't raining...


Annie said...

Beautiful photos - like a travel brochure! Enjoyed learning about and seeing Tel Aviv. (The beach is wonderful anytime of year!)

Dough, Dirt & Dye
Empty On the Inside

Sudha said...

Wow lovely. Thanks for sharing.


Meeling said...

The food stalls look so good Lisa!! And baklava...yum! I have a friend here who can make it really's always such a lovely treat when she does.

Thanks for sharing your photos!

Terri said...

Looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing all the photos.

Francoise said...

I loved looking at all your pictures. We lived in Israel for two years when I was 9 years old. My father was posted out with the Wargraves commission to look after the British cemeteries. I went to school in Jaffa at the Scottish school. We loved our time out in Israel living on the outskirt of Tel-aviv. I hope to go back one day. Thank you for sharing. Love all your cards too.