A fascinating insight
Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
289Trip End Jan 25, 2009
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I spent the day wondering along the beach front and remaining in awe as to how beautiful the local people are... an incredible mix of Muslim and Jewish influences. I'm sure to return – this city has all the ingredients of incredible nightlife, food and culture. But it is expensive compared to South/South East Asia which continues to provide the best value travel.
It’s 3.30am and I can truly say tonight was extraordinary to say the least – I’m not totally plasted though. I’ve spent my new year’s dancing at Tel Aviv’s Theatre Club at 10 Jerusalem Ave. An incredible club with over a thousand people dancing to an assortment of Western and Israeli tunes. What I’ve found is that the Israeli’s I’ve spoken to are incredibly friendly and very interested in knowing more about who I am and where where I’m from. Australians are in favour here as are Americans.
I met up with Daryl again from New York – a great guy, hope to meet up with him whilst in New York. He absolutely loves Tel Aviv and hopes to move here. He hates New York – he feels more alive here.
Like Australia, I had no chance in getting a taxi so braved the 30 minute walk in blistery wind along the beach front back to my hotel.
After the club, I met a 30 year old horticulturalist with a motorbike as I was stumbling outside the club and I tried to give him the clue that I wanted a lift back to the hotel but he was adamant on getting into the club. He was, however, extremely friendly. I love the extra confidence and assertiveness I have whilst travelling. He was wondering why I was going at 3.00! This is early by Israeli standards. Shame – great guy, horticulturalist by trade.
Sadly, as I was walking home, I witnessed a brutal assault between a man and a woman (I assume a partner?). Given I have no idea of the law or customs here, I had no alternative but to join the other local people in just watching. It is quite a shocking experience seeing a helpless woman being physically assaulted so severely but I must remember I’m in a Middle Eastern country. I have never experienced this type of assault in my life but won’t get involved in questioning the customs here. Needless to say, it was reassuring to see the two walk off without serious incident.
The nightlife is getting in the way of doing tours… but I am happy to have been able to experience Jerusalem. I enjoyed visiting the garden of Gethsemane (Jesus was last captured here), Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Holocaust Museum. I would of liked to have spent more time roaming the old quarter’s alley ways and shops with the locals. This reminded me of Fes in Morocco where I met Mustafa. I love talking to the locals and having tea with them… wish I could of done more of this. I could of spent more time in Jerusalem. It was, however, surreal to have been able to experience the place in which Jesus was crucified and washed in state.
I hope to do one more tour on Sunday before I head to Amman. For my own information, if I return to Tel Aviv, aim to stay at David Intercontinental – a much better location and rates are around $US240 a night. I am not happy with the Sea Savoy despite the spa bath and great view. The hotel does not have a restaurant and the location is a bit distant from the places I want to visit. The service is also quite ordinary. Keep the brochure – there are many more tours I want to do here in Israel.