15 HOURS IN TEL AVIV

I’d been hoping for a trip to Tel Aviv for a long time before a little 15 hour layover cropped up on my roster for March! Of course, I’m not completely oblivious to the instability within the Middle East at this time, however the area fascinates me and the thought of visiting Israel, one of the most culturally diverse countries within the Middle East struck me as an exciting adventure, and so, naturally, I was desperate to make plans to explore its culture during my short visit there!

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Flights to Tel Aviv are renowned for being one of our busiest shifts, so, after arriving at around 4 in the afternoon I was desperate to get a good sleep in the hotel ready to get up early for a busy day ahead! Not before some dinner though…

DINNER

Before heading to the Herzliya Marina, (a stunning spot with a selection of restaurants and bars to suit everyone’s tastes) some of the crew and I arranged to meet at the hotel bar for a few drinks after our crazy flight. I often find that the toughest flights to work aren’t the longest ones, but the 4-5 hour trips, maybe that’s just because we have to get things done just that little bit quicker? No matter how long the flight is, I always try to form a plan for the trip with my co-workers before we arrive.

After a short walk to the marina from the hotel, we chose the B56 restaurant for dinner. A beautiful setting surrounded with wooden beams and lanterns, it’s the perfect place for a romantic meal! Food and drinks in Tel Aviv are fairly expensive in comparison to those in the UK, so don’t be alarmed by the price list on the menu, I would expect to pay around £15-20 on average for a main course, and around £5-7 for a soft drink, virtually anywhere in the city! I chose the bread and homemade dips followed by vegan pasta (I’m not vegan but I thought I’d give it a try, also, it was one of the only dishes on the menu that suited my budget!) which came to a total of around £25.

THE NEXT MORNING

I ‘snoozed’ my alarm a few times before eventually prizing myself out of bed at around 7am, I showered and packed my rucksack to head down to the lobby to meet two of the crew, ready for an early morning taxi ride to the oldest part of the city; Jaffa…

JAFFA

The southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv, and possibly the most interesting too! After visiting Marrakech in the summer, I expected Jaffa to have a similar sort of ‘vibe’ to it, however I was mistaken. Jaffa is a sea-side town with small cobbled streets winding off past the clock tower and into the mainland.

Unlike Marrakech, the town is surprisingly fairly quiet in the morning (just a couple of tourist groups, a few locals and us three wandering around!) in fact, it reminds me of my visit to Bologna last year with work! Perhaps it’s the architecture and the heat that gives off those Italian vibes?

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We wandered around the town for a couple of hours, headed for some gelato to cool us down and took a stroll along the seafront, towards the Carmel Market….

CARMEL MARKET

The peace and tranquillity of an early morning stroll along the seafront was soon shattered by the hustle and bustle of the Carmel Market! I love the buzz of an authentic Middle Eastern market, selling local produce; I love the smell of the herbs and the fruit and the beautiful colours of the stalls! The Carmel Market is the perfect place to pick up some home-made hummus or pesto (I was sure to take advantage of this by taking a huge tub of each to enjoy on landing day!)

It was soon time to head home so after around 45 minutes at the market we ordered a taxi to drop us back to the hotel, ready to prepare ourselves for the flight back to London!

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I’m hoping to visit Tel Aviv again soon, hopefully for a little longer this time as I’d love to take a trip to the Dead Sea and maybe Petra too, we’ll see!

Thank you for reading ,

Em x

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