Monday, July 20, 2009

Tel Aviv

It took 31 hours from when I left home in Canberra to when I arrived in Tel Aviv... It was a massive journey - the worst of which was a 5 hour stopover in Amman, from 5am local time. Luckily I made friends with a pair of Irish sisters returning from a holiday in Thailand and we chatted about travel and work and the economic downturn for a while, then I attempted to sleep on a bench (but really just closed my eyes). Amman airport has this weird disorientating layout where each end has the same cafes with one or two slightly different, then you walk through a duty free section to the other side and it's exactly the same, so it is most confusing... And that whole time Amman is 80km from Tel Aviv, yet would take so long overland via border checkpoints at the west bank that it's not at all worth it.

From Israel

eating hummus

So I finally arrived at Tel Aviv, and Amit was waiting to pick me up at the airport. It is so amazing to see him after 3 months of talking and chatting and emailing. I arrive at about midday and we walked a bit around the city. It's a great place, so vibrant with people everywhere enjoyng the bars and cafes. It's so hot though, especially coming from a canberra winter! We had hummus for dinner, it was tasty, but my favourite was the fresh falafel. I don't think I've ever had such yummy felafel before... I'm loving the food here so far! Yesterday we went around the city on Amit's scooter, driving along the sea, which looks very blue and pretty (might go for a swim today), to the old port of Jaffa, which is the original arab area here. It has beautiful winding narrow streets only wide enough for people winding their way down to the old port. It was gorgeous, and we stopped in on some interesting artist's galleries there. Yesterday evening we met up with some of Amit's friends for some beers, they are really lovely, and it was so great to see how excited they were to meet me. We also caught up with Ido, who was with Amit in Vietnam. He's great, just the same as I remember him.

From Israel

Jaffa harbour

So Amit is taking me round Tel Aviv again today, and in the next few days we'll go to the dead sea and masada. It's all so different and interesting...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Next destination: Israel

I've been told I'm not very good at updating this blog. Which is true. I tend to only write here when I'm travelling.

I'll be travelling again soon - I'm off to Tel Aviv to see Amit, who I met in Vietnam in April. I am incredibly excited. It will really interesting travelling to the Middle East, to a country with so much history, ancient and modern, and so much politics. To be honest though, I'm most excited about seeing Amit. We've been keeping in touch constantly since Vietnam, and get along so well. I don't want to write what I think it could be, I may jinx myself if I do. I leave on Friday and return on August 2. I'm not looking forward to my 29hours of travelling to get there! Canberra - Sydney - Bangkok - Amman - Tel Aviv....

On Saturday I had a ladies night at my place. There were 7 of us, and it was a great night. I made lots of tasty food with a Mediterranean theme - Hummus, Babaganoush, Souvlaki, Falafel, and sticky-date pudding for dessert. It was nice having just ladies at the table. We discussed travel, work, drunken stories, palm reading, life, love and of course men. It was agreed by the end of the night that we should have more ladies evenings in the future.

From Canberra winter