Thursday, February 25, 2016

Finally... Israel

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM:  Israel - Tel Aviv - Day 1

Ashy, Geoff, Susan & Jehan Sadat
Ashy brought the bottle of wine with him when he picked us up for dinner last night. After some confusion at check point charlie at the hotel, we were able to smuggle a cork screw out to open the wine in case the restaurant didn't have one. What an ordeal. We had a terrific meal and a great time for our last night in Egypt. Ashy finally scored the hot sauce but put it in a plastic soda bottle, we were afraid to pack that in the suitcase, so after dinner we walked to the mini-mart of the gas station and bought a yogurt drink. Got back to the room, drank the yogurt, and poured in the hot sauce. This stuff is hot! It is home made from Sudanese chili powder mixed with water and then boiled with oil. Ashy also got the pictures of Jehan Sadat and came also through with the Suez Canal coins. We are going to miss him.

Getting through the Cairo airport was like an Olympic event. These people line up the way they drive - mass chaos. It was a quick flight to Tel Aviv and we landed early. So the good news is that we made it here in one piece - the bad news is we got a bit shafted on our apartment rental - which I am pretty upset about. I had 6 nights booked and paid for 6 months ago. Five days ago the guy tells me he has to switch our apt for the first 4 nights - sorry. Too late to do much about it. Tel Aviv seems to be nothing but construction and half of it is outside our window. The apartment is fine but the noise is terrible and not much of the beach view that we paid for. Fortunately, the weekend starts soon and it should quiet down. I already got the owner to pay for our cab over here - now I am working on him paying for it when we leave Israel - since we spend our last night in this hotel. Another bubble bursting!! Not the welcome I would have liked. C'est la Vie!

We got somewhat settled and took a tour of the building. This is an apartment hotel and I guess some apartments are privately owned (like the one we are supposed to be in).  There is a laundry room, gym and sauna. Going outside, found the local supermarket and walked around in a daze trying to pick up essentials for the week. Got back, had a bite for lunch and trekked down to the laundry room. When the wash is done, we'll probably go exploring.

Our laundry ended up hanging on the balcony because the dryer doesn't work too well. Oy this place is going to take some getting used to. We ventured out and took a stroll along the beach. Once you get past the construction, it is truly beautiful. Lots of cafes and restaurants - prices ok to expensive. It appears we are back in the land of beauty parlors and nail salons. Don't see those in Egypt at all. Here there must be at least 3 of each on one block. Not to mention the "Dead Sea" beauty products. 

Decided to pick up some falafal and eat in the room. We are bushed. The place up the street was closing due to a wedding. So we just walked around the neighborhood getting acquainted with being here on our own. The streets are very lively at night. Stopped to get a wonderful salad to go and got directions to Gabay Falafal - best in town. The sandwiches are about $4.50 and you get a selection of a bunch of free stuff. We stocked up for the future.

GPS is working well, which will be good when we have to drive. Found our way back and were greeted with yet another manager type. She kept apologizing for the construction and the noise. It was happy hour and apparently they give you free beer. So I grabbed a couple to go with our dinner. Maybe it'll help with the noise.

Oh and by the way, tomorrow is a ginormous marathon event. All the streets are closed. They go right down the beach so we will be in the middle of it. We were hoping to get some bikes and bike down to Jaffa - doesn't look like that's going to happen. Maybe we'll just veg on the beach with the 40,000 other folks who will be here. The good news is that maybe the construction will be halted for the day. We've got our fingers crossed on that one.

Dinner was great. We are in for the night. I hope things look better in the morning after some sleep.

Next time... Taking in Tel Aviv

TODAY'S PHOTO ALBUM:  Israel - Tel Aviv - Day 1


  1. Yay for finally arriving in Israel! That view from the plane looks familiar. :)

    That stinks about the hotel. It looks like the beach nearby is nice at least.

    I'm afraid I don't have much advice to give about Tel Aviv because I didn't actually stay there much, we sort of just passed through.

    I hope you guys have a good time! Maybe you'll be able to get some biking in.

  2. So glad you are having such a good time!
    We have loved the pictures in Egypt. That was funny to read about the potato game. Go, Dad!
    Not sure if you got an earlier post I wrote, if it worked from my phone.
    So much going on here at home too.
    We love you,
    Deidre, Danny, Mia and Evan