Tag Archives: Tel Aviv

Around Tel Aviv: Israel – Day 5

We started the day by enjoying the hotel’s complimentary breakfast buffet (similar to the Prima Kings, the Prima Tel Aviv’s buffet was outstanding).

Breakfast at the Prima Tel Aviv

Breakfast at the Prima Tel Aviv

After breakfast we walked to the Bauhaus Center on Dizengoff Street.  I was a little disappointed because I thought it was going to be an educational center, but it was a cool store (they had lot of architecture books and Tel Aviv guides, as well as cute gifts).  The center offers walking tours of Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv, but we decided to do on our own more informal version by just wandering around.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of the Bauhaus architecture, but there is A LOT.  I was also surprised by how many buildings in Tel Aviv appear to be in need of renovation, but I know there are more pressing issues in Israel.

Renovated building

A well-maintained historic building

We explored the small boutiques on Shenkin Street, which I read is a Bohemian neighborhood à la Greenwich Village in the 60’s.  I could see a slight resemblance.  We decided to go back to Neve Tzedek, since we liked it so much the day before and walked through Carmel Market (Shuk Ha’Carmel) again to get there.  The food products at the Carmel Market were similar to the items sold at Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem, but the first half of the market was comprised of junk/touristy goods, which I found less interesting.

Carmel Market

Carmel Market

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Olives galore

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So many strawberries!

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Colorful fruit

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Arabic sweets

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Cosco-sized blocks of cheese

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Shiny looking dates

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Candy!

My favorite Tel Aviv neighborhood, Neve Tzedek, is known for low historic buildings and cool designer boutiques.  It was the first Jewish neighborhood built outside of the walls of Jaffa and the architecture is charming.  We stopped at a colorful home décor store called Ginger that reminded me of a mix of American Anthropologie and French Antoine et Lilli.  I wish they had a shop in the U.S.!

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Neve Tzedek

Love the little sculptures crawling up the building

Love the little sculptures crawling up this Neve Tzedek building

Ginger

Ginger home decor store

In Neve Tzedek we also visited the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre, which is a pretty complex that houses the country’s most renown dance companies (random trivia factoid, Suzanne Dellal was the aunt of HBO Girls actress Jemima Kirke…aka the one with the English accent).  We had coffee at the Israeli coffee chain Café Café, which has a location at the center.

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Café Café

We walked back to Dizengoff Street and had lunch at the fish restaurant Barbounia, which provides small salads upon seating and has a limited menu of fresh fish, served grilled or fried.  It was essential to have fish in Tel Aviv and the restaurant met all expectations.  We walked around Dizengoff Street some more and were amused by the many bridal store windows.  When it got dark, we took the train back to Jerusalem.

After checking back into the Prima Kings Hotel, we headed to the King David Hotel for drinks.  The King David is the most famous luxury hotel in Israel and is historically significant, since it was bombed in 1946 when it served as the British headquarters (this event is depicted in the book and movie version of Leon Uris’ Exodus).  The hotel was established by an Egyptian Jewish banker and is decorated in faux-Egyptian style.  It’s a lot of fun to see!  I was also impressed with the cocktails and the complimentary bar snacks.  I would definitely recommend a visit!  Coming up…our last full day in Israel.

King David Hotel

King David Hotel

This photo was taken on a different day at the back of the Mamilla Mall, but you can see the King David in the background.

The King David Hotel is the distant, rectangular building in this photo.

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Fun Times in Tel Aviv: Israel – Day 4

We woke up early to take the train to Tel Aviv.  We were advised that the bus would be much faster, but we enjoyed the scenic views and free wifi (when it worked).

Pleased with the train experience

Pleased with the train experience

We took a taxi to our hotel, the Prima Tel Aviv.  We were excited to find that our room overlooked the beach.  The hotel was also very conveniently located, so we checked in and then headed out on foot.

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Our room at the Prima Tel Aviv

Prima Tel Aviv

The huge window looked out to the following:

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Gorgeous view from the hotel room! (you can see my faint reflection in the glass)

Our first stop was the Dizengoff Center, which is the city’s large Seventies-style mall.  We stopped at the Vaniglia ice cream outpost, which merited a visit after I read about the Alfajore ice cream (my favorite Latin American cookie).

Alfajores in frozen form!

Alfajores in frozen form!

We walked through the Carmel Market (photos in the next post) and then veered off on Rambam street to check out the boutiques and garment district.  We particularly liked Efrat Cassouto, which had very affordable, pretty, dainty jewelry, as well as a lot of bridal appropriate accessories.

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Efrat Cassouto Boutique

We walked through the charming neighborhood of Neve Tzedek (also featured in tomorrow’s post) and from there strolled along the beachfront promenade to the ancient port city Jaffa, which is incorporated into Tel Aviv.

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Walk along the promenade to Jaffa

Famous Jaffa Bakery

Famous Arabic Jaffa Bakery Aboulafia

We wandered around the flea market, which was actually a collection of antique and junk furniture stores in one area.  Next we stopped at the artist Illana Goor’s residence and museum compound.  Unfortunately, we arrived 15 minutes before closing, so we skipped the museum and visited the gift store, where we saw Goor’s work and photos of her with various international celebrities.

Illana Goor House and Museum

Illana Goor Residence and Museum

We saw at least four wedding parties poising for photos in the scenic Old Jaffa neighborhood surrounding the museum.

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Shula in Old Jaffa

We stumbled upon a lovely park with an archeological site, amphitheater, and tell (man-made hill).  Atop the tell was the Ramses II’s Gate Garden and a lookout point with stunning views of the city.

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Old Jaffa setting with modern Tel Aviv in the background

Photo by Shula

Beautiful sky above the Ramses II’s Gate Garden.  Photo by Shula

Before leaving Jaffa we stopped for a very late lunch at Dr. Shaukshuka.  Shakshuka is an Israeli dish comprised of eggs poached in tomato sauce.  The meal was good, but the restaurant lost a few points for the gross washroom, which I think/hope is under renovation.

Dr. Shakshuka

Shakshuka with merguez (spicy lamb sausage) at Dr. Shakshuka

Pots on the ceiling of Dr. Shakshuka

Pots hanging on the ceiling of Dr. Shakshuka

It was getting dark, so we walked back to our hotel to rest before meeting up with an Israeli friend.  The hotel had a super impressive complimentary treats bar.  I was full from lunch, but I enjoyed a refreshing beverage.

Prima Tel Aviv treats bar

Prima Tel Aviv treats bar

I was curious to see Tel Aviv’s famous club scene, but it was a Sunday night, so instead we went for a late, light dinner of tapas and drinks at the very hip Vicky Christina restaurant.  The restaurant is located in the Station (aka HaTachana), which is a renovated railroad complex that contains a mix of American and Israeli chain stores and designer boutiques.  The atmosphere and food at Vicky Christina were great!  Afterwards, we stopped by Molly Bloom’s Bar, which is known for live music (but not on Sundays) and then headed back to our hotel.

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