I’m starting my first posts in English by writing about my latest destination…Israel. I’d add the 2 or 3 words I learned in Hebrew but let’s just leave that for next time :).
Where to begin!? Well, as my uncle would always tell me “start from the beginning”. A year ago I met the most wonderful man, who is my boyfriend today, and he’s from Israel. But before I dive into the trip details, I want to share the story of how we met. While I was preparing to defend my thesis, I went every weekend to the Public Library to study. Despite all the homeless people just hanging around, it’s a very nice library and I needed to be somewhere outside of my bedroom to concentrate.
One day, as I walked up the stairs, I ran into a young man and dropped all my notes. As he excused himself and helped me gather my stuff, he stares at one of my notes filled with the names of my favorite books ( I tend to scribble them when I’m thinking as a memory exercise). I stared back at him trying to anticipate an apology, and then he says—with an unidentifiable accent— “Gabriel Garcia Marquez?”
And then I swept right, and we matched on Tinder. I know, you were very engaged with the library story, right? Well, everytime somebody asks us how we met, he starts with this story and then says: “and she swept right!”. I think it’s hilarious. But yes, I do want to leave a customer testimonial to this dating app that helped me meet the love of my life. It does work people! There are good ones in there too, believe me.
So anyway, back to Israel trip. His brother was getting married and I was invited, yay!I don’t know if I was more excited about visiting the promised land or attending a real Israel Jewish wedding… or eating hummus. Anyway, I did have my top three list of places I wanted to visit: Dead Sea, Old Jerusalem, and downtown Tel Aviv—by night.
Tel Aviv – Where modern meets chaos.
I’m a big city lover, so this city suited me very well. As most of Israel, Tel Aviv’s architecture is simple. The buildings are being renovated to keep up with the city’s modern vibe, but you can still get an idea of this country’s early years just by its constructions. The streets are filled with bars, cafes, restaurants, you name it. This city doesn’t go to bed early, not even on a Tuesday night.
Favorite places in Tel Aviv
Shuk ha Carmel. I love markets, so this was the first stop for me. Here you’ll find from souvenirs to kosher butcher market. Be sure to stop by Arepa’s and get a taste of Venezuelan Israel. Also try Halva, especially the peanut one, that was my favorite.
Nachalat Binyamin. I named it fabric street. It’s a wide pedestrian street that sells—fabric, of course. You’ll also find a lot of hidden graffitis in its small allies.
Shenkin Street. Hipster-boho street near Carmel market. Filled with local designers, cafes, and yoga studios.
Jaffa. The “old city” of Tel Aviv. Standing high on a cliff overlooking the water and admiring the city’s skyline. There’s something so charming about old cities. Whether it’s feeling like you’re going back in time and imagining how people lived hundreds of years ago or admiring the details in every stone that makes up the walls that once protected them from enemies. You’ll love the view from here, it’s breathtaking.
Neve Tzedek. I literally fell in love with this neighborhood. Restaurants, designer stores, fashion brands and a certain charm make this street a top pick for French expats. Once you start walking it, you’ll think you’re in France. It’s the ideal place to walk hand in hand with your loved one and indulge yourself with some window shopping and dining. We stopped at Beccafico, an intimate Italian restaurant with tables outside. The perfect place for a glass of wine and good pizza in Israel.
I hadn’t left Tel Aviv so far, and I was already loving Israel.