Friday, November 18, 2011

Guide to Tel Aviv

Land of the Bible, History, and personal fitness!

Getting There: Ethiopian Airlines is the fastest way from Nairobi for now, cost is between $800 - $1,200 with a stop-over in Addis Ababa. In Tel Aviv, clearing out of the airport takes four hours minimum as there are many security checks, and it's a very busy airport (over 50 flights were taking off to various destinations on that one night). Also, the airport staff are not very friendly

Getting Around: The cost of taxi trip from/to town is approx $50 and taxi's are the way to go, many locals uses cars, bicycles & motorbikes. You feel very secure walking around, and there are no specific restrictions, electricity is reliable, and you spend about $100.

Accommodation & Communications: The Hotel which cost about $170 per night had Wi-Fi (spots are not too common in town) and fixed line calls from the rooms. International calls were available on particular cell line bundles, but I was not able to use a personal (Safaricom) line.

Food & Drink: Meals consisted of various meat dishes, preceded with handsome quantities of salad. Beers cost about $7 a pint in a restaurants, or $4 in a corner shop/ supermarket.

Most of the conversation are in Hebrew, but the locals we interacted with wanted to know about our country etc. and vice versa. Local legends include Ben Gurion (who the international airport is named after) and Raoul Wallenberg. All mainstream newspapers are in Hebrew, but the Hotel also issued a leaflet in English

Shopping & Sight Seeing: The main shopping areas for tourists are Allenby St Market and Dizengoff Centre and they mostly buy Jerusalem mementos, and jewelry. Sightseeing included Jerusalem City, and the Dead Sea

Biggest surprises about the city: The obsession with fitness and healthy eating. Lots of people can be seen jogging in the evening, or riding, and all meals are served with lots of salads first. Fitness levels of the citizens are high, with no potbellies in sight, and even people in pub all look like athletes!!

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