Last week Café Europa celebrated its first anniversary. And it sure has been a good year for the restaurant. Ever since its opening, Cafe Europa became one of the hottest spots in Tel Aviv. An outdoor restaurant. With a bar on the first floor and a terrace. And a great authentic atmosphere. The restaurant is located on Rothschild Boulevard, meaning you can easily walk around and discover the area before and after. I go there very often both with family, friends and with groups for work.
The menu has a few cute small sharing dishes and an Israeli-inspired variation of fish, meat and veggie main courses. I always go for my favorite: the lamb tortellini. The place offers special cocktails and has an interesting wine menu, including some of Israel’s finest boutique wines (try the Kerem Shvo and don’t bother taking a glass only; go for the bottle).
The celebrations went on all week and ended with a special live act on Friday night by a local band called Boom Pam. Boom Pam define themselves as “a Mediterranean surf rock tuba drive power trio, seasoned with dueling guitars and alcohol soaked wedding party ecstasy.” I felt like I was in a Tarantino movie Middle-Eastern style. Everybody was dancing, or maybe not everybody and it was more those chasers (half shots) working their magic. After the gig, we kept on dancing on Dror’s vinyl mixes, a nostalgic tribute to the Fifties, a lot of laughing and dancing, and drinking, and laughing, and dancing the twist….
Yom Hazikaron is Israel’s Memorial Day, the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism. This sad day starts with a siren at 20h and is heard all over the country. For one minute, everyone stands still to commemorate the fallen. The official ceremony takes place at the Western Wall and the flag of Israel is lowered to half staff. The next morning, a two-minute siren is sounded at 11h and marks the opening of the official memorial ceremonies and private gatherings at cemeteries. Again, only sad songs on the radio and only war related TV broadcasts until about 19h. Then happens a weird transition from sad to happy, when Independence Day begins.
Yom Haatzmaut is Israel’s Independence Day. On may 14th 1948 the (then future) Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion declared the independence of the state of Israel. The official ceremony is held every year at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem but festivities are everywhere. Israel is now 65. In Tel Aviv there are parties all over town, on the streets, in bars, restaurants and houses. People are singing and dancing in the streets. When you live in the heart of the city, you have to go wander around and observe. And if you have a blog, even better, you can capture it on camera and share with the world. But photos and words cannot describe what we saw and heard. The happy atmosphere is omnipresent. It’s loud, people go wild and crazy and it goes on all night long. Bad sleep but good vibe. Luckily the next day is a holiday to recover.
Photos taken with my Canon EOS M