guestblog by Peter Monbailleu – www.shakalaka.be
Fan for Life
Coming to Tel Aviv always feels like coming home to me, even though I am not Jewish. Originally arriving to the city very hesitantly – like many people, I’m sure – it took just a few hours to turn me into a fan for life. Was it the comfortable climate? Was it the warmth of its people? Was it its glorious food? Make it a combination of all of the above. Either way, since then, I have visited the white city many times. It became one of my getaway cities over time, a place where I can come to hide from the everyday hustle of a promoter’s life, a city that gives me energy and inspiration while at the same time relaxing me more than any other place.
Sharing the city
For my girlfriend and travel companion, it was her first visit to this mostly unknown, hidden treasure. It was fun to share some of my favorite spots and discovering some new ones, because Tel Aviv is a city that is constantly changing while maintaining its vibe.
Tel Aviv is only about an hour away from Jerusalem so a visit to the holy city was inevitable. Our guide Karen was very well informed about all matters from the past and from today. She took us to some unique viewpoints and even into places where you would never come as a regular tourist. Jerusalem has always been a complicated city and it will probably always remain that way. But all its diversity is what makes it what it is today.
When can we go again?
We’re on the plane home now and while at the beginning of the trip there seemed so many days ahead, now it feels like they went by too fast. We’re already looking forward to our next stay and yes, I promise to get in touch with my friends there before landing. Sorry guys.
Thank you Marilyn for the tips. Thank you Melissa for arranging the tour guide. Thank you Iris for breakfast and ever lasting friendship.
Peter Monbailleu – www.shakalaka.be
Tel Aviv wins first place in the World Smart Cities Award at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, beating the 250 other cities who competed in the competition.
The Smart City Expo World Congress is considered the leading conference in the world for smart city innovation. Tel Aviv hosted a booth at the congress displaying the city’s smart technologies with companies such as Motorola Solutions Israel, TSG (Ness) and Microsoft.
Tel Aviv, the startup city, ranked one of the most innovative cities in the world by Citibank and the Wall Street Journal, has leveraged its high-tech ecosystem to facilitate its transformation into a smart city. In the last 2 years, the city has undergone a digital revolution, including the launching of the city residents’ membership club Digi-Tel, free Wi-fi across the city and more.
These initiatives improve municipal services, enhance residents’ quality of life and create the conditions for sustainable urban development. Above all, they exemplify the city’s active, intelligent role in employing technology to heighten civic engagement and ensure a city which is accessible and responsive to all.
Here are some suggestions for those interested in discovering Israel. If you book a vacation for a week or ten days you can stay in Tel Aviv and enjoy the city and the beach life. Then take a few days to visit the country:
Renting a car is easy and cheap (Suncar) and all road signs are in English, Arabic and Hebrew so you shouln’t worry about getting lost. If you only plan on visiting Jerusalem then you could use public transportation like the bus, the service taxis departing from Tel Aviv’s central bus station or the train. In Jerusalem make sure to visit the Old City including the Wailing Wall, the Jewish, Christian and Muslim Quarters in the narrow streets and the Church of the Saint Sepulchre. You should also visit Mount Scopus, the Mahane Yehuda food market, The Knesset (Parliament), Yad Vashem and the Eretz Israel museum. Contact us for more info and we can find you a guide in any language.
Get inspired and watch the Simpsons’ visit to the Holy Land
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth and almost one of the official wonders of the world. It is a natural spa with many benefits for the skin. Located more than 400 meters below sea level, the Dead Sea is an experience; from rubbing mud on your skin till floating in the sea reading a book.
Another amazing place to visit in that area is Massada. ‘Massada is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau (akin to a mesa) on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. According to Josephus, theSiege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire towards the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of the 960 Jewish rebels and their families hiding there.’ (source: Wikipedia) You can walk the snake path up and down, many do it on sunrise or sunset for its beauty and also because of the heat. For the lazy ones: there is a cable cart.
In the North you can make various trips to the Galil (Nazareth, Sea of Galilea, Jordan River), to the Golan Heights, to Caesarea, Haifa and Acco. Many accommodation options vary from “Zimmer” (guesthouses or luxury bungalows) to resorts.
view from Sof Haderech somewhere in the North…
More info and customized visits on request: firstname.lastname@example.org