First time in Israel: a country with an ancient past and a troubled modern history.
A childhood dream-destination for many travellers, and not only because of its relevance in religious tourism.
First stop: Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a vibrating modern town, young in appearance but at the same time rich of history. An absolute must is Old Jaffa: a grid of alleys inhabited by artists with an intense presence of galleries and exhibitions.
Walking around the alleys of Old Jaffa, our attention was attracted by the many artworks shown through the simple buildings’ windows and by the murals visible all along our path.
Among the many attractions of this place, the Ilana Goor Museum deserves no doubt a visit. Built in the XVIII century, it has been an inn for Jewish Pilgrims arriving from the Port of Jaffa on their way to Jerusalem for about 100 years, before becoming a soap factory in XIX century. In 1949 the building hosted a synagogue and in 1983 Israeli artist Ilana Goor purchased it as her residence and later on established a museum where she could display her artworks and her huge art collection. The displayed pieces come from all over the world and space over any kind of creative expression, including paintings, sculpltures, tribal art, video performances and design items handpicked by Goor herself, resulting in an overall impression shining with personality and charm.
Also to be found in Old Jaffa is the unmissable Flea Market, a true paradise for curious and meddling people fond of this kind of venues. Whatever you are seeking, you will find it here: from old mobile’s battery chargers to hidden treasures such as precious antiques and forgotten cult items. Lots of tourists enjoy spending their time here observing sellers and buyers lively bargaining for any cent, until another piece of history moves to the hands of its new owner.
Walking along a promenade with an astonishing view of the city skyline, visitors can reach Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv’s main business street where the most expensive shops, restaurants and hotels can be found. The most important building in this corner of the town is Rothschild House, built by one the city’s founding family in 1909. The whole boulevard is a UNESCO World Hertage and it is known as ‘White City’ for its characteristic Bauhaus style.
The area is crossed by a popoular cycle lane and a tree-lined road, and it opens to Habima Square, whose reputation as a cultural centre is boosted by attractions as the Habima Theatre, the Auditorium and Helena Rubinstein Pavillion for Contemporary Art .
But what really impressed us more than anything else has been Tel Aviv’s night life. All kind of people, of any age and cultural background, are crowd the promenade’s restaurants and bars, in such a fancy mixture that even London or New York would be jealous. Rothschild Boulevard is heart of such night life, where any sort of places can be found, including gay bars, music clubs, live performances, and much more, to entertain visitors and locals all night long.
Who would have guessed?
Where’s Tel Aviv?