May 26 and 27
We were so excited and couldn’t wait until these 2 days. Why? We were meeting our son, Mark and our soon to be daughter-in-law, Ramsay, in Tel Aviv. They were there on a trip called Honeymoon Israel and were scheduled to fly back to Boston just before we were to arrive in Israel, so they extended their trip by 2 days so we could meet during our trip around the world.
We arrived in Haifa on Sunday, May 26 and had a face to face immigration which needed to be completed in the terminal before 8 AM. Perfect for us, we saw the sunrise, then we got a train at 7:50 to Tel Aviv. Last time we were here we took the train there so we knew that the station was just outside the port, just about a 2 minute walk.
We booked the overnight at the hotel where they had stayed for a couple of days, the Royal Beach Hotel. It was right on the beach and a perfect location for neighborhoods, markets, old Jaffa and restaurants.
We had a great visit, lots of walking (over 8 miles on Sunday and a lot on Monday too, before we returned to the ship!) and such a nice visit with them.
Here are some of our adventures near the beach and in Old Jaffa.
I absolutely have to mention the food. We got some recommendations from various people and also went to places that Mark and Ramsay had seen or knew about. In every case, the food was delicious – we do love middle eastern food and this did not disappoint.
Here are some of the lunch photos. We learned that if you don’t want to eat too much bread you can use sweet onion to dip in the hummus. We had 3 different varieties of hummus. What a great lunch.
We wandered through the Neve Tsedek arts colony and the markets. We love markets, and the spices here are amazing, as are all of the fruits, vegetables and delicacies.
I don’t know what kind of spice that “Philadelphia” one is! I didn’t buy any.
There are some wonderful graffiti street art examples in this area. Here are just a few.
We heard a lot about Anita gelato, and it did not disappoint. Terrific.
We relaxed a while in the late afternoon, our balcony was a great place to watch the kiteboarders and people on the beach. We got to hear about Mark and Ramsay’s experience on their trip, which was wonderful.
Our dinner choice was a highly recommended restaurant, The Old Man and the Sea, which was indeed right on the sea. We took a taxi summoned by their online method which is called Gett, since we had already walked so many miles. Luckily we got there when we did because the line began building and was very long after we were seated. There must be a few hundred seats here, both inside and out. We were inside but with a large open space connected to the outside area which was truly the best of both worlds. There were lots of Muslim people there just waiting to break their Ramadan fasts.
This place was so fun to watch because it is amazingly busy with waiters running around all over the place, cooks making up the dishes at open counters, and yes, the bread man. Look at this bread! He kept making it and stacking it and it disappeared just as fast.
First they bring you 20 different kinds of appetizer portions of salads, hummus, tahini, etc., and a pitcher of their famous lemonade. We probably shouldn’t have ordered anything else because by the time our entrees came we were already pretty full. All delicious!!
The clean up is unique – no trays used here, they just stack everything and carry it back to the kitchen, usually while running.
After dinner, we walked back to the hotel along the beach and saw families having picnics to break the fast and lots of people on the scooters that are everywhere.
Nice hotel, good night’s sleep and another day awaits.
We skipped the World Cruise event in Acre and are looking forward to hearing about it, and my friend Shosh was planning to meet us but her mom had a surgical procedure and she had a reaction to anesthesia, so she wasn’t able to make it.
We couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend our time in Israel – with Mark and Ramsay!
On Monday, we went to a very cool breakfast place and again walked all around the area. Even met 2 passengers from the ship. In a huge city like Tel Aviv, what are the chances?? Small world.
More exploring, then we went back to the hotel, checked out and relaxed by the pool and had lunch.
Our ship was leaving at 8 and we had a dinner scheduled in Toscana with friends at 7:30, so we took the train back to arrive by about 5:30. Mark and Ramsay were staying until about 8 when they needed to get to the airport for a 12:30 AM flight back to Boston.
Fabulous two days. Now on to Cyprus and all of the Mediterranean ports.