Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tel Aviv Touring

One of the things I find really amazing about living in Israel is how interested the people are in learning more about their country. There are organized tours put on by every group and organization imaginable. From the New Immigrant Groups, Airforce Golden Agers and Singles Meeting Singles groups to local municipalities. Being a bit limited in how I get about - namely the distance my scooter

can comfortably take me, I tend to go exploring with the Tel Aviv municipality groups. That doesn't mean that the type or location of the tour is limited. There are all sorts of tours available, focused on writers and artists, or specific neighbourhoods, political or historical, or, my favourites of course, food oriented.

There are tours of the Levinsky Market in Florentine, with its spices and small cafes,

Neve Tsedek - the first neighbourhood of Tel Aviv with its narrow streets that are a mix of very rich new residents and the restaurants and cafes that cater to them, and the descendants of the original residents, who stayed on because they couldn't afford to move out when newer and better neighbourhoods opened up. Now they are getting their own back because this is one of the most expensive places to live in Israel now, but there are still workers cafes that have mafroum (Libyan style stuffed fried potatoes in spicy tomatoe sauce) and couscous on Fridays.

There are food tours of the new port that start at the city morgue and end with the Max Brenner chocolate cafe,

and there are tours of the Jaffa Flea Market and the restaurants that can be found there. And every once in a while they put on special tours as part of a neighbourhood festival.

I usually go alone unless I can find a friend who is free that evening or afternoon. This is unusual as most Israelis travel in packs, and I haven't yet learned that fine art, nor do I think I ever will. Personally, I prefer quality over quantity. The next local festival, my neighbourhood - Jaffa is in the spotlight, is in September.

Decisions, decisions, which tours will I take then?

No comments: