Israel Diary 1

Israel diary

Or, things to do in Tel Aviv when the sun shines (& when it goes down)

Yesterday (21/6/2001) there was a music festival in Tel Aviv, well it was actually Gay Pride, but we went for the music. When I asked how often music festivals where held in Tel Aviv, "Most of the time" was the answer. The music is excellent here. very little of the standard Euro-pop seems to filter its way down this far. This makes room for some seriously good tunes (okay and some relatively mediocre 'easy listening' - which isn't anything of the sort I hasten to add). The festival was a riot of colour and colourful people as these things normally are. Several different types of bands graced the stage from a rather old and tired Barbara Streisand to a group of four (three men + one women) YMCA look-a-likes. The 'highlight' had to be Dana International though! She came on at the end of the show, and sang some of her famous hits. Now unfortunately (?) not many of her songs haven't as yet reached the UK, so I can't give many details about them, but how often do you get the chance to see such a person live in concert?

The "best bakery in Israel" is in old Jaffa. Walk south from Tel Aviv, past the 'Dolphinariam' and 'Daniel's' bar. This is where the bomb went off (beginning of June 2001) that killed to kids that were waiting to go clubbing. There is a memorial to them here. It is a simple silhouette of two people holding hands - it gives the impression of being their shadows. Between them is inscribed a message. It loosely translates as 'We won't stop dancing' (thanks Yael!). It is very poignant. Directly across the road from the clubs is a mosque that bore the brunt of the Israeli's frustrations.

Keep walking south and you will see Jaffa on the hill slightly to your right. Just as you head into Jaffa there is a shop called 'KENT' on your right. Go straight across the crossroads and up on your left hand side is a bakery called 'Said Abu Leiff'. You will have found the bakery. They specialise in different kinds of pitta bread, stuffed with pretty much anything you like. The pitta is then thrown into the depths of a huge oven that looks large enough to contain an entire cow (why you'd wanna put a cow in there, god only knows!). A couple of minutes later and voila, baking hot pitta with stuff in it! I'm not exactly doing it justice, but if you're in Tel Aviv, you'll go and try it out, and that's the important thing!

Things to do in Tel Aviv on Shabbat eve.

There is only one thing that you should do on a Friday night in Tel Aviv. Make your way to the beach in front of the Dolphinariam about an hour or so before sunset. There you will find all sorts of people gathered around a group of guys playing drums. There are jugglers, dancers, tumblers, those guys whirling a couple of balls on the end of string around there heads (I must learn to do that!) and guys that look like they are doing a combination of dancing and fighting. You will have seen the adverts where a couple of people on the beach dance around each other, kicking and blocking, but without touching. Well there are guys doing it here as well - and it is much more impressive in real life than it is on the screen. I've forgotten what the dance is called, but I'll update this page when I find out!

Don't forget to watch the sun go down when you're busy soaking up the atmosphere though!

The next installment.


Created b y Dan Leigh 21 June 2001