Tag Archives: Tel Aviv

But Not Alone

If you saw the title of my previous post, Israel On My Own, I hope you also noticed the very last line, “…on my own, but not alone.” While I set off from home alone, I connected in New York with two of my favorite people, and together we arrived in Tel Aviv.


There they are. Two of the lightest packers in the world. That’s it, folks, right there in their hands – all the luggage they carried across the globe for a two week trip. I’m so happy to call those brilliant packers Mom and Dad, the people who gave birth to that blessed husband of mine. Being with them was the next best thing to holding his hand when arriving on Israeli soil. Together, we passed through customs, met our group and boarded a bus for our hotel.

Here are some early glimpses of Tel Aviv:

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What city would be complete without a car wash? It must be a universal need.

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We got to our hotel room, did what any decent traveler would do and made straight for the windows to check out the view.



Looking west toward the sea (Gasp! The Mediterranean Sea!), the world was a bit off kilter and everything was sliding off the edge of the world. Oh…no…I was the one off kilter, hanging out the window like a crazy lady to try and get an actual view of the sea. I think it was effective.

Once I had climbed back inside the room, Mom and I decided our best next move was to make for the sea and put our feet in before dark. We didn’t know if we’d have another chance. What we got was cold toes and a ridiculously lousy picture of our feet.


You’ll just have to take my word for it – we were really standing in the Mediterranean Sea.

See? There it is. Dark, blustery and foreboding on that particular evening.

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Which, it seems, is perfect for kite-boarding.


Already overcast and dim, darkness was closing in quickly; and the last thing we wanted to do was miss supper, so we turned our steps back toward the hotel.


The hours without sleep and the crossing of several time zones were taking their toll. I have no recollection of what my first meal in Israel was like. But I remember the people and the dining room. And the great pleasure I felt knowing that sleep was on the horizon as the sun went down on Tel Aviv, the city that never sleeps; where I was far from alone.



©Erika Rice 2015




Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv. Self-proclaimed as “The City That Never Sleeps”, it’s name is a combination of two words and two ideas. Tel, meaning ancient, and Aviv, meaning spring, combine the old and new. The Jews have returned to this ancient place, but the city is built on modern ideas and lifestyles.  Tel Aviv is Israel’s center of entertainment, education, fashion, finance and politics. The apartments are small and overpriced. The streets are narrow, the traffic thick and close. This much I learn from my tour guide, Susan.

Tel Aviv is also the launching pad for bus load upon bus load of Holy Land tours.  Pilgrims, as tourists to this place are often called, lay their heads on Tel Aviv hotel pillows for their first sleep in this awe-inspiring land. Most have been awake for far too many hours, or even days, and can’t be trusted with any responsibility or further information.  Wake-up calls are pre-scheduled for every room according to tour request, and instruction is given to keep awake until at least 9 p.m. The body clock needs resetting, and early bed time will result in a long nap but not an overnight refueling. This much I learn from experience.

Of course, there is always confusion about time when jumping several hours ahead and losing a night of sleep.  I heard tell, today, of one traveler who forgot about resetting her phone’s clock before setting the alarm. Unable to keep her eyes open until the suggested 9 p.m. bedtime, she had been happily dreaming for quite some time by then. When her dreams turned on her and told her the bus was leaving without her for the morning’s tour, she awoke with a start at 5:30. Relieved that it was thirty minutes before the wake-up call and thankful for the extra time to be prepared so as NOT to be left behind, she turned on lights, rummaged through her suitcase and showered. It was only after her preparations were nearly complete that I was able to ask my roommate if she realized it was only midnight. Oh, what a sinking feeling. Instead of all night, she had slept only two and a half hours. Deflated, she turned off the lights and put her head once more on the pillow.  Apparently, this is an all too common phenomenon.

Tel Aviv may hope to leave a very different impression with their motto, but I have no doubt that it lives up to it’s reputation; and little wonder with so many weary and confused travelers from around the world. The City That Never Sleeps.


©Erika Rice 2014