Schlagwort-Archiv: travel

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Another day in Tel Aviv

It’s Monday, another day in Tel Aviv.

We had not set an alarm so that we slept late and had breakfast in the Roladin Café, which actually was not a breakfast anymore. After Israeli sandwiches and salad we threw ourselves on the green city bikes to take a look at the city again. After a small detour to a Square (which is btw awesomely ugly and boring) where they have all those posh designer shops we cycled to the beaches in the North of the city. Tel Aviv is a good city to hang out. You will feel relaxed the moment you make your first step into this city. And so we sat again on one of those beaches and watched the children play for some time.

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Back on the bikes we cycled along the beach promenade and then into the small lanes of Tel Aviv, where they have beautiful houses, sometimes with colorful decorations.

Our destination was the quarter of Florentin, which is supposedly the “Kreuzberg of Tel Aviv”. Since Tel Aviv is not too big and easy to orient, you can find your way through the alleys, without looking too often at a map. Sometimes this might cause you a little detour. But it’s the detours that make your trips more exciting. Florentin has beautiful coffee places, lots of shops for hipster clothes. Somewhat more distant from the hip cafés you will find some more alternative shops, felafel stores and fruit stalls. It’s a good area just to walk around, feel the spirit of the city and have a coffee to watch the people come and go (like we did).

From there we continued our way by feet. We wanted to go to Old Jaffa again, cos we heard it must really beautiful at night. And it is. But I would nor recommend to have dinner in the harbor. The food is good but the waiters are annoying. Nevertheless you should come and the the old houses Jaffa in the dark.

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They have sun in Tel Aviv

When you have a look at the map of Tel Aviv you think it is huge. But Tel Aviv is actually a rather small city where you can reach almost everything by feet. So we started our city exploration after breakfast by feet. First destination: The beach.

Although it was a hot and sunny day, there were not a lot of people on the beach. We wandered in the sand and took a rest in the sun. We realized just a few meters behind us there was a couple (?) dressed in their Purim costumes having sex. And I can tell they were not shy in letting everybody else knowing, what they were doing.

We did not watch the show until the end and continued our way along the beach and Shlomo Lahat Promenade to eventually turn left for HaCarmel Market. The hidden streets on the way to this everyday open market were tiny and quiet. HaCarmel market itself is a busy and crowded place. The market where you can get everything from fruits to gadgets is weaving along one narrow lane with some bolters into even smaller alleys. In those alleys one can find for example the meat bothes. The sellers are lingering in their shops between the red flesh, having a cigarette.

Just a stone throw away from HaCarmel is the Yemenite quarter with its old traditional houses, its beautiful tiny shops, lots of haberdashers and cafés. It’s an area where you sit down on one of the numerous wooden benches, have a coffee and watch people come and go. And so did we.

From Yemenite Quarter you can easily get back to the seaside. Along the shore we walked down until we reached Old Jaffa, which supposedly has the oldest harbour in the world and a very nice historic center. There are a lot of small shops selling antique staff, second hand furniture and clothes. You can also find a messy flea market and heaps of nice restaurants in Old Jaffa. We had some spritzer, olives and bread with dips in the sunny afternoon.

 

After that we visited HaPisga Garden, which is a nice place for walking around and feeling throw back centuries ago. Cos Old Jaffa is located relatively high you also have a great view over the city of Tel Aviv. At last we did a flying visit to the old harbour and made our way home back to Ido’s place by one of the free city bikes.

Back in the city centre we met Asaf and Ido again for dinner in an Arab restaurant. They invited us for arak, which is anise liquor (and I do not like anise). But the arak served in this restaurant was mixed with fresh ice and grapefruit juice that made it a tasteful pleasure.  Before we left the waiter came over to me with the words: Give me your hand! Give me your finger! I was so surprised that I just stretched my arm into his direction. The moment after I had a plastic ring on my finger flashing in rainbow colors. Kati got one as well.

Because I am afraid of getting an epileptic seizure I am not wearing the ring, but it will accompany me back home as a souvenir of Tel Aviv.

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Wir werden reisen

Ich kann mich noch gut erinnern, wie ich sie das erste Mal traf. Es war auf den Philippinen und es ist fast dreieinhalb Jahre her. Ich stand mit einer deutschen Freundin im Supermarkt Rustan’s in der Katipunan Avenue. Ich kann nicht mehr genau sagen ob wir über Mangos oder Müsli sprachen, aber wir unterhielten uns auf Deutsch. Sie hörte wie wir Deutsch miteinander redeten und sprach uns an. Sie kam aus München und hatte genauso wie wir vor wenigen Tagen ihre Koffer gepackt um ein halbes Jahr auf den Philippinen zu verbringen. Wir trafen uns am Abend zum Sushi. Ich fand sie sehr laut, aber auch sehr nett. In den folgenden Monaten habe ich mit keinem Menschen öfter zu Abend gegessen. Mit keinem anderen Menschen bin ich so viel gereist. Als das halbjährige Südostasienabenteuer im April 2010 zu Ende war, versprachen wir uns, dass wir uns in Deutschland sehen würden. Obwohl das ja so eine Sache mit den Versprechen ist, haben wir es gehalten. Wir sahen uns in bei ihr in München. Und bei mir in Berlin. Bei Freunden in Frankreich. Und bei Freunden in Österreich. Nach fast drei Jahren werden wir das erste Mal wieder richtig zusammen reisen. Es soll nach Israel gehen. Ohne uns abzusprechen hatten wir den gemeinsamen Plan für die Reise: keinen Plan zu haben. Außer die ersten drei Tage in der Sonne Tel Avivs zu verbringen, den Reiseführer zu studieren und mittags die erste Weinschorle zu trinken. Weil man das sonst nicht macht. Aber weil es gut ist. Samstagmorgen startet der Flieger.

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Roadtrip 3: Port Campbell

Our next episode on the Great Ocean Road was probably the most exciting one. That day we started from Lorne to Port Campbell, which is the most famous part of the whole road.

But before arriving at the famous Twelve Apostles, we had something different on our travel schedule: Koala bears! At Kennet River you will find a lot of Koalas in the trees. You just have to walk or drive up the little Grey River Road. First it’s hard to see the Koalas in the trees, but once you spotted one you will see the bears all over! It is also a good place to see canaries. They were not shy at all and were coming down on us to be feeded.

We had a fun time there. But sadly it started to rain, so we jumped back in the car to go to Port Campbell and the Twelve Apostles. When we arrived at the first apostles we were already very excited. Those huge rocks in the sea look very impressive. After a quick stop at the beach we went on to the look-out from where you could all the twelve of the apostles.

 

When you continue your journey along the Great Ocean Road after visiting the Twelves Apostles, you will find a lot more stunning rock formations in the sea such as London Arch, Loch Ard Gorge or the Grotto. It was a stormy day and the sea was wild. You could feels the salty spray of the sea in you face. I really liked the rough atmosphere. Everything was changing second after second: the waving grasslands, the foaming sea, the clouds in the sky. Just the huge rocks stood still like they always had.

 

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Roadtrip 2: Torquay and Lorne

After the short stay in Melbourne we continued our road trip to the Great Ocean Road, which goes along the south coast from Torquay to Allensford. This road is just about 250 km long, but still there is a lot of beautiful (nature) places to see, so you will stop a lot. There are still some kilometers to go from Melbourne to Torquay. From the the road starts to curl along the shore line. On our way we stopped every now and then to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

One of the touristy attractions on that part was the Split Point Lighthouse. A very white lighthouse enthroned on the green spring coast. That day it was not possible to go up the spire. From there you also enjoy a very nice and wide view over the cost and some impressive rocks in the water. It was a very sunny day, so we sat down on one of the wooden benches, letting the wind blow our hair wild.

We then went on to Lorne. It was not too easy to find a hostel there, but finally we found some place to stay in a very nice pension in the rainforest where the cockatoos were lingering on the terraces, the roofs of the guesthouses and in the trees. Unfortunately the operator of the place was some kind of a cleaning maniac and a choleric. But if this doesn’t agitate you, you will enjoy you stay in the wonderful green place.

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Roadtrip 1: Melbourne

My two friends, a Dutch friend of them and me, we rented a small baby blue car to go on our road trip. The route started in Sydney. That first day we just spend in the car to go directly to Melbourne. It was beautiful to see how much even in those few hours the landscape outside of the car was changing. When we arrived in Melbourne it was already dark and the city was looking so exciting. I did not expect such a skyline and such a variety of buildings and bridges. It was beautiful. We stopped in a messy party hostel in the district of St. Kilda.

We had some cheap and greasy pizza and a too expensive pint of beer that evening. That road which is going along the sea in St. Kilda is were the backpackers and the party people go. Actually I didn’t like it that much: people were dressed up to kill, too drunk, the music in the bars and in the streets was bad. So we went to bed soon to seize the day in Melbourne the next morning.

That next day we wandered around St. Kilda. It’s much nicer here during the day. There are a lot of colorful small houses with little shops and lots of bakeries. The beach is not a very special one, but wherever there is some sea – it’s worth a visit! And you should come and see the old amusement park.

 

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Arriving in Sydney

After my stay in the Philippines I took a plane to Sydney, Australia. Two good friends are staying in the district of Darlinghurst for a few months and asked me to come over for a visit. And so did I.

I had not a lot of time to go around the city, cos we were leaving the next day for a trip to Melbourne and Great Ocean Road. But still, my first impression of Sydney is: it’s clean, has a lot of green spots, but it’s not the cosy kind of city. And on the contrary to most of the people who have been to Australia – I do not think people are very friendly. But maybe it’s just Sydney. We’ll see.

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Fireflies Like Stars

After climbing Mount Mayon I decided to head for some river where you can see millions of fireflies at night. Ido and Noa, the Israelis who were climbing Mt Mayon with me, joined for the trip.To get to the fireflies you just have to ask around the tricycle drivers to take you to that fireflies river near Donsol (I guess its name was Ogod). They will give you a ride.

In Ogod we were getting on a boat and we sailed along the river as the sun was setting. From afar one could see a huge glooming spot, like someone was pointing with a torch on a tree. The closer we got the more one could the the bright and tiny fireflies, that make so much light. There were millions over millions in the mangroves. I have rarely seen something beautiful like this. When you looked up to the stars you were not sure where the fireflies ended and where the stars stated. It’s a pity you cannot catch these beautiful moments in pictures: it was too shaky on the boat to take pictures with slow shutter speed. But I will keep this beautiful experience in my mind.

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