When thinking about a long weekend away, you would probably think of Barcelona, Paris, London or Rome. And you’re right, because these are nice, fantastic, beautiful and impressive cities. But why don’t you fly – as Society World did – just a bit further for a weekend in Israel…?
Israel as a holiday destination. You might find it difficult to see those two words in one sentence; understandably, because, when we hear something about this country, it’s often about problems in the region. We admit: these problems are there, and are probably there to stay. But that doesn’t mean that you have to rule out Israel as a holiday destination. On the contrary: this country has everything that the slightly spoiled globetrotter is looking for. Yes, Society World is a fan. Why? This is why!
It takes about 4 to 4,5 hours from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Put The Godfather on your iPad and even before Don Corleone suffers his heart attack in his vegetable garden the plane prepares for landing.
For a small country as Israel the differences in each region are striking, they say on Wikipedia. If they say so, but you don’t get really cold and terrible weather here. Society World visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in three days and you can say that it is always warm and sunny in both cities but it cools off a little bit more in the evening in Jerusalem. What we want to say is: Israel has a fan-tas-tic climate. If you are fond of winters from hell, then stay in Holland.
Fish, fish and more fish, because Israel is just next to the Mediterranean. And of course the small nibbles or tapas of pinchos as they called in Spain. Here they are called meze (or mezze, whichever you prefer) and they consist of fresh bread, humus, salads, vegetables and olives, among other things. If you want more chique, no problem: in Tel Aviv, but also in Jerusalem there are more than enough restaurants that can be compared with the best in the world. Do you want simpler? On every street corner you can find places where you can spoil yourself for just a few shekel (that’s what their euro is called) with falafel and other kosher snacks.
Almost the whole year round this bubbling Metropolis sparkles in the sun. In the summer it’s almost too hot (about 40?C), but rather this than the fifty shades of grey in Holland, don’t you think?
Because of the warmth almost everything happens outside. The beach is busy all the day, just like the restaurants on the long Rothchild Boulevard. You can play volley- or beach ball, take a jog, read a book, talk with your friends, drink a fruit shake, eat a fish and smoke an apple flavoured water pipe. Enjoyment just like in the other coastal regions of the world. Although… it seems that enjoyment here is even more highly regarded. The Israelites work hard, but party even harder whenever they can. This is what you see in the numerous nightclubs. Tel Aviv has got more than Manhattan and that says something about the need to party here. Parties that go on all night, seven days a week.
More interested in culture? Drive almost an hour eastwards to the capital: Jerusalem. And whether you believe in the Bible and good old Jesus or not at all; this city affects you. Everything is old, picturesque, and breathes history. From the old city, with its many shops with tourists trash and King David’s grave, to the Western Wall and the Mount of Olives. You see busloads of retired Christians, but also orthodox Jews, muslims, businesspeople and backpackers walking around. And don’t panic, you can also fine dine, shop well and sleep up market, here, if it all becomes too much for you culture-wise.
If you have a little longer than a weekend, rent a car and take a splash in The Dead Sea, you know, the sea that contains so much salt that you stay afloat. Although not really refreshing, it remains a special experience.
Sleeping: in Tel Aviv Society World went for the David Intercontinental (www.ichotelsgroup.com). Big, spacious rooms, a breakfast buffet that you won’t stop talking about and located right on the boulevard. In Jerusalem we chose the King David: the hotel of the capital, with a big swimming pool, chique rooms and an excellent restaurant (www.danhotels.com). A kind of Amstel Hotel of Jerusalem. Design freak? Then you have to go to the Mamilla Hotel (www.mamillahotel.com).
Food-wise, because of the enormous variety of fine-dining possibilities we are restricting ourselves to two tips: In Tel Aviv: Mul Yam (www.mulyam.com), a high-level fish restaurant on the boulevard with a fantastic wine list, from which we especially recommend the Israelian wines (an other reason to go to Israel!). In Jerusalem: The Roof Top Restaurant in the already mentioned Mamilla Hotel. The food is good, they make a hell of a bloody mary, the wine list is also great, but it’s especially the view that makes this hip roofterras to the hotspot of the city.
Okay, not 100% Tel Aviv , but we loved the atmosphere of this article too much… ;-D