Magdalena and I had a long discussion about where to go on holiday together. In the end, we, however, decided on Israel, which had been on our bucket list for a while already. So, on March 29, we got up at 3 am and took a taxi to Vienna airport as our flight was already leaving at 6 am. At the airport in Tel Aviv, we first had to go through security and immigration and then took the bus to the city center. Since we arrived already in the morning, our room at the Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv was not ready yet. So, we decided to grab some food at BANA in the meantime.
After we checked into our room and took a short break there, we walked across the city. On the way, we also already passed by Bauhaus Center, Dizengoff Square, and the Great Synagogue of Tel Aviv. And when we made it to Jaffa, we also went to its famous Old Port, the Clock Tower, the Wishing Bridge, and flea market there. While walking across the city, we also discovered one of the many painted walls in a side alley next to Yom Tov café, where we had lunch then. In addition to the typical sights, Tel Aviv also has several different beaches, including Gordon Beach or Frishman Beach, which you pass when walking along the promenade down there. Unfortunately, it has been quite windy the whole time and still too cold for swimming or sunbathing at the beach, but still enjoyed a drink and the ocean breeze at one of the restaurants there.
While spending the first two days exploring Tel Aviv, we took the bus to Jerusalem the following day. However, we didn’t expect it to be that cold as it only had 6 degrees and was also raining a few times while we were there. Yet, that didn’t stop us from seeing Jerusalem’s historical sights such as the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Jaffa Gate, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Mount of Olives. And did you know there is an Austrian Pilgrim Hospice in Jerusalem? There, we not only had a cup of typical Viennese coffee and an apple strudel but also enjoyed the breathtaking view over the city from the hospice’s rooftop terrace. In the late afternoon, we went back to Tel Aviv. And as it was already our last evening there, we first got some drinks and then watched the sunset on our hostel’s rooftop.
The following morning, we went for breakfast at the hostel one last time and then already had to hurry to catch the train back to the airport on time. Also, we wanted to be there at least three hours before departure as you have to go through strict border control before leaving the country, which can take some time. However, as it took us ages to get by bus to the train station, we missed the train and had to wait for the next one, which was also late. So by the time we finally made it to the airport, we only had about two hours left until our flight left. But luckily, everything went well, and we made it to our gate in time and were back in Vienna after a 3-hour flight.
We experienced Tel Aviv as a super vibrant, modern, and young city with many things to do and see. But we were also quite impressed by Jerusalem and all its historical sites and places. And although the weather was not always the best, we enjoyed visiting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. It was Magdalena’s and my first trip together, but as we had such a good time, it was, for sure, not the last one.