The doubt slowly watered down and soon I decided to book my flight to this troubled region.
Usually I arrange everything myself, but this time I found a traveling agency which could give me very attractive prices and I would see everything I absolutely wanted to see while in Israel. I would even make a side trip to see Petra in Jordan. One of the old world wonders!
An organised tour is often a good option for people who travel alone.
My flight from Tel Aviv departed at 6 PM from Brussel International Airport (Zaventem) and I immediately knew I was boarding the right plane.
Men with kippahs, the typical Jewish outfits and the overgrown sideburns made clear to me that I was on my way to the country where a lot of biblical events took place.
On my right side there were two French girls who couldn’t stop babbling about how excited they were to head to Israel. Left of me, there was a single woman who wriggled herself in quite weird positions trying to snap the perfect selfie. When I opened my eyes from a short nap, I saw that she was now sitting on the headrest, intensively pouting her lips.
Obviously I wasn’t the only one who found this amusing, because the people behind her couldn’t stop smiling.
Jaffa and the Carmel Market
At eleven o’clock in the evening I -finally- arrived in the hostel. The Abraham Hostel was very recently built. The gigantic block was equipped with everything that is important for a backpacker.
After the very friendly staff told me the necessary explanations, I could move into my room on the first floor.
After quietly storing all of my stuff, I crawled into bed and I set my alarm clock to wake me up at nine. There would be a guided tour of Jaffa, the oldest part of Tel Aviv.
A little something after ten all those who loved traveling left together from the hostel. And soon I was talking with some fellow backpackers.
Europe was well represented. Three English girls, two Germans, one Belgian (me) and for the rest there also were some Americans and a Canadian.
Our guide was a real happy fellow. He made non-stop jokes and in the meantime explained more of the history of Tel Aviv.
Jaffa was actually the starting point from which the city originated. You can even say that this used to be the main point to get into the Holy Land in the old days.
Whenever the city was conquered by the Crusaders or the Ottomans, the buildings were destroy and then covered with sand. The current Jaffa is thus built on multiple layers or previous cities.
This makes it very difficult for developers to start bold projects. The guide told us a story in which a million contract had to be put stop during six years for archaeological excavations. That and of course the very relaxed (somewhat slow…) way of life of the Israelis…
A little further from the center of Jaffa you will find many cozy restaurants and markets. In the mean time it was just after 1:00 pm, and the spicy smells of delicious food started to stimulate all my senses!
My new backpack friends told me that there was huge market within a mile of where we were now.
The Carmel Market runs between the narrow streets of Tel Aviv and goes uphill and downhill, meandering through te city. You can find everything here! Candy, spices, toys, antiques and much more gadgets and food.
The bustle offered a lot of tasty dishes to. And I and my European (and Canadian) buddies put our teeth into a tasty falafel before we ventured into the market a little further.
After having seen this local folklore, we went back to our hostel. We drank some nice beers on the rooftop terrace while we laughed and talked until the early hours.
Israel, dangerous? I never felt so safe!
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.