Monday, June 12, 2006

Tel Aviv Travel Notes #1

What could have been just a 4 - 5 hour journey to Tel Aviv was actually a 13 hours journey from Chennai for me as I had to fly via Frankfurt. My other option was to fly via Amman or Istanbul which meant more lay overs and was actually going to take longer.

I was expecting extra security screening at Frankfurt and that's exactly what was in store. Our plane took off from a very sterile area and we were frisked thoroughly several times before they let us anywhere near the plane.

Do you want a stamp in your passport?
I was posed this question at the immigration counter. I didn't understand the question and the officer didn't give any explanation. But, later learnt that, some Arab countries refuse entry to anyone who had visited Israel and hence the question.

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Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv is the only commercial airport in Israel and looked very modern.

Crowded Customs Clearnace  @ Tel Aviv Airport
However the immigration and the customs clearance process were rather slow and at times chaotic.

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A Beach view from my Hotel room.. I took a walk across to beach and found it full of families playing and resting.

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It was sunny and pleasant at the beach..

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Memorial for war heroes. Found lot of memorials like this one jotted along the beach. A grim reminder to constant state of war in this country. Some people call Israel as a country under constant seige.

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Have never seen this game before. Several people were playing this game in pairs with a wooden bat bigger than the Table Tennis bat. They were using some kind of a hard ball which made quite a sound as it went back and forth. Do you know what game is this?
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A graffiti near the beach with Indian connection.. Don't know what it says though..
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A vegetable / fruit market near the hotel solved my dinner problem..

Sunset in Tel Aviv
Beautiful sunset - A view from my room

Sunset in Tel Aviv
One more.. Can you spot the TV screen reflection on the top right?

More photos in flickr