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


  1. Ram,
    Kalakarel pongo. The Aum Symbol is kind of interesting. I just read a news item about Jesus and Moses being buried in Kashmir and how many villages in Kashmir bear Israeli names. Even the food habit happens to be the same and their naming also has lot of commonality it seems.

    Interesting isn't it...

  2. Ram,
    I've seen a lot of people playing that game on the beach in Goa. Dont know what its called though
    by the way here's the link to my blog

  3. amazing photos Visu.!! Nice to see someone whom we know of visiting Tel aviv..which I felt was dangerous.!!

    Take care...Puzzled at the INdian grafitti.!

  4. I have never known anyone who has visited Israel and so it is refreshing to see that it is indeed a normal place with some aberrations. Thanks for sharing.

  5. KeerthiPerisu
    Thanks.. Yes.. I also found that connection interesting..

    Thanks.. will check it out..

    Security is a paramount concern for Israelis.. but they try to lead a normal life as much as possible.. life goes on..

    I have been wanting to visit Isarel for a long time.. holy land for many religions and a hotspot as well.. so much history..

  6. Ram, so, have you got stamped in ur passport? ;-)) interesting piece abt the indian population and food? Is Pita originated from Isreal?

  7. Sundaresan

    Yes.. I did..

    I did see few Indians but it was far less than what I used to see in other countries..

    I did see a Indian Restaurant in Jaffa (near Tel Aviv) but that's about it..

    I thought Pita is from Greek.. ???

  8. Hi Ram,
    I am glad you enjoyed my country!
    The game played at the beach is called 'matkot'. It is played with a squash ball and is a not competitive game; i.e. there is no score - the point of the game is simply to keep the ball in the air as long as possible. It's quite fun although the sound is annoying to people who are trying to relax on the beach..
    Regarding the Star of David with the Indian scripture inside: there are many Israelis who travel to India after their military service and they soak in a great deal of Indian spirituality and religion and incorporate some of it into Judaism.



  9. Barak
    Yes.. I enjoyed my stay in Tel Aviv.. wish it was little bit longer..

    Thanks for educating me on 'Matkot'.....

  10. Hello Ram Gopal Vishwa,

    Nice to see your blog. I am also blogging in Tamil about our Israel trips.

    Visit my site


    //Do you want a stamp in your passport?//

    If you opt otherwise, entry stamp will be put in a separate paper, which you can keep with your passport.


  11. Desikan
    Just browsed your blog.. Are you postig more on Israel?.. you should.. nice to read Tamil Blog.. I want to dabble in that too.. will see..

  12. This is very interesting site...
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