Exploring Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv

Most people commented “You are very brave” when they found out I was travelling to Israel on my own. Middle East, is unsafe for travellers in many people’s eyes. My personal experience in Tel Aviv speaks otherwise.

I was of course, a little concerned flying into Israel without knowing anyone but the airport transfer all turned out fine. My hotel room in Tel Aviv, to my surprise, had direct views to the beach. I could see the sun beaming, people running on the beach and colourful paragliders all over the sky, just like they do over beaches in Sydney. Best of all, I could watch sunset on the beach in my room! That was a perfect set up for a day dreamer like me.

My schedule was tight, there were so many places to see, no time for day dreaming. Everyday I was on a day tour to explore different parts in Israel and this country really fascinates me. One day I met Sharon, a (medical) Doctor from Cape Town, who’s been to Tel Aviv before. My trip turned out to be even better.

I was travelling alone and intended to keep pretty much all to myself. My plan for that evening was to walk alone on the beach, enjoy more sea breeze and another beautiful sunset. Sharon called me from behind on my way back to my hotel and asked if I’d like to go for a walk on the beach together. “Sure,” I replied. She looked nice and a company like that doesn’t hurt. But we didn’t just had a little walk on the beach, she took me to the Old Town of Tel Aviv and showed me around. Without her, I wouldn’t know how wonderful Old Jaffa is – that was like the best personal tour ever. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Looking back to the new town from old town Tel Aviv – a mixed world of old and new:

Approaching the old town:

Iron cannons left from when Napoleon conquered Jaffa in 1799:

The iconic bell tower of Franciscan Church:

Keep exploring… We watched sunset together. There wasn’t a single cloud on the sky, which allowed us to watch the last bit of evening sun dipping into Mediterranean sea. And the wonderful, winding sandstone alleyways – I could walk in those for days! Israelis are such creative, artistic people. You’ll be amazed how beautifully decorated the doors and side streets are.

I’m not a religious person who could tell the religious significance of many old monuments, but words can’t express how much I appreciate the beauty and rich history of Old Jaffa!

Jaffa Port at night.

Tel Aviv is modern and fun with a brilliant mix of old and new. You can feel the relaxed, happy and romantic Mediterranean air in the whole city, day and night. No wonder it’s been such a popular holiday destination for Europeans.Note to people from Jerusalem who said there’s nothing in Tel Aviv: That’s not a true statement. Please don’t mislead your guests:). Old Jaffa is one of Israel’s most ancient cities and there are plenty to do and see. For people who are scared to travel to Israel, please don’t listen too much to the media. 🙂 It’s totally safe to travel to, even for a not so confident, single female traveller like me.

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