Tel Aviv, sun, beach and Pride Parade 2019!
I am back in Tel Aviv, Israel. And I have to say - I am ecstatic about it. As I write this blog, I am sat on my apartment balcony. It’s 8am and already 25C outside. Birds are singing, city is awake. Lately aura in Britain is less than pleasant. Some might say, environmental changes and global warming are a dark reality. I would not really expect to, have to be heating my house in June. But yet, it has got so cold, that it was unbearable without it. Summer months, are usually the saving months when it comes to utilities. It’s the time to save some funds, for those cold nights in winter. Those living in UK, will know what I am talking about. Apart from cold, we had a pleasure of nonstop rain for past weeks. I have lost count on number of wet days, and was getting deeper and deeper in my weather depression.
Contrary to this, back in homeland Poland, they are going through some proper heatwaves. Temperatures are higher than in Spain or Portugal. People coming back from holidaying in Egypt and Tunisia, say they have not even had those sorts of high temperatures there. Beach season is officially open, drought across the country and usual issue with forest fires. Problems, whichever way you look at it. Too much rain, or too much sun what would be your choice? Of course, I would choose sun, no question about it. Vitamin D and positive energy injection, that comes from waking up on a sunny day. But, I also understand that the extreme heat will affect harvesting, higher prices of food and so on. But, so will extreme rain. Everything will just rot. So out of the two, I choose sun and clear, blue skies.
Thank god I am back in the land of the never-ending warmth. Leaving London Luton Airport behind, with multiple layers of clothes on, to keep myself warm and dry. I couldn’t wait for the airplane doors to be opened and that first ray of sunshine to touch my face. This visit was booked months in advance, as I wanted to attend Tel Aviv Pride Parade this year. I have looked forward to this trip for a long time. I doubt, that I will get any rest, as there is just too much to do and too many places to be, to waste any valuable time.
The great thing about coming back to places we know (or we think we know), is not losing time to try and find our way around. How great is it, to get to the airport, know exactly where to go to catch a train into the city, and on top of it not even worrying about the ticket (thank you Rav Kav). I knew I was back, as soon as I got on a bus at HaHagana station. Traffic few streets away, was just unbearable. You can’t even compare it to good, old M1. Everything just stopped, people beeping and shouting at each other, not one car will make a way to the other, and cyclists and electric scooters cruising in between this madness.
I was untouched. I sat and enjoyed the vibrant noise.
I got off one stop pass Caramel Market, walked pass Bialik Square and less than 2 minutes from there, got to my AirBnB. On this occasion, I chose this apartment, as I really like the area, Meir Garden that is 1 minute away, beach is 10 mins walk, shuk is 10 minutes’ walk, Dizengoff Square 10 minutes’ walk. Basically, very central area, with great architecture, atmosphere and a lot of nice places to go and eat. And I do love to eat local food. So far, I made it to Claro for dinner. A place I have been following on Instagram for a long time, and the thought of their tasty dishes and cocktails has been haunting me for months. In reality the place looked even better and more beautiful than on photos. Staff were extremely attentive and helpful. I write a bit more on the experience in my recommendation sections, so make sure to check it out.
As you can walk almost everywhere in central Tel Aviv, it was a pleasant half an hour walk. In new flats I purchased a month ago. Those were supposedly most comfortable shoes, that this blogger I follow, wore and recommended. After expensive purchase, to my surprise, I ended up with bleeding blisters on my feet that night. Whether this was my fault or the shoes fault (or maybe I should blame the blogger), I don’t know. Well, these are not really walking shoes, heat does its job too. One thing that’s certain, I will be stuck in good old flip flops for the rest of the trip. And feet covered up with plasters. Following day was going to be a highlight of my trip. Tel Aviv Pride Parade. I got there early, music on, speeches from local community, drinks and colourful people. All sexes and races, young and old, people on wheelchairs and crotches, people dressed up, men in drag, men and women in just their underwear. Everything was acceptable. This colourful crowd is perfect place for a photographer or an artist, with an eye for detail.
I also took the opportunity to film my next vlog, speak to few people and what the pride parade means to them, some of them travelled from very far. Parade started bang on 12 and marched through the Borgashov Street, all the way to the beach, and then down the Herbert Samuel St. There, parade was joined by multiple floats with dancers, music, drag queens. Each float with different theme but equally as entertaining and sending people in the dance and fun mood.
Weather was beautiful, it was hot, it was busy but we got cooled down by water guns and people spraying us with their hose pipes, from tops of roofs and balconies. No one cared, if anything, we cheered for more, as you dried up instantly. There were no trouble makers, there was no issues, it was peaceful. You could see families with small children and toddlers in their push chairs. And that what pride parade is to me. Ability to enjoy time together as group of people, no matter the origin, colour, sexual preference but in peace, love and respect. The day left me buzzing. The best thing was, you’re already at the promenade, so I got myself a ticket (18NIS bargain) for lounger chair and umbrella and spent few hours at the beach. Sunbathing and cooling in the sea.
Walking back to dinner, passing smiling people, still with a colourful rainbow on my face and flag around my waist, I felt like part of the bigger cause. Yes, the streets were left messy, dirty and full of rubbish. But the beauty of Tel Aviv is, that it was all cleared up, before Shabbat started later that evening.
This city is not stopping to amaze me. I will say it again, if I could I would move here. I understand there are the dark sides to every place, and even Tel Aviv has those. House market here is insane, prices, cost of living, long hours working, sometimes two jobs at once, but there is more that matters to me. And that is the positivity, liberal approach, mix of cultures, atmosphere, great weather, beach, tasty food and sense of belonging to community. Social encounters are very important, people spend quality time out, together, dining and drinking. People talk to each other in the shops, markets and on the bus. You don’t remain anonymous for long, even if you try. And that is what makes me love this city so much.
Few more days left, so I am going to enjoy the rest of it and not think of “brutal” reality that’s coming my way. I am not even going to check the weather forecast in UK. No need to ruin my good spirit 😊