Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jaffa & Tel Aviv

The other day we went into Tel Aviv and an old port city named Jaffa. Jaffa is undergoing a gentrification process today and is more or less considered an outlying part of Tel Aviv. Before the creation of Tel Aviv in the first years of the 20th century, Jaffa was a booming port and the main city. Tel Aviv was only a neighborhood of Jaffa. The switch is very evident in the size of the each city and their condition. Both are really interesting places to visit. Jaffa boasts a beautiful Mediterranean view and gorgeous beaches. Tel Aviv too has nice beaches, but we haven´t had a chance to visit them yet. The atmosphere of Jaffa is another positive quality. There was a nice breeze and sunshine which made it feel very beach like and homey. The narrow winding streets of the old city were marked with artistic plaques in which the names were derived like Archer Street. The whole port area is being renovated now with careful attention going toward old building fronts and new, luxurious apartments at the same time. There is also a really neat contrast between the low sea level port and the hill at the top of the city. It´s really easy to see how Jaffa was once such a booming and vibrant port city to live in during antiquity.
Tel Aviv was a cool place to see also. It definitely has a more urban, contemporary feel that seems quite similar to Europe rather than the Middle East. There is a nice mix between old and new buildings. We also got to visit the port area of Tel Aviv which is filled with shops and restaurants and a craft market. It was dark when we were there, but it still looked beautiful. You could definitely see the Western influence with the sketchers store and American style food. It was a great day trip.

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