Monday, 29 April 2013

Incredible Israel

Israel is another country I've spent quite a bit of time in. It is an exciting, exceptional, exhausting and, at times, extremely frustrating country. But since this is my blog through which I try to maintain and cherish things that bring happiness to my life, I'm not going to get into politics. There are other platforms for that. And people more patient than me.

In spite of everything I have witnessed in that country (war, evacuation, occupation, a couple of bomb threats) it keeps pulling me back over and over again.

Jerusalem is in all its crazy and occassionally absurd religiousness (there's an entire hospital specialized in treating people who think they're Messiah) holy. It's impossible not to feel it.

And the variety of ways it's manifested in an area as tiny as Old City in Jerusalem... it is incredible. At the same time you can hear the Hebrew prayers at The Western Wall, prayer calls echoing from minarets and bells from the churches nearby.

Then there's Jaffa - a short walk away from the neighbouring Tel Aviv but a totally different world. Friday's flea market is worth seeing and experiencing, though it has been known to lead to some serious lapses in judgement.

Last time I was there I found myself haggling over a gorgeous antique kilim rug that was bigger than my entire flat, twice the price I could have ever afforded and had a hole the size of an elephant.

But Jaffa is also full of charming little restaurants and tranquillity that Tel Aviv simply doesn't do.


But Tel Aviv... Oh, Tel Aviv. I don't think I've ever made it back home before 5 am. The energy in that city is just something incredible.

Witnessing all this and more is about to get a lot easier and more convenient after Finnair will start direct flights from Helsinki to Tel Aviv.

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