What I did:
Herodium is located about one hour and 45 minutes outside of Tel Aviv. Herod the Great, the king who murdered a large number of children in an attempt to kill Jesus, and killed a large number of his own family members to preserve his reign. He named the site Herodium after himself, and his tomb was discovered on the site. It provides nice views of the surrounding areas, including the Dead Sea. It is an interesting glimpse back into history.
Located about another 45 minutes past Herodium is the famous Dead Sea. The shores of the Dead Sea are home to the lowest land elevation point in the world. Due to the high level of salinity in the Dead Sea, it is incredibly easy to float (it is virtually impossible not to). On my last trip I had a fresh tattoo, so I was unable to do more than stick my feet in the water, but I would like to go for a swim on my next trip.
Beach and Promenade-
There is a nice promenade that runs along the beach in Tel Aviv. It is a great place to walk along or stop for a picnic. Also, although I did not have time to surf on my most recent trip to Tel Aviv, there were many surfers out on the water.
As mentioned in a previous post, free walking tours can be a great way to see a city. The Sandemans free walking tour in Tel Aviv started at the famous clock tower in Old Jaffa and gave some nice context and history about the area.
Caesarea Philippi is a historic place with a great amount of history. It is a long ride fun Tel Aviv, but it is an interesting place to sit, walk around, and ponder about the things that happened there.
Where I ate and drank:
The Sarona Market has a variety of places to eat and drink. It is mostly indoors, and while there is some food to buy for later, most of the food and drink there is intended to be eaten on site. There are lots of good options to choose from.
Dr. Shakshuka is a nice place to get the traditional middle eastern dish shakshuka. It is made by crushing tomatoes, adding spices, and poaching eggs inside the tomato mixture. It is usually served in the pan it is cooked in.
Benedict is a high quality all-day breakfast place. The food I had there was excellent. There are healthy options on the menu as well as "cheat meal" options.
Where I stayed:
Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv-
I stayed at the Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv. It was a very nice place to stay. Everything was clean, it was well located, and it was a nice place to meet fellow travelers.
How I got around:
When traveling inside Tel Aviv I walked everywhere I went. When I traveled to Herodium and the Dead Sea I traveled with friends and we went on a bus with an organized tour.
My favorite thing:
There are many things to like about Tel Aviv. Like other cities in the area there is an immense amount of history to be found in Tel Aviv. However, unlike many of those areas, Tel Aviv also has things like a beach and a promenade.
My least favorite thing:
There isn't much to dislike about Tel Aviv. I unfortunately didn't have as much time to spend there as I would have liked, so I would like to return to see more of it.
For next time:
As mentioned previous, I would like to swim in the Dead Sea next time I am in the area. I would also like to spend more time at the beach in Tel Aviv and try surfing there.
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