Amalia’s quick writeup about yesterday.

There are loads of buses running every 20 minutes between the 2 cities for $5.80 each way. The bus takes 1-1.5 hours depending on traffic, it’s air conditioned and equipped with wifi. From the bus station you should take the ultra modern tram 5 stops to get to the old city but we decided to walk. Outside Old Town are trendy restaurants, cafes and bars. To enter the Old Town (Jaffa gate) they might look in your backpack. Once inside the walls it’s like an Italian hilltop town with cobblestone streets and little shops. We are here during passover so it’s SOOOOOO busy, Jewish families from around the world come to pray. All families have minimum 3 kids but mostly 5 or 6, all under the age of 10! The kids are dressed in matching colours and patterns as their mom, probably to make it easier to spot them. Making our way to the Western wall was like entering a huge outdoor festival, everyone was excited and smooshed together (don’t think mom would have liked it). The part of the wall where people pray isn’t as big as I had imagined (or maybe it looked that way with the huge crowds), they check your bags one last time and you are in! Men on one side, women on the other, everyone is polite and you are guaranteed a turn at the wall. We didn’t have time to explore as much as we wanted nor did we have time to go to the Palestinian side where a quick check point is necessary to enter.

My take back from this trip is the same as any place I have travelled deemed “risky”, the news REALLY over sensationalizes the terrible things and never reports the actual current mood. Tel Aviv is like Miami beach, super relaxed by the sea but also like New York, the city never sleeps and is super vibrant. The food is AMAZING, nothing is affordable ($2.50 for one lemon at the supermarket!), the people are so funny and engaging, public transport is easy and fast and the sea is absolutely stunning!