Tel Aviv is where my heart is

I mentioned in the last post that I was going away to Tel Aviv for a long weekend. It was a kind of a “last hurrah” with my soon-to-be-ex-husband to celebrate the fact that papers had been sent in and things were processing and progressing. We had a fantastic time and some very good conversations with each other and with other people that allowed us to realise that we really are great friends; just friends. No romantic or sexual feelings left whatsoever. A very good place to be after 9 years together.

Tel Aviv was amazing; you all need to put that on your list of places to visit. I know it doesn’t immediately sounds like a safe or an interesting place to go to but let me tell you; it is probably one of the best trips I have ever had. Weather was gorgeous, sea clean and food amazing. I was only there for 3 nights but I feel I made the most of it as there wasn’t much sleep; we were out until 4 or 5am every night. Even the last one, when I had to be up at 6am for my flight… Auch.

Getting there wasn’t easy; I was flying with El Al and they take safety seriously. Like – SERIOUSLY. Before I was even allowed to check in, I was interviewed for about 20mins. Questions ranged from the obvious like why was I going to the downright puzzling; how long had I lived in London, what did I do for living (they wanted to see a business card), why was I not travelling with my husband (he was there already for work) etc. In the end they let me through but I was told to be at the gate early as they wanted to check my hand luggage.

Luckily I heeded that advice (after a couple of gin and tonics at the bar) and got to the gate 1h 15min before departure. I was taken to a small side room where my bag, a book that I was carrying, passport and ticket were taken from me and I was asked to sit down. I couldn’t see exactly what went on but they went through everything in my bag; things were scanned, swabbed and scrutinised many times over. I had bought two small bags of chocolate (I know, I know! A weak moment) which were still unopened (flexing that ‘resist’ muscle) and I saw those being individually scanned. More people were brought in but noone was allowed out. Time went by, the flight started boarding and got closer to finishing boarding and closing by the time some of us were allowed to leave. But even then we were escorted onto the flight and it was made sure there was no interaction with anyone. I later saw that my checked in bag had also been gone through and checked. Thoroughly.

The reason for all of this? They said it was because they wanted to make sure noone had coerced me to carry anything (a bomb) onto the flight. I scoffed at that; clearly they didn’t know who they were dealing with.. It could have been worse; there was a girl there who had been stopped from boarding a flight the previous night and they were STILL going through her bags.

Anyway, I finally got to Tel Aviv after 5h flight at a seat that had one of the few on-flight entertainment screens that didn’t work and a lady next to me who needed the toilet every 30mins (I was on the aisle seat). Passport control was chaotic and took forever, I then couldn’t find my driver so by the time I got to the hotel – I was ready for a drink.

And there was a lot of drinking. You can’t go to a bar or a restaurant without them getting you free shots. It was rather incredible and liver destroying.

Cocktails!
Cocktails!
A nice cold beer...
A nice cold beer…
More free shots?!
More free shots?!

But I digress; this is a running blog. And I did run! Only one run during the whole time (see the bit about late nights, drinking and free shots…) though. We did a 10km run along the seaside promenade in 30C humid heat. I was surprised how doable it felt and probably could have done a much longer run, had the ex not been struggling and badly.

Beach promenade with Jaffa in the background
Beach promenade with Jaffa in the background
Iced coffee after the run
Iced coffee after the sweaty run
Hotel roof terrace post run
Hotel roof terrace post run

Healthy start to the day on Friday. The run was followed by a very healthy raw food brunch and smoothies. Coffees were needed but the places didn’t serve them as they were deemed “unhealthy”..

This hit the spot nicely after the run
This hit the spot nicely after the run
Raw food
Raw food
Fantastic smoothies
Fantastic smoothies

I can’t remember the last time I’ve had 3 days off any exercise and despite “banking” runs during the week I felt very guilty and out of shape by the time I got back to London. Yesterday (Tuesday) was my first long run of the week and I turned in a very difficult 26km – though looking at the time it might have been hard because I was not holding back on the pace. It was quite warm in London and raining very hard; always love running in the rain. Very refreshing after the Tel Aviv heat.

Looking outside the window now into the grey London day and there is only one thing left to add:

I did indeed

2 thoughts on “Tel Aviv is where my heart is

  1. Great post and looks like such a great trip. I can’t help but be jealous on two fronts. First, the pregnancy has totally sidelined my running and I’m going totally stir crazy. Second, I haven’t been abroad (or on any good trips, really) since my daughter was born and I’m desperate for travel now – especially with this second guy on the way. I’ve always wanted to visit Tel Aviv but I’m pretty sure it’ll be at least another decade or so before I get to go anywhere even close to that interesting…

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