Monday 18 May 2015

Israel, the land of milk and honey. And hummus, falafels, bagels, pretzels, avocados...

We've just got back from the most gloriously happy holiday, visiting friends in Israel.
Amit and Yulia live in Bat Yam, which is a satellite of Tel Aviv, the capital city. Their apartment is in a round building, with balconies wrapped around it, giving the most amazing views over Bat Yam and beyond.
When the sea is that close, you'd be mad not to swim in it every day. That's the Mediterranean you can see in the photos.
Lovely new friends, Yulia and Ariane. Both so incredibly sweet. Look at those beautiful smiles!
Amit and Yulia were the most welcoming and generous hosts, and Ariane is the most adorable baby, happy and calm, just like her Mum and Dad.

At night, the city is lit up with what looks like miles of fairy lights. You can see Rishon, Holon, Natanya and Jerusalem in the distance. It's a magical and mesmerising view. We spent hours on the balcony just watching the city at night.
Their apartment is the penthouse, and our bedroom suite with balcony was on the upper level. Extremely glamorous!

The main theme of the holiday was food. Hummus, falafel, shakshuka, pickled vegetables, salads, all manner of bread. We never stopped eating. We might have done some drinking too...
A big night out in Tel Aviv. That's Amit with me and that's Asi, his best friend, in the background. It was so lovely to catch up with him. The last time I was in Israel, they were sharing a flat, down south in Eilat

One day it was 'I'm taking you for the breakfast of champions', another 'You want to try the best falafel in Israel?' We visited other friends, all of whom insisted we eat. Food glorious food.

Doesn't look much from outside, does it? But in a space smaller than my sitting room, they've been turning out the best falafel in Israel for nearly 100 years. Three generations of the same family. We had a great laugh with them, they trying out their English on us, we trying out our Hebrew and Arabic on them.
I've been friends with Amit for nearly 20 years and he remains one of my absolute favourite people. Intelligent, funny, adventurous, interesting, loyal, incredibly generous and kind. Hopefully, once we've lost a few kilos, we'll meet again! ;)
Within the holiday, he arranged for us to stay a few days in a small beachside apartment, belonging to his friends Babai and Nataly. We were really spoilt.
Anyway, now I've set the scene, the next couple of posts are filled with pretty pictures of our travels. I hope you'll join me.


Lally said...

How wonderful!! It look like the most fantastic holiday, what a delight to visit old friends. The food looks amazing, the best holidays are those spent eating. I can't wait to see more pictures! Xx

Ivy Black said...

Hurrah! Lovely to see you and what a fabulous holiday. Such a beautiful place and lovely people and I like that it's all about food, and friends and more food. My son went to Istanbul a while back and was knocked out by people's generosity and kindness and the huge dinners!
I used to have a student who's family were from Israel and she used insist that I visit at least once in my life.
Glad you had a great time and you look so happy.

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic blog about what looks and sounds like a glorious holiday. You capture the magic of Israel. The food looks delicious. How lovely to be welcomed so thoroughly! Look forward to more...xxxx

Vix said...

Wow! That penthouse apartment is bloody gorgeous. A sea view, sunshine, hummus and good company sounds like paradise right now. I can't wait to read more! xxxxx

Beckerman Girls said...

Looks like u had the BEST TIME EVER!!! AMAZING photos and gorgeous place!!!
xoThe Beckerman Girls

Connie said...

Oh the food. That is always my favorite thing about traveling. Lots of elastic waistbands in my vacation wardrobe. This looks like such yummy fun.

Sue said...

What a great place to visit, and stay in a fabulous rounded apartment with woo hoo views!!! Sun and sand are such a good combination, she says while sitting in front of her heater!!

Fiona said...

The food does look amazing. Happy times with good friends are the ingredients of a good holiday, can't wait to hear more. xx

Curtise said...

So THAT'S where you went! Oh how lovely - to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and to stay in such glamorous surroundings too. And yes, the food - it's a really important part of any holiday, isn't it? The best falafel in Israel? Yes please!
It looks like a wonderful trip, and you look beautiful, of course. Looking forward to seeing more pics! xxxx

Annie said...

Hi Tania, sorry for not commenting for so long.
What an amazing place, it is completely fabulous! Look forward to reading more :)
Love, Annie xxx

Anonymous said...

PS: What a gorgeous photo of Yulia and Ariane xx