Tel Aviv

Trip Start Mar 29, 2009
1
12
100
Trip End Jan 09, 2010


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Where I stayed
Harakyon 48

Flag of Israel  ,
Sunday, April 19, 2009

Creuar la frontera entre Jordania i Israel no ha estat una formalitat pero tampoc s'ha allargat massa. Tan sols un parell d'horetes en les que ens han sotmes a un petit interrogatori per a esbrinar si erem activistes pro-palestins interessats en assistir en manifestacions o impedir l'enderroc de cases, o be si formavem part dels turistes docils interessats a aprofundir en la fe i peregrinar de lloc sant a lloc sant. A la frontera fa una calor que espanta. Esta situada al costat del Mar Mort, prop de 250 metres per sota del nivell del mar. El contrast amb els darrers dies a Damasc es brutal, pero ja va be ja que encara arrossego un bon encostipat.

De la frontera a Tel Aviv hi ha uns 150 km que recorro mitjancant un sherut (taxi compartit) amb una petita escala a Jerusalem. Quan finalment hi arribo, m'adono que no es la ciutat que em pensava trobar. La primera impressio es la de trobar-me en un indret com Castelldefels o Platja d'Aro (pel fet d'estar al costat del mar), barrejats amb quatre gratacels (per ser la capital economica del pais) de dubtosa qualitat, es forca bruta i sorollosa (com Amman o Damasc). Tel Aviv tal vegada no sigui la ciutat mes bonica del Proxim Orient, pero es oberta, la gent es cool i s'hi respira una atmosfera de laissez-faire que trobava a faltar despres de quatre setmanes en terres musulmanes. En definitiva, un parell de dies en una ciutat oberta i tolerant m'aniran be per relaxar-me i poder afrontar millor la religiositat, tradicio i ortodoxia que es respira a Jerusalem.

Hi ha prou coses per fer per mantenir-se entretingut uns quants dies, encara que s'ha de buscar una mica i no tirar la tovallola de bones a primeres. Amb una mica de paciencia i d'ajut per part dels recepcionistes de l'alberg aconsegueixo fer una ruta forca interessant, que em porta pels primers barris de la capital, fundada ara fa 100 anys. Entre edificis tipus Bauhaus (la majoria d'ells amb necessitat d'un urgent lifting facial) s'hi amaga una ciutat que em recorda una mica a California o a certs barris de Nova York. No es respira estres enlloc. Les terrasses son totes plenes en un dia laboral, la gent es passeja amunt i avall. De tant en tant es veu algun que altre jueu ortodox, pero la majoria de la gent va vestida de manera forca moderna, una mica fashion (sobretot la gent jove), i la majoria ni porten kippa. Per la tarda visito el port de Jaffa que no esta malament pero a on hi trobo a faltar una mica de vida de carrer real entre tanta galeria, joieria i tenda d'artista bohemi que intenta vendre qualsevol cosa.

Tambe faig una excursio de dia a Akko de la qual n'he sentit a parlar molt be. Jo personalment trobo la visita forca correcte, pero tampoc res d'especial. Tal vegada sigui pel mercat caracter musulma i la deixadesa absoluta del centre historic (quin contrast amb Jaffa). No se, em pensava que m'impressionaria mes.

El millor de la visita a Tel Aviv son sens dubte les seves postes de sol i la seva vida nocturna. En podria parlar a bastament pero crec que son coses que s'han de gaudir personalment.

Una de les coses que mes sorpren despres de passar uns dies a Israel es la diversitat genetica dels seus habitants. Se suposa que tots son descendents d'una de les dotze tribus d'Israel i tradicionalment han tendit a formar matrimonis entre jueus, i per tant seria logic esperar que es mantinguessin uns trets fisics distintius. Malgrat tot, despres de vint segles de diaspora el resultat es del tot diferent. Hi ha des dels jueus etiops  (morenets com el Barak Obama), als russos eslaus (ben rossos i blancs), als que semblen irlandesos (pel-roigs a qui tan sols els hi falta una Guiness), als qui tenen uns trets del tot arabs. Els qui mes conserven els que tots diriem que son els trets semitics (i suposo que es per aixo que les caricatures jueves es basen en aquest tipus de comunitat) mes essencials son els hassidis (una de les comunitats jueves ulta-ortodoxes) que tenen unes caracteristiques facials bastant similars. De fet passejar-se per Israel, sembla com passejar-se per Nova York al veure tant variabilitat genetica.

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Crossing the border between Jordan and Israel is not a mere formality but it doesn't represent the hassle people talk about. It took just two hours to get the visa. The border police asks you many questions trying to guess whether one is a pro-Palestinian activist interested in going to demonstrations or in preventing the destruction of Palestinian homes, or part of the docile religious tourist interested only in deepening one's faith and in peregrinating from one holly site to the other. At the border, the heat is appalling. It is located next to the Dead See, roughly 250 metres below sea level. The temperature contrast with the last days in Damascus is brutal, but it is OK as I still have a horrendous cold that I am trying to recover from.

From the border to Tel Aviv, there are around 150 km that I manage to ride pretty fast using a sherut (shared taxi), with a short lay over in Jerusalem. When I finally get there, I realize it is not the city I was expecting. It feels more like a beach resort than an economic capital. On top of that, it is rather dirty and noisy (like Amman or Damascus). May be Tel Aviv is not the nicest city in the Middle East, but it has an open vibe, people is cool and tolerant, and it has a laissez-faire atmosphere that I was missing after spending 4 weeks in muslim countries. Perfect for someone like me in the need of relaxing a bit in order to face the religious and tradional Jerusalem.

There are plenty of things to do in this town to keep one person busy for a few days, although it is not obvious at all. With a little bit of pacience and help from the hostel staff I manage to find the neighbourhoods where the first jewish setlements were built around 100 years ago. Among Bauhaus-like buildings (most of them in the need of a scrubbing) lies a city that looks partially like a Californian town or some New York neighbourhoods. One can't feel stress anywhere. All the cafes are full, people stroll up and down enjoying their time and the beautiful and sunny spring days. From time to time it is possible to spot an orthodox jew, but the vast majority of people wear modern casual clothes, rather trendy, and even most of them don't wear a kippa. In the afternoon I visit the old arab harbour town of Jaffa. It is worth while but I am missing a little bit of real life on the streets, as the old harbour has been fully renovated and it only houses chick boutiques or art galleries.

I do as well a day trip to Akko but it doesn't turn out to be as amazing as I expected may be because I have seen enough arab towns in the last four weeks.

The best of my stay in Tel Aviv are the sun sets by the sea and its night life that one shouldn't miss if one happens to visit this city.

One of the most striking things after spending a couple of days in Israel is the genetic diversity from its inhabitants. In theory, all of them are descendants of one of the 12 historical tribes and their marriages have been kept traditionally within the family, so it would be logical to expect that certain distinctive genetic features are kept within the entire population.  But twenty centuries of diaspora has produced a total different outcome that includes the Ethiopian jews (with features like Barak Obama), the russian jews (most of them blondes and with slavic looks),  red-haired irish-looking jews (that are just missing a Guiness), and even the ones that look facially like arabs. The ones that conserve what we would say the distinguishable jewish features are the members of the hassidic community (an ultra-orthodox jewish community). This broad genetic diversity makes walking in Israel similar to walking in New York.
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Comments

consol
consol on

Viure la nit
Vaja, que si postes de sol, que si sortint de nit...ningú diria que estàs a Israel!
No has comentat si els israelites fan honor a la seva fama! Ni el preu del gin-tonic, un dels trets que marquen si una ciutat és o no cara.

Suposo que els dissabtes a la nit no hi ha marxa...

tonicastells
tonicastells on

Re: Viure la nit
50 NIS / gin tonic ~ 10 Euros

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