Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer time activities: Bat Yam Beach and Yaffo

I found I have become a beach person here in Israel. In America we had the fabulous Long Beach and Lido Beach less than 30 minutes away, but I hated all the dirt that came home after a day at the beach. For some reason, I've embraced the beach here. It's beautiful. It's cheap. The kids adore it. Since we've come to Israel, we've hit many different beaches. We all have our favorites, but the truth is they are all great. The glittering Mediterranean is gorgeous, blue-green, and warm. The breezes that come off the shore as I sit in my favorite beach chair with an ice cold bottle of water or Diet Coke are delicious--natural air conditioning. And did I mention it was cheap?

Recently we went to the Bat Yam Beach for the first time. Bat Yam is one of those coastline cities that is rapidly changing. On the shore you see shabby old apartment buildings side-by-side with new luxury towers. Bat Yam is right up the coast from Tel-Aviv and I wonder if it will be long before the hotels start springing up.

There is some kind of legend surrounding this stone. Something about a princess being saved. Is that why it's marked with an Israeli flag? Not sure.

The sun starts to set, the lifeguards announce they are going home and my kids can't bring themselves to get out of the water.

The sun is just about gone and my kids (and lots of others) still won't leave. Needless to say, we got home very, very late that night.

On Friday, I managed to finish getting ready for Shabbat with enough time for an excursion. We decided to visit the coastal town/ancient port of Yaffo. Yaffo is a city mentioned in the Tanach, the bible. I'm to tired to get into a history lesson right now, but Yaffo used to be an important port city during the days of Ancient Israel. (Trivia question: What prophet left for a famous journey from the Port of Yaffo?)

It was a lovely afternoon. (G-d, I must be getting old, using the word lovely.)

The famous Clocktower greets you as you enter the area. It was built in 1906 as a gift to a sultan.

The sign clearly says "No Swimming".

View of the Mediterranean, with Tel-Aviv in the background.

Entrance into the old city.

And finally, some scenes in the old city:

For more Summer Stock photos, visit Robin at Around the Island.


Bim said...

Hmm, wonderful.

Unknown said...

The answer to the trivia question is another trivia question:
The name of the Prophet who left Yaffo on a famous journey is the same as the son of a famous beekeeper in Gush Etzion.

Baila said...

Thanks, Bim, for stopping by.

Sandman, good one! Hey, are you going to the convention?

Leora said...

וַיֵּרֶד יָפוֹ וַיִּמְצָא אֳנִיָּה בָּאָה תַרְשִׁישׁ

Love the one of the Mediterranean with Tel Aviv in the background. In general, the whole post is a great tour. I love the details of the old cities of Israel. Love the winding corner and the trissim (?? window screens?) below it.

Anonymous said...

A very informative post.

Robin said...

What a fun day out - you can't go wrong with Jaffa and the beach! I love the one taken from the park with Tel Aviv in the background, the colors are so vibrant.

kayerj said...

a day on the mediterranean--wow!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these lovely photos.