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.