Friday, May 5, 2017

7 days in Israel, my journey to the Holy Land, part 8

Saying goodbye to Tel Aviv: not a goodbye, but a "see you soon"

My last day in Tel Aviv: April the 26th

The beach, near Allenby street

If it wasn't about the huge fatigue inside of my body, I would have traveled till the last day...also, given that my flight was at 9:00 am; I thought that it would be more reasonable to go to sleep early and to chill in Tel Aviv during the day.

So I decided to explore Tel Aviv beach and to grant myself a walk near the sea. I had never been that close to the sea! As a child, my pediatrist had forbidden me holidays near the sea because I was suffering from sinusitis. My first real close-up with the sea was once while crossing the Channel with my kids on a trip from London to Paris, a few years ago, back in 2009.

But the beach in Tel Aviv was different. It allowed me to really approach the water, to glance at the waves. Watching it gave me a sense of eternity.  I touched the sand and collected three little sea shells to remind me of this moment.

Despite the 19°C ( there was a chilly little wind), I could observe some people bathing into the see around 10 am.
After my walk, I became hungry. I really needed to get seated, because I was feeling a little bit weak.

I went to Marcafé, a French enclave that is located at ben Yehuda street. This the perfect place to get some good French food. They also provide you with a library, that is composed of Hebrew, French and English book. The place is quite amazing: I enjoyed a nice tuna salad and some mint tea with leaves inside. 

It restored my body and mind! I spend some time looking at a French/Hebrew book about rabbi Nachman that included a few tales.

My friend Nathalie had just texted me on Facebook messenger that she would come to the place a little bit later, so I kept reading while waiting for her.
We spent a good part of the afternoon with her. We went to a jewellery where I bought myself a little silver "magen David". The good thing in Tel Aviv is that many shops offer discounts. I benefitted from a 30% discount.
I also visited a souvenir shop held by an old man from Georgia, Russia who was close to retirement.
I acquired a few souvenirs for my family at a very cheap price.
We conversed in Hebrew. I explained that this was my first trip to Eretz Israel. I expressed my love for Jewish culture and Jewish people. Before I left, the old man hugged me and said that I was a " neshama tova", a "good soul".

I rested a bit at the hotel and spent a little bit time in the streets of Tel Aviv.

rabbi Nachman slogan in Tel Aviv

Oh, it really felt hard to leave Tel Aviv and Eretz Israel!
I would have wished for time to hold on in this moment.
I few days earlier, I had called Louis, a French speaking Israeli taxi driver for the ride from the hotel to Ben Gurion airport, terminal 3. Nathalie had given me his phone number. Tomorrow morning I would meet him at 6:00.

Back to Paris-Departing from Tel Aviv

4:45 am: I am up and on the way to th shower.
Being clothed now, I am asking our Lord to bless my return flight. I am taking a light breakfast, I am brushing my teeth and after combing my hair, I verify that everything has been packed into my luggage.
It is now 5:45. I am going downstairs. I am saying goodbye to the receptionist who says: "HaShem bless you" to me. He wishes me a safe journey back.

I am now waiting for Louis outside of the hotel. Tel Aviv is waking up.

Louis is just on time. We are having a nice conversion in French on the way to the airport ( On a side note, I warmly recommend you " Louis taxi francophone en Israel", because he is very nice and provides you with a good professional service.

Half an hour later I am at Ben Gurion airport.

At first I am meeting the person from the Israeli office of tourism to give him the phone that he lent me during my stay. I am receiving a $ 42.00 voucher for informing him about my traveling plan. I will use it later at the duty free zone, just before boarding into the plane. 

I am going through several security check-in points again. I am getting nice perfumes for my voucher.

On the plane, I am speaking with three nice Israelis. At the end of the trip, some French speaking lady joins the conversation.

Around 1 hour pm we are landing in Paris. End of the journey. I am catching a bus at Roissy Charles de Gaulle that will leave me at Trocadero. From Trocadero I am walking home.

I'd like to thank our Lord for allowing me to make this wonderful trip to the Holy Land. 
I thank Him from the bottom of my heart.
I love Israel and its inhabitants. I know that I will come back asap, HaShem willing!

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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