Banksy Graffiti in Bethlehem

[This is Part 2 of my day trip to Bethlehem, in the West Bank. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, you can find it here.]

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Finally we decided to cave to the taxi drivers who kept approaching us in Manger Square. “Where you go? Go see Banksy graffiti, see wall.” Sure, okay, we’ll go see the Banksy wall.

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O little town of Bethlehem

[This post got pretty long so I’m splitting it in two. Here’s Part 1. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.]

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Sunday around noon I took the bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Florentine was almost too nice of a hostel… I could easily have spent another week there sitting on my butt on their rooftop doing nothing. So it was time to get a move on.

Almost immediately, I ran into two Dutch girls I had met a week ago, Esmee and Nina. They easily talked me into going on an ill-fated adventure of trying to walk to the Mount of Olives to see the sunset. Suffice it to say, we never ended up making it and instead found ourselves wandering through an ancient cemetery after dark. But we wouldn’t let failure deter us! We made plans to get up early the next morning and go on a day trip to Bethlehem, our first taste of the West Bank.
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Falafel and Shawarma and Schnitzel, Oh My: Israeli Street Food

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I learned fairly early on that Israel is a pretty expensive country to travel in. Prices are definitely on par with the United States or Western Europe, and restaurants? We’re talking New York prices. Luckily all of the hotels and hostels I’ve stayed in so far have served some sort of breakfast (even if it’s just toast and hummus), and I’ve mostly been able to avoid expensive, sit-down meals. Here are some of the widely available street food options: Continue reading

I <3 TLV

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I’ve been in Tel Aviv for a week already. I was considering moving on to Jerusalem today, but I’m concerned that there won’t be much to do once the sun goes down tonight for Shabbat, aside from areas like the Muslim Quarter. Tel Aviv, on the other hand, is a much more secular city and the options aren’t as limited, so I’ve decided to stay here until Sunday. Continue reading

Street Art in Tel Aviv

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One of the first things I noticed while wandering around Tel Aviv the past few days is the amazing street art everywhere. It seems like every time I round a corner, there’s some amazing mural or detailed wheat paste piece stuck up on a wall somewhere. Of course there’s lots of mediocre stuff too, but I love seeing all of the colors everywhere. Most of these photos were taken around the Florentine and Neve Tzedek neighborhoods, some just blocks from one another.

Birthright Days 5 & 6: Shabbat in the Middle of Nowhere

Although our itinerary said we would be spending three nights in Jerusalem, this turned out to not be the case. Instead we were in a vaguely sketchy, halfway under construction hotel in what seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, a town near the airport that is nearly a full hour from actual Jerusalem. Whatever, it wasn’t the first time the provided itinerary was misleading, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. Continue reading