Lest you think we ended our trip on a sour note, don’t fret (well, actually we did, but you can read about that here), we still had one more free day in Tel Aviv to spend time together.
Originally, when Sammi talked about this trip, she requested four things, hiking to waterfalls (we missed this), the Dead Sea, climbing the snake path of Masada and shopping. So Tuesday was our last opportunity to do some shopping, and trust me, Tel Aviv accommodates.
We didn’t want a late start like we had on our free day in Jerusalem, so everyone made sure I got them up and we were out of the hotel by 9:15. We took a cab over to the Carmel market. On Tuesdays and Fridays, on the street next to the Carmel market is also the Nachalat Benyamin Art & Craft Fair. We had visited it on Friday but Sammi wanted to return to get more gifts for her friends. When we arrived though, the crafters were just setting up, so we dove into the Carmel market (food and house wares), instead, which was much less crowded and therefore much more enjoyable, than Friday.
Candy Assortment at Carmel Market
Olive Assortment at Carmel Market
We slowly made our way down the long road of stalls, perusing cheap jewelry (Sammi bought stuff), sun glasses (I think she bought some of those too), juice stalls (Becky and I indulged in fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, house wares (I bought a silicone pastry brush), and admired all sorts of food items. When we finished we cut over a block to the craft market.
Glass Artisan Working at Craft Market
As Friday, there were many crafters there with some really interesting stuff, including beautiful jewelry (bought some of that too), journals (got a small one to keep in my bag) and other random items. When we finished, we hit a cash machine and walked down King George Street (reminded me a bit of Canal street in NYC) toward the Dizengoff Center, stopping at a flea market along the way.
Now let me give you an aside here. After Monday’s fiasco, Sammi and I had a long discussion. I explained to her that while I like to do a bit of shopping while I’m on vacation – I basically liked to frequent stores/markets that we don’t have at home, featuring local crafts and items. She on the other hand, I think, would be happy visiting every Hollister, Forever 21, or Aeropostale store in the world. So I thought she would enjoy the Dizengoff Center.
When we arrived, and navigated through the security line (yes, your bags are checked as you enter the mall), we walked in the mall for maybe five minutes before she asked if we could leave. When I asked why, she told me it was a mall and she go to one at home. Victory! She did though buy a new bag on our way out.
Now we walked down Dizengoff Street, looking for someplace to stop for lunch but nothing was appealing to all of us. Then I suggested we cut over a couple of blocks and walk back along the beach instead. One of the things I love about Tel Aviv is all of the restaurants/cafes that dot the beach, and so we settled into one of those for lunch. Fried calamari for Sammi, yummy sandwiches for the rest of us, milk shakes for the girls and beer for Chris and I, and we were good. Sitting out there in the sun, chilling, watching the surfers was a great way to wile a way our last afternoon.
Eventually, we got up, stopped for some gelato, and meandered back to the hotel.
After packing and many games of rummy cube, we decided to stroll down Dizengoff Street again, perhaps to do some last minute shopping. Eventually, Chris decided he wanted something for dinner though the girls were all not too hungry. Funny thing though, we stumbled upon Goocha, which is exactly where we had our last dinner on our previous Israel trip.
Sammi didn’t order anything instead picking off Chris’s plate, Becky and I both had Caesar salads (we could have shared one – they were that big), and Chris had some sort of fried seafood plate. The food was good. The service was fine and sans dessert, we headed back to the hotel to get to bed early before our 2:00am pickup for the airport.
And so, sadly ends our visit to Israel.
For those of you who missed our trip home. You can read about it here.