Got a pocketful of shekels.
Tel Aviv Travel Blog› entry 122 of 251 › view all entries
June 27th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
Finally we boarded, and the flight to Tel Aviv was only 25 minutes.
The Tel Aviv airport was nice -- new and modern. It took forever to get through immigration. There was a big delay with the lady ahead of us, who was apparently trying to get her kids in without passports. Once we got through we took out some money: SHEKELS. This amused me to no end. I thought shekels were fictional or biblical…I didn’t know it was the actual currency of Israel. Steve and I are amusing ourselves by using the word “shekel” as often as possible, with a Monty Python accent, of course. “It’s worth ten if it’s worth a shekel!” (Life of Bryan).
We had to take a private cab to the hotel, as all public transportation was closing down for Shabbat, the weekly day of rest in Judaism. It is observed from sundown on Friday until “the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday.” It’s really kind of a pain in the butt for tourists who want to, say, take a shuttle bus or visit the hotel’s fitness center or something.
Our hotel room at the Renaissance is kind of dated (green carpet!) and smallish, but has a view of the beach. For this we paid $300 per night! Hotels were quite expensive in Tel Aviv, and there didn’t seem to be any great options, so we took what seemed the best of the lot (Hilton looked good but was $850/night. Um, no.).
I felt happy and invigorated to be in this new place, a kind of tacky, beachey city.
For dinner, we visited the hotel's Club Room for free snacks and drinks. Steve was very disturbed that they didn’t have hot snacks (as they had advertised), and is dissatisfied with the hotel … and Tel Aviv, for that matter. (He’s not really a beach lover.) But they have good music stores here, which has given him something to look forward to. Tomorrow we will go out to explore it all properly, and maybe spend a few of those shekels here and there.
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