Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tel Aviv Hotel 2230

I'm in Tel Aviv at a hotel not on but very close to the beach. The hotel is smaller than the one in Jerusalem, but more homey. They're both boutique hotels, but the Jerusalem hotel is large enough to be a business hotel. The Tel Aviv hotel is the definition of boutique. I don't know how much time I'm going to spend looking out the window, but my room has an amazing view of the Mediterranean Sea.

I spent the day exploring Tel Aviv, mostly on a hotel bicycle. Jerusalem has hills all over the place, and no matter where you go, you're always going uphill. Tel Aviv is flatter than I was in jr high.

This hotel has all kinds of free extras for the guests. In addition to the bicycles, they have free drinks every evening, free snacks all day, free beach bags full of all kinds of things you might need on the beach, free wi-fi and free computers. You can't keep the computers or bicycles, but I think letting guests borrow a laptop is a great idea. I'm typing this on their computer right now. Lily's phone has been convenient, but I can type a lot faster on a real keyboard. It's nice to have a full size screen.

From what little I've seen, Tel Aviv is a great bicycle town. There's a promenade that stretches almost the entire length of all the beaches from the river to Jaffa. There's Jaffa, which is the oldest and most biblical part of the city. There's a huge park right around the corner from my hotel. And there are bicycles lanes all over the place. I've seen a few bicycle rental stations.

It seems strange to say, but this city reminds me of San Francisco, only with far fewer hills. It's a big city with all kinds of museums and performing arts, and it's a small laid back beach town at the same time. It's very liberal in a lot of ways. There are rainbow flags all over the place and it's supposed to be home to the largest gay pride parade in the Middle East. I don't know how impressive that is since most places in the Middle East openly kill you if you're openly gay. No one is afraid to be themselves here. On the Promenade, I saw two guys in hot pants and tank tops holding hands on the same street as a Muslim couple in their traditional robes and head scarves and a few Orthodox Jews in their black suits and felt hats. No one attacked anyone. They all seemed to accept the fact that the others exist and they went on with their lives. It's as if people who aren't exactly the same can live side by side in the same place. Crazy.

Tel Aviv is obviously a green city. Not only with the bicycles, but they have enormous recycle bins every few blocks. These are not simply trash cans painted a different color. They're large dumpsters exclusively for bottles and cans. It's hard enough to find a regular trash can in China, so this is impressive to me. According to what I just looked up on this computer, Israel recycles 59% of its plastic bottles. That doesn't sound high enough to me, but the United States is only at 30%.

There are solar panels everywhere. That makes perfect sense since this is a beach town on the Mediterranean, but there is ample sunlight all over this region that most people aren't using. Get high enough and you can see solar panels on every single roof here, along with a lot of rooftop vegetable gardens. It's actually illegal to not use solar powered water heaters.

I've also read that Tel Aviv has the most vegan restaurants in the world per capita. I don't know if that's true. I'd assume it's Portland or Los Angeles, but looking around, these are some healthy people. It's probably somewhere in India.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No hate, please. There's enough of that in the world already.