Monday, January 29, 2007

Shvil Yisrael -- Tel Aviv to Arena Mall

So, it looks like all I do is walk, knit, and work? Um--yeah, and your point is?

Last Thursday we finished off the Tel Aviv section of the trail. We had started it, as a family, back in April of 2005, but since the kids are all over the place now (the Oldest Teen in the army, the Middle Teen in Hadera, the Youngest Teen sometimes agreeing to come home), we decided to finish it off by ourselves.

Warning: This is going to be picture heavy, because the trail signage sucks, and not in a good way, in Tel Aviv.

We took up where we left off last, in the Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
Based on the marking, you'd think you should go over the bridge, right? Well, the bridge was pretty, with all its cut out shapes, so it was a nice detour.
But if you're doing the trail, take the path *under* the bridge to continue. Go along the path until you get to the memorial for fallen Tel Aviv residents (this country specializes in memorials).
Here's another example of bad signage. The path, you'll notice, runs on the extreme left of the picture. The sign to turn is on the right.
Usually signs, especially ones so important, are just on the side of the trail, not hidden. Again--if you're doing the trail, the turn onto the streets of Tel Aviv is just past the tennis courts, *before* the boating and rowing center. *Before,* I said--not after. But having missed the turn, we did get to see some pretty sights:
Once we realized we were lost and found our way back to the trail, we exited onto Rokach Blvd. On the other side of the memorial are two computer kiosks, one to Tel Aviv residents killed in terrorist actions, back to before the establishment of the state:
The kiosk on the other side of the park is for Tel Aviv residents who fell in battle. Despite the fact that The Spouse used to collect obits of people with the same name as his, he wouldn't let me take a picture of the screen devoted to the soldier with his name who was killed in Khan Yunis on June 5, 1967.
When you get to the corner of Rokach and Ibn Gavirol, you won't find another missing marking, but make a left turn onto Ibn Gavirol. Just across Rokach you'll see a marking telling you to continue up Ibn Gavirol, so you know you're on the Trail.
Continue up Ibn Gavirol to Agnon. Here there is a marking telling you to turn right, but since it's on a traffic isle, you might not notice it.
You'll pass a municipal "protected animal area" -- I'm not sure what it is, but from the sounds coming past the fence, there are a lot of dogs there. Isolation? Municipal kennels? Bueller?
Then you'll walk past a lot of fancy apartment buildings. Why does the Israeli "good life" involve living near so many other people, in so little space, with nature being something you look out your window at?
Make a left turn off Agnon onto Levi Eskol. The marking is on the bottom of the electrical box to your left. For once, it's close enough to be easily seen.
You pass the Sde Dov airport. (You could fly to the other end of the trail in a little less than an hour, if you were in a hurry).
Another reason for poor signage.
Did the municipality take down this pole, or was it someone looking to make mischief? Or maybe metal thieves, preparing for a night-time pick-up? In any case, where do we go from here? Good thing we brought along the book, because the maps are useless when the turns are so sharp.
On the corner of Levi Eshkol and Tzvi Propes, make a left.
Here's a hint: If you think you should have seen a marking and didn't, try looking in the opposite direction. There was no marking for the left turn, but once we made it, there was a marking on Propes instructing us to make a right onto Eshkol, so we knew we had made the correct turn, considering we were going in the opposite direction. (Did that make any sense?)
Continue past some construction and you'll get to the Tel Baruch parking lot.
In the summer it's full of cars. In the winter, it's full of evidence that Tel Aviv prostitutes practice safe sex. Wear closed shoes.
You're finally off the streets (as are the women who work in the parking lot...).
A few meters on we met a fisherman. He had a net and would stand on the rocks, peering out at the waves, and when he saw what he wanted, throw out his net, gather it up, and bring a catch of fish back to the sand. He'd dump out his catch, throw back the small ones, and his partner would gather the rest into a plastic basket, washing them off in the sea.
Then they moved down the beach a little to start again.
WARNING: The section of beach from Tel Baruch to Cliff Beach is, I gather, an unofficial nude beach. Luckily, we only passed two men taking advantage of the freedom, and The Spouse warned in time about each. Isn't the sea lovely? Shmirat Einayim, enforcing modesty by being careful what you look at: it's a great alternative to forcing your own values on others.
At Cliff Beach we met more fishermen, this time using a more conventional method.

Good-bye, Tel Aviv. Good-bye Herzeliya.

Next stop, Jerusalem!

The specs: Park HaYarkon (Tel Aviv) to Arena Mall (Herzeliya), approximately 10 km
Parking: Free street parking on Ibn Gavirol off Rokach
Return: Dan 90 bus from outside Arena to Alozoroff, just past Ibn Gavirol. Then take the Dan 26 outside Ibn Gavirol 120 to the corner of Ibn Gavirol and Rokach.
Difficulty Level: Very easy. Only potential problem is walking along the beach, for those who have trouble walking on sand.
Potential hazards: Prostitution at Tel Baruch parking lot, nude beach between Tel Baruch and Cliff Beach, jellyfish along the water's edge.


Kate said...

I am really loving all your pictures of Tel Aviv. I really cannot wait until the Jerusalem pictures start to be posted. I miss being there so much.

Devorah said...

This is great! Thank you for bringing me along.

Tel Aviv 4 Fun TO GO said...

Nice pages and photos



amysue said...

Grumble. I am so sad to not be going next month.

I liked how you maintained modesty without imposing on the men who chose to "be comfortable" and my guess is the ocean scenery was a lot nicer anyway.