Police car lights always blink here, no matter if they’re speeding to an intervention or just cruising. Electrical bikes and scooters rule the streets and sidewalks. Cats are everywhere, but oddly no stray dogs. And the Tel Aviv climate in April feels lovely, damp and warm. So much is obvious, but what else is there about the country?
Covered by the first, and by far the longest chapter of the Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Israel. Of the (relatively few) places we’ve seen in the country, it was the only one offering sights that impressed us. That, together with its religious status, makes it chock-full of tourists—numerous groups of pilgrims, squeezing through the narrow streets of the Old City while chanting religious songs.
I’ve been watching StreetView images from Tel Aviv for months now, with envy. People in March and October walking around in short sleeves and sandals, light jackets at worst. All the while we were having -15C here in Warsaw. But it’s time now. Spring’s in Poland, and a few days from now we’ll be in year-round-sunny Israel.
I figured you’d ask. Many languages outside of India have the expression “sacred cows”, so the way these animals are treated here became a bit of a legend. We were curious ourselves, how much of it is true? We found that some of it is, in some places, some of the time.
Mind your step. They’re on the ground at every gate or entrance, though they’re not meant to greet visitors. Canang sari are offerings to gods—flowers, incense, often with some food, wrapped in bamboo leaves—freshly laid out every day. A symbol of the Balinese’ affinity with gods and spirits.