Despite the fact that it's been almost a week since we arrived, I haven't had a chance to see much beyond Tel Aviv and the office, but the little I've seen so far is breathtakingly beautiful. The city is beautiful, the beach is beautiful, the people are beautiful, the food is beautiful... it's no wonder they call this the Promised Land.
Despite the fact that this is my first time visiting this part of the world, there's something oddly familiar about Tel Aviv - perhaps it's because its sidewalk cafes, bustling markets and pretty promenade along the beach make it so very similar to other seaside cities I've visited in the Mediterranean, and yet there's definitely a feel and flavour to the city that is entirely foreign to me.
I've been soaking in as much as I can of this experience... the crashing of waves and the floury-soft sand of the beach, the sizzle of kebabs and shouting of vendors at the street market, the fluffy pita bread and creamy baba ganoush at the office cafeteria, the piles of fresh fruit at streetside juice stands, the white-walled Bahaus architecture, hot cups of mint tea by the seaside, and the singing of a friendly Israeli cab driver, who serenaded us with a few Bollywood tunes and taught us a few words of Hebrew to help pass the time while we were stuck in traffic. The trade-off is long days at work, but even that is a novel experience in its own way... right down to the fresh mint they keep in the kitchen to add to our tea.
Still, there's really only so much that can be conveyed in words, so I'll let my pictures do the rest of the talking from here.
I do have to say, though, that as much as I'm enjoying this visit, it's nice to know that in a week I'll get to see The Boy, our cats and our little blue kitchen again.
If there's one thing that travelling has taught me, it's that there really is no place like home.