What a difference a few weeks make. We somehow skipped right over spring, leaving the rainy, cold desert winter behind...and have now arrived in the full blazing heat of summer. I have to admit that one of the biggest surprises I have had upon moving to Israel is the weather. Specifically, the length of the winter season. I said the same thing when I moved to Dallas....everyone tells you about how excruciatingly hot it will be....but no one seems to inform you how bitterly cold it also gets! If temperatures are around the freezing point for a few months of the year....and if it can and does snow... (which is the situation in Dallas as well as in Israel)...then that means the winter is something to be discussed! So, being from southern California where I'm used to what my Mom calls "beautiful one day, perfect the next", I couldn't be happier that this summer scene has finally arrived:
|Tel Aviv Beach @ Gordon Beach|
La La Land is a staple bar on Gordon Beach. I visited here for the first time with my Birthright Israel trip, at night, when it was still busy into the early morning hours. Take a seat in a chair outside on the sand, day or night, and wait for your server to take your order.
|La La Land, Tel Aviv|
As you make your way onto the sand....take caution! The sand is So-so-SO hot, be careful out there! There's always some kind of shade if you can find it. And you never have to walk too far for a refreshment, whether you want a Red Bull, a beer or an ice cream. Today, there was a big music concert going on underneath that big white tent. Just another typical summer day.
The energy on this beach is a very social one. You will see friends hanging out in groups, rather than individual people tanning on the sand as I've seen more commonly in other parts of the world. Also, though I didn't snap a picture of it, you can't go to an Israeli beach without seeing rounds of "matkot" (racket / paddle tennis) which is jokingly considered Israeli's national sport. An Israeli beach scene, without fail, includes the endless sights and sounds of multiple simultaneous games of "matkot".
|Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv, Israel|
The water is already about 80 F (29 C), compared to the crisper water temperatures back in January. I love when you can actually enjoy the sea at a beach! Our California beaches back home are freezing cold, summer or winter. So, places like Hawaii, Florida and the Mediterranean are definitely my preferred beach locales. Beaches - and oceans - are meant to be enjoyed. Watch out, though, because there are jellyfish here!
|Enjoying warm waters in Tel Aviv|
After your dip in the water, good luck finding your seat. It's difficult to even work your way through the crowded sitting area. And boy is it toasty! I wouldn't recommend sitting at the beach without an umbrella, you will get painfully burned in minutes!
|Crowded beaches in Tel Aviv|
Even the shade is a bit uncomfortable. That's why you need to take frequent dips into the ocean and drink up at the nearby vendors. It's one of those things where after you've been in daily temperatures of 100 F for a significant period of time, you fly into a place where it's 70 F and suddenly feel chilled to the bone. Ever felt that before? I remember feeling that way when I flew home from Dallas to San Diego during the summers. Such a strange feeling!
|Some much needed shade at a popular Tel Aviv beach|
Of course, this is Israel's most popular beachfront. The only other one I know well is in Herzliya, which is also great. If you have any suggestions for where I should be heading for my next beach day, please feel free to make suggestions since the summer is finally here! With four oceans (and coasts...) to explore, it's kind of a lot to see! Hope you're all enjoying warmer weather back home as well.
* Here is one reader's opinion on Israel's best beaches (maybe one day I will actually have made my way to them all!) --- http://www.israel-travel-and-tours.com/Israel-beach.html