Wines from Israel go beyond religious rites

Wines from Israel take mostly the coat of kosher wines exported to suit the orthodox Jewish wine drinkers’ religious needs. Yet, winemaking in modern Israel is not only about pleasing the divinity, but also striving for the best quality at the level of the top wine-growing regions in the world. Not all the best Israel has to offer is being widely exported though, so most of these wines remain undiscovered even for those out-of-the-ordinary seeking wine connoisseurs like myself.
The winemaker of the Amphorae Wines
One of such hidden gems is Amphorae Wines at Makura ranch in Israel’s Western Carmel region. It will not be for long before thirsty crowds will taste the sumptuous wines from this winery. One reason was their presence at the London International Wine Fair in 2012 where (alongside with the many Georgian, often by monks-led wineries) they found an importer. Another and perhaps the more stirring point is that since late 2009 Amphorae hired the legendary Bordeaux-bred wine consultant – Michel Rolland, and he creates wines that sell.

The secrets of making concentrated but not overripe wines in Israel are:

  • growing grapes at higher altitude
  • choosing cooler temperatures vineyards (microclimate)
  • handpicked and selected grapes
  • good winemaker (or a consultant)

Amphorae Wines make intense red but also experiment with white wines. The winemaker is one of the most distinguished ones in the country. Dr. Arkady Papikian has a long history with the wines from Israel and it shows in the product.
Makura is the highest range under the Amphorae label. I have tasted in 2012 three blends of Makura, all 2007 vintage.
Amphorae wines from Israelart in Jerusalem

First Makura, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah was the highest in alcohol (15.3%) adding the power to the wine. Very concentrated red and dark fruit with velvety tannins offset the alcohol. In this vintage the Syrah is the most prevalent from all the grapes in it and it shows on the nose with a seductive smell of violets. Aging in new French oak barrels for 36 months helps to round up the wine so it is well mature when released. Long finish with sweet pinch makes it a highly enjoyable wine on its own or with rich dishes such as meat stews.
Makura Merlot Barbera, where Merlot dominates and Barvera adds natural acidity so no tartaric acid is needed as aditive. The wine indeed had the highest acidity from all I have tasted from Apmphorae (7.05 g/l). Again the wine was aged for 36 months in French oak barrels, most of it new. Black currant on the nose shows off the fruit and proves that there is still lots of fruit flavor left in the wine matured for so long time in barrels. It is fresh (acidity), fruity and has a robust and round body.
Makura Cabernet Sauvignon is according to the winemaker the Amphorae’s best wine. He said about this wine: “It is like a child – beautiful and strong.” Beauty is a subjective feeling, but I definitely agree with the strength I see in all of his wines. The grapes for this wine come from high-altitude Jerusalem Hills (900m) and Manara (650m) assuring freshness and the right ripeness of these grapes. Again aged in new French oak barrels for 36 months and 12 months in the bottle prepares this big wine for the palates of drinkers. High concentration of fruit, high acidity and refreshing tannins do not  predict a shy wine. It is a big boy who likes coffee accompanied with earthy aromas.

Rhyton is the winery’s second wine. The winemaker was a bit hesitant about it, but there was no reason. It was not as good as the Makura wines, but cheaper and enjoyable. It can be consumed as soon as it leaves the winery after 24 months old in oak barrels and 10 months bottle ageing. The 2008 vintage had quite tight tannins disclosing the need for longer oak ageing as that could round it up. It is juicy with fresh black currant taste. A slight sourness and dry finish call for some food with it. I would go for something less sour and acidic.

kosher wine
RECENT UPDATES: Always in search for something new and unexpected, my craving had been sated, until I heart about Domaine du Castel. Rumours tweeted to my attention that this winery is making the best Bordeaux-style wines (based on blend of Cabernets with Merlot and sometimes little Petit Verdot) in Israel, so when I spotted a bottle at an acclaimed Eastern Mediterranean restaurant in New York, I ordered the 2019 vintage. If you close your eyes and just savour you think your mouth is filled with a premium growth Bordeaux, indeed this is a great value wine! Grown in the Judean Heights, the stress the vines go through in the rocky and dry region favours the complexity of the fermented product. The altitude appeases the hot summers. This wine is kosher certified as sabbath is strictly observed. One must pray to God for no hails storming through the vineyards on these days of rest! These top wines from Israel prove that the vines can manage without supervision once each week and during religious holidays. They pair wonderfully with the popular Israeli food that has entered almost every western city of a sizeable size.

Jerusalem: Religion ‘MADE TO LAST’

I’m not alone to be mystified by Jerusalem. The ancient city on a rocky hill under a siege of a dusty desert hardly wows with classical beauty though. It is the contrast with the monotonous and poor Palestinian settlements together with a bemused vista of the infertile Dead Sea (which is a lake) and its religious history, that elevate the walled Holy City onto a celestial cloud of reverence. The once a pagan settlement in the hills between the fertile Mediterranean and the arid Arabian desert has passed a long journey through sacrifices, crosses, crescent moons and bomb attacks.

map of Jerusalem

Unite or divide? A question worth of religious contemplation

The epicentre where religion was MADE TO LAST is perhaps a proof that human violence is impossible to fully contain. A slogan on a t-shirt of wood carving artisan in the Christian part of Old Jerusalem inspired this story. The sacred draws in power. Faith has a great value for not just the believer but also for the ruler. Hence, religious cohesiveness has been used for millennia to keep nations tame. [My poem about liberty]


Like a magnet, that precious mystery of faith has coerced and divided humanity. United, the church blooms as a community. Sectarian disagreement fuels malice, terrorism fuelling wars. The fanatical fundamentalists of our century are the Crusaders of the Middle Ages. Weren’t we better off united? If that were as easy. As many unique personalities there are, as broadly coloured the opinions and beliefs. Respecting others’ faith, while following the good, universal, not regressive but inclusive values that we worship, somehow escapes the awareness those blinded by emotional rage. Sadly, the current division of Jerusalem manifests, this is an ideal that can only be temporarily achieved in the perfect alignment of the stars under armed surveillance.

Holy cityOld city Jerusalem

Feeling the Holy City

Jerusalem’s history wells in tears of cultural struggle, separation, survival and diplomacy, yet it is more. The by blood and miracles inspired history captured in the holy books of the West and the Middle East wows millions of crowds into its split core. I felt the sorrow when walking through its crumbling twisted alleys. Not peace, but discomfort run through my veins. Jerusalem’s religious importance kneels worshippers down onto its limestone carpet on which Jesus walked and Muhammad is believed to ascend to the heaven. The energy is unsettling, marked with suffering and strife. Still, you must go. Experience the city that lured the Babylonians, Romans, Persians, Ottomans, Crusaders and other armies into its spiritual coffers. 

Jerusalem is such a historically important city, that it has been known under a quantum of names in different languages. According to the Jewish Midrash, “Jerusalem has 70 names” in Hebrew. In the Amarna letters called Urusalim (URU ú-ru-sa-lim) or Urušalim (URU ú-ru-ša-lim) (1330s BCE) but also Beth-Shalem, the house of Shalem. Today, Jerusalem is called Yerushalayim in Hebrew (יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ‎ a derivation associated with Greek ἱερόςhieros = holy) and Al-Quds in Arabic (اَلْـقُـدْس‎). The city is also known among Muslims as Bayt al-Maqdis (بَـيْـت الْـمَـقْـدِس‎), which means “House of Holiness“.

Holy City

Attractive trophy: protected, revered, exploited history of Jerusalem

The oasis sits on a generous reservoir of underground water and is supported by a lake nearby. The naturally supplied desert town attracted its first settlers over five millennia ago. Scissored between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, Jerusalem is a desert fort blessed by the proximity of fertile land and sea. Yet, the Old Town is dusty, almost stale, today.

Countless conquest redefined its purpose. King David made Jerusalem the capital of the Jewish Kingdom, his son Solomon built the first Jewish Temple on the hilltop then outside of the city. Spiritually charged wars were fought on the fertile Canaan’s grounds and its impressive stone walls were rebuilt. To our surprise the leading archeologist who guides us settled the number on a mere dozen total breakdowns of the city. One of the destroyers was the king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. There were wall-less periods, and not all the walls were destroyed by invaders but earthquakes that hit the Eastern Mediterranean region.

fortified citywalls of Old Jerusalem

The most recent wall was built by the Ottoman ruler Sulleyman in the 16th century. Resourcefully, he built on the existing wall and recycled scattered stones from the area – some from smashed graves, others with chiselled inlets for wooden beams holding the roofs of homes. The remaining five layers of the city walls, each adds a tinted tale of time, wealth, and the importance of Jerusalem from the Jewish through the Arab to the Western culture. While the byzantine wall is haphazard, the Crusaders polished large symmetric quadrants into perfectly manicured glory, the architecture of the walls was very distinct to each period.

The city today towers a sticky territory contested between religiously and politically misaligned Israelis and Palestinians. The air feels unsettlingly thick. Heavily armed Israeli guards check for potential violence. Beyond its eastern walls is the West Bank, all desert, rocks and salty density of the Dead Sea split with Jordan and Israel. You can glimpse its shores from the rocky hilltop that houses the old city.

Christian Jerusalemfood in Israel

Puzzling out the Old Jerusalem

In the heavily walled Jerusalem all the major Western religions intersect. Our guide was a Jewish archeologist, who founded a tour guide company aside from his digging activities in and out of Israel. Gratefully, he took us around the queueing Christians in the Church of Holy Sepulchre. I am religiously neutral, accepting the wisdom of all that manifests in my own life. My husband is a spiritual protestant, but his analytical brain guides his life. We were interested in understanding what draws people to faith so deeply that some devote most of their lives to religious service. The Bible’s Old and New Testament as well as Quran are fascinating resources not only spiritually, but also the stories in them illuminate the importance of Jerusalem that cannot be deleted from human history.

cross symbolThe Church of Holy Sepulchre in the Old Jerusalem

Walking through its crooked, tight limestone streets whispers about the cultural manners of its forcefully peaceful inhabitants. As we walked though the debris of stale food, human and cat excrements, we did not feel like buying any refreshments in the Christian quarter. A covered market of each community stretched around a dedicated street. We were advised to buy food only in the Jewish area, so we lunched casually and safely in the Jewish section overlooking the Mount of Olives, where Jesus taught his disciples. Munching on falafel, hummus, Israeli salad, minced lamb and tahini we peered over to its grey segmented graveyards. Next to this dusty grey hill are the Gethsemane gardens. Meaning oil press in Aramaic, this tiny garden is still resplendent with ancient olive trees, but disappointing for those expecting sizeable natural space.


religionBread as the symbol of sharing in Christian religion

Human needs are nourished by faith

Connecting with suffering in Christianity, the gold-shimmering mosaic of dead Jesus and the sad disciples surrounding his crucified body in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre symbolises hope in death.

The most important sites to Christians is the Golgotha where Christ was crossed (forget the rocky hill, now it is all covered by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre), the grave from which he was resurrected and the stone on which his body was wrapped by a wealthy Bethlehem disciple of Jesus. This dark building complex is connected with the Armenian and a tiny Ethiopian Kidane Mehret Church. We learned that the oldest Christian state was in Africa. The Ethiopian Queen Sheba had a child with the king Salomon, yet their descendants took the Christian religion as their own. Adjoining the church is the Debre Genet monastery (Monastery of Paradise) belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. The Armenian and Ethiopian quarters form the smallest neighbourhoods of the Old City. 

Ethiopian church Jerusalem Ethiopian church

The largest slice of the walled town belongs to the Muslim quarter, where the cleanliness did not get much better yet. The buildings were scantly maintained and the market goods veered into gold, colourful veils and scarves. We did not enter the third holiest muslim site, the Temple Mount and the recently gold-leafed Dome of the Rock, since the waiting time seemed for more than a few hours. Known to Muslims as Haram esh-Sharif and venerated as a holy site in all three big monotheistic religions. Prophet Muhammad preached to his followers to pray facing the direction of this hill in Jerusalem and is said to ascend to the heaven from here. Intriguingly, only later this was changed for Mecca, already a holy site.

Western religionsymbolism of light

Not far from the massive dome (originally in real gold) of Temple Rock (once the Second temple of the Jews destroyed by the Romans) is the Western Wall, the only remaining part of the First Temple of Judaism. Change seems to be only sure thing even in religion. This rock is where it is believed that Abraham intended to kill his son, but God stopped him. The most polished and sanitary was the Jewish quarter. Nearing the Tower of David, we entered the site where the revered Biblical king was buried. Women entering separately as they must do at the Wailing West Wall, the synagogues as well as in the mosques. 

Jewish Jerusalem

Jewish faithJerusalem wall

The goodness symbolism in Jerusalem: angels and light

According to Rabbi Leo Trepp, in late Judaism, the belief developed that people have a heavenly representative, a guardian angel. Previously, the term `Malakh’, angel, simply meant messenger of God. This Jewish symbol for the good spirit gave birth to Christian and Muslim angels.

Our morals and values seem not enough for our mind to lean on the good decisions, but we need protective force guiding us to goodness. Further, darkness symbolises ignorance in most philosophical and theological schools. Gold sparks light, and for that it was used in religious buildings.

In Islam, angels (Arabic: ملاًئِكة malā’ikah) are believed to be celestial beings, created from a luminous origin by God. Rilke , a non-muslim but highly spiritual and as many artists inspired by religious symbolism included “their depiction in Islam to represent the embodiment of transcendental beauty” in his famous Duino Elegies.

John 1:4, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men”. Inside the dark Church of Holy Sepulchre, the natural light stroke us so powerfully through the frescoed dome assuring us of the Biblical teachings.

ChristianityChristian faith

Life in Jerusalem in the 21st century

Many live in the Old City just to serve tourism, selling trinkets, polishing wooden crosses, refreshments like freshly pressed pomegranate juice in the fall, tangerines and oranges in winter or melons in the heat of summer. Yet, most craftsmen and businesses are located outside the walled city on one of the endless hills surrounding Jerusalem. People outside the more youthful restaurant business are rough. All drivers we took squeezed as much as they could from us, annoying taking extra time to drive through most congested roads and the street vendors joined in the hassle of bothering us. I didn’t enjoy the Arabic male camaraderie and self-assertion here. Regularly, I was cut in a queue as women battled their way whenever needed. A thank you came only after splurging out generous American tips. To their credit, the Israelis must be tough. Their situation can hardly be envied by any other nation state. Surrounded by its old foes – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the self-proclaimed Palestine – only the sea does not teeth into the Zion state. Well, not until climate change bites away its coast ardently. Clean energy, recycling, waste management do not seem to bother the local government. The light sparks from the vibrant technology sector in Tel Aviv ready to inject its climate-solutions into the world.


Since the formation of Israel post World War II and the Six-Day War in 1967, Jerusalem fully belongs to Israel, borders Palestine and its former custodian Jordan takes care of the muslim part of town. Threat is imminent. The locals live under the armed watchdog of the Israeli army peacefully, respecting each other’s religious peculiarities. The female and male soldiers police the contentious Jerusalem, but the sniper towers (women are reportedly faster to snap the trigger) made me feel uncomfortable. Terrorism looms over the contested land from all directions. Hizbollah keeps its cells active. Prep yourself for road checks and wired zones. The most important modern buildings inland were dug in the underground. From the sprawling campuses of the must visit Hebrew University on Mount Scopus (beautiful gardens), the Israeli Museum, the National Archives to other culturally important and government buildings.

Geopolitically, the Israelis do not belong to Asia, neither to Europe or Middle East, “we are America“ our guide said. The birth cord was never cut after the founding of the country post World War II. The US supplies its military knowhow, weapons, antimissile technology and more ‘life-supporting’ vitalities such as junk food. The American motherly nourishment is sealed on the photos inside the King David Hotel, where numerous American presidents shook hands with the local political leaders. 

Israeli Museumcontemporay art in Israel

My favourite parts of Jerusalem are the Israeli Museum and the Machane Yehuda food market also known as the “Shuk” where people seemed the most happy. Whether it is the amazing food or sharing the feast with family or friends, but something sparks up the joyful spirit in this covered, multicultural assembly of hedonism. On weekends (Thursday night, Friday and Saturday) particularly, the locals feast, sing, dance and revel in the abundantly delicious life. The King of Halva has been sweetening the tongues for decades, but even more saliva-oozing are the chocolate rugelach butter pastries from the Marzipan Bakery. Most food here is kosher, and there is so much to try!

Rugelach Marzipan bakeryJerusalem market

Lively eateries and restaurants surround the Machane Yehuda market. Some are as casual as a beach shack (Azura), others hives of celebration from lunch till late at night (Machneyehuda, incredible! Must be booked well ahead).

I also relished a small park in the wealthy Yemin Moshe neighbourhood between the King David Hotel and the old town. The tourist-free view from the park is better than anywhere else. Inside dwells a small archaeological treasure – an open grave clearly showing how massive the wheel-shaped rock used to close graves was. Many hands were needed to assist with opening it, therefore Jesus’s escape from the grave was perceived as a miracle. 

Jerusalem graveart in Jerusalem

Saint Augustine wrote in Confessions of a Sinner: “… we were impelled to do good after our hearts received the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Before then our impulse was to do wrong.” Perhaps some of us were born with more of that guiding Holy Spirit in our mind, so we are more ‘naturally’ inclined to do good. Until wars, violence, hatred, racism and other ills of humanity worsen the common good, we shall listen to the whispers of the good spirit attentively.

IMPORTANT NOTE OF THE AUTHOR: I do not mean to offend anyone’s beliefs. I’m aware of its potential contentiousness, yet visiting Jerusalem opened my soul’s doors to some internal questioning. This article is as much a travel guide as an open-minded musing on what unites and divides humans. Peace is better than war. We need the rule of law. Some of it was found in the religious scriptures, yet sadly can be misinterpreted. The bottom line is that we do not want the evil and chaos (if one does not call them the same thing) to rule over humanity, do we?

Street art in Tel Aviv: feel the liberal resolve of Israel through its walls

Street art in Tel Aviv imprints one of the most culturally resonating expressions of diverse opinions in the world. Like in many other global hives of street art, conflict, social and emotional struggles and longing for freedom, are the engines for creativity exhaled on the Israeli walls. Legally commissioned or spontaneous, off-permission wall collages, paintings, sketches, even poetry call for your attention and, perhaps, engagement. Particularly, the aching walls — battered by relentless winds, humid salty sea air and the human desire for conquest — welcome artful beautification. Over four-thousand-year-old Jaffa port and nearby hoods in the South concentrate much of the street art in Tel Aviv.

Old Jaffa port

Jaffa is one of the oldest ports: “Floating out there the sea is large covering two thirds of the world. Leave the door open”

Sitting on a stone wall above the wide stretch of its Mediterranean sandy beach, the autumn wind flagging my hair in a breezy dance of liberty. I gazed south on the sun-setting collage of warm gold, dusted over the limestone-washed phenomenon. The bodyboarders and surfers rode the waves smoothly as the sunset was dawning over the sea horizon. I penned down a poem.

Israel lifestyle

As if the lighthouse of the ancient Jaffa port stepped out of its place in time, the eternal unison of beauty flashed through my soul. The glaring rays’ glitter yielded to my sensual cords. Strung with the fingertips of some god that perhaps only a sensitive artist can echo the sacred messages from the Universe, I relished my relaxed, nonchalant joy in free writing.

That cosily warm weekend morning in Tel Aviv — a blend of an old, rusty Bangkok exoticism, East Berlin urbanism with clean Miami Beach superficiality — sublet an architecturally eclectic charm to this Eastern Mediterranean natural beauty.

architecture in Tel AvivFlorian, Tel Aviv

Guided into Street art in Tel Aviv

I was interested in the street art in Tel Aviv well before visiting Israel this fall for the first time. Along with Berlin, Buenos Aires, New York, São Paulo, and Athens, this liberal coastal metropolis hives with boundless creativity. Much of the free expression is exposed beyond the local galleries (I recommend the non-profit CCA), and even its superb museums (thumbs up for Tel Aviv Museum of Art). Urban art is exhibited free of charge for anyone strolling the the city’s diverse hoods.

urban poetry

Visually engaged, yet linguistically limited, my ignorance of the Hebrew script called for assistance if I were to decipher the meanings sprayed on the walls. So, I booked the Street Art in Tel Aviv tour with a local female guide specialising in the Israeli urban art and its food scene (my favourite combo of life-bettering human creations). Some wall art is merely in text form. From quotes of Hebrew poets to dialogues between different graffiti artists, most though mixes the pictorial with the written such as my favourite Puzzle Poem by Murielle Street Art (riddle it out on the snap above).

grafitti in Israel

‘Give me a bit more almost’ – Adi

Ancient beauty of Jaffa meets millennial liberal expression in bohemian Florentin

The most interesting street art in Tel Aviv is in the hip Neve Tzedek, bohemian Florentin (פלורנטין) named after a Greek Jew who purchased the land in the late 1920s, and the blistered Jaffa. All south, minutes from the long sandy beach.

Kis-Lev. shows off his talent on re-enacting Banksy’s Girl with Balloons set in a Palestine settlement. He also highlights the musical greats and, I guess, their addiction to drugs (Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, et al.). He added his own blurred face.

Kis-Lev. street art in Tel Avivurban art

The Eastern-most pearl of the Mediterranean authentically expresses its mixed heritage. Geographically in Asia, mentally in the US, while politically encroached in the Middle East, the Israel’s strongly educated eight-million strong population has never had it easy. Israel’s prime Minister’s wife was targeted by one of the digital artist going under #TAG (her saying “Stop being poor” stirred plenty of dissent), who also mirrors our problematic relationship with the social media (see bellow). Political messages have always prominently engaged street artists, and it is no different in Israel. Street art in Florentin often has strong political message through graffiti battles on the walls of the gentrifying neighbourhood. Current day issues and peace activism are relieved on the walls.

social media harmsocial media harm

Still, the expression of human mind, its struggles and current social issues broaden art’s reach. Identity is flowing free in Tel Aviv. LGBT-friendly, beach-body buoyant, tech start-up savvy, young energetic creativity, a Jewish tax heaven, Russian oligarchs’ low-key playground (the billionaire Mr Roman Abrahamovic just bought a boutique hotel turning it into his residence) — Tel Aviv blends it all.

female artLifestyle in Florian, Tel Aviv

Female street artists are currently widely expressive. Their strong presence and distinct voices inject more emotional beauty into the street art in Tel Aviv. Kim Kong painted the inside walls at the vibrant Raisa bar and cafe in Jaffa. Nitzan Mintz, a poet and a partner of Dede Bandaid, a pseudonym for a graphic artist known for his inclusion of band-aids and stencil technique. Immigration caught her mind, writing on Dede’s masterpiece in Jaffa: “Floating out there the sea is large covering two thirds of the world. Leave the door open”. Not limited to the city walls, his art was exhibited at local galleries as well as abroad from Switzerland to New York.

Street art in Tel Aviv

Other themes featured in the street art in Tel Aviv were: food trends (cabbage and veganism), animals (local street cats, even a tiger), local dudes, love, plush ladies, ‘wise’ graffiti quotes in english (“Marriage is friendship first“; “Be brave and kind“), zionism, and surprisingly anti-zionism proving that freedom of expression through art in Israel is still respected.

The creative forms beyond graffiti blurbs and painting included doll houses, sculptures, an urban mini-garden dug into a rain water pipe, and other free for all artistic blurbs across the city. Tiny Tiny Gallery is the cutest phenomenon in- and outdoor, featuring up and coming talent. Outside, its walls are covered in a melange of wall painting and scribbles – from miniatures to large scale art. Some traditional artists such as the female sculptor Sophie Jungveis set up their studio in plain sight in the centre. In her garden giant slabs of yet unpolished stone await her artistic hand.

The Applied Art Gallery in Florentin commissioned a local artists to spray its walls. He reinterpreted it as a queue of aspiring artists, black and white waiting for their entry to the gallery world, coloring them exiting the door from the other side. As if suddenly their talents shone brightly from the exposure the gallery granted them.

zen mind

Not all of Tel Aviv rejoyces in a hurrah seeing its walls hammered with some disparate ‘art’ and graffiti. The beauty of most great architecture stands out best on plain walls. The curves, arches, and the overall geometry of a building, when overshadowed with other art forms illegally plastered over it, suffer. In Jaffa I admired the simple purity of an archway, hoping that nobody tags on it.

It is all about sensibility after all. Crumbling walls can be beautified by creative touches, but a truly great, responsible artist has the ability to discern where his expression fits, and where it contributes to the urban ugliness.

the Norman Hotel Tel AvivBeauty in simplicity

Lodging at design treasure — the Norman Hotel opened our eyes to the interior crafts hidden behind the white walls of the city’s poshest district off the leafy Rothschild Boulevard. There are frescoes in the annex suite building, even a poem by the owner’s father, Norman Lourie, entitled “Castle in the Sand” rolls down four floors of the hotel’s atrium. Emotionally capturing the tender feelings for one’s homeland. Still, one does not have to be Jewish to fall for Tel Aviv and Israel, and if you want to grow even closer to its contemporary culture, you should check out the street art covering its walls. I cannot wait to see all the new creations on my next trip this coming spring. I am not waiting for long before visiting the creative country again!

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