Branco e azul – impressions from Tel-Aviv


White city – or the city of light is the name we often hear when speaking about Lisbon. This time, however, I would like to travel back to the Middle East, to Tel-Aviv I visited just a week ago. Apart from the colours, the link between Lusofonetica and Tel-Aviv is not so obvious, but given the cosmopolitan nature of this city, I have heard Portuguese not once on the streets, as well as all sort of other languages.

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Tel-Aviv combines the flair of the Mediterranean cities like Barcelona (or better: Malaga), with the European influences. Established at the beginning of 20th century, Tel-Aviv was influenced greatly by the Bauhaus architects that fled from the Nazist wave. Hence the emblematic style is set in white, matching greatly the blue sky.

Opera House of Tel-Aviv Neve Tzedek neighbouhood

As my local friend put it, there is no checklist of places to see or things to do in Tel-Aviv. I was very happy to hear it, as I love just to wander around, sneak into bars, cafes, talk with the people and live the moment in the new places instead of rushing to tick the boxes on the sightseeing list.

Hotel Cinema - great Bauhaus example Tel-Aviv-Yafo beach

And there is probably no better place to experience the long days and nights than Tel-Aviv. Truth is, I did not choose the safest moment to visit this place on Earth, but in the end I felt pretty safe. Even though one could literally breathe the tension which lives within the society.

Tel-Aviv Opera Tel-Aviv centre... one of the numberless cafes

If tomorrow is uncertain, then why not simply enjoy the moment – I have heard about this mindset long before I came to Tel-Aviv, but living it on my own was a totally different thing. Strangers becoming this proverbial friends-of-a-lifetime, appearing in half-private parties just because you hear some great jazz music, eating out breakfast after sunset, finding urban art treasures on the least expected corners, or bathing in the warm sea, even though you can clearly hear the F-16 flying above your head.

Habima Square - conference centre Colourful fountain and Bauhaus buildings - the essence of Tel-Aviv

The mix of the exotic, and the cosmopolitan – the tiny bubble of Tel-Aviv has it all within a walking distance – makes this place very special. I was there very shortly, but I know I want to come back, and experience more with a bit less naive sight.

Habima Square Mobile Library  Neve Tzedek neighbourhood Neve Tzedek neighbourhood

Funnily enough, despite the sunshine weather, Tel-Aviv reminded me greatly of Berlin in some places, not only for Bauhaus influence, but also for the dramatic setting, laidback attitude, and last but not least: hipsters! So even though I was far away, on my own, I felt so much at home… Just like in this Karaoke Kalk records’ song, my lifetime nomad anthem.