Today was the last day of the official Taglit-Birthright trip. We had a very good breakfast at the Golden Beach and then got all of our gear ready for loading the bus, one side for those flying home, the other for those of us staying in Israel. With the luggage handled we headed out for our walking tour of Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Dani gave a lot of good information and we got to walk the beach all the way into Jaffa. We walked through the two original neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and then the original Jaffa railway station. The station is now a marketplace. There was a really wonderful puzzle shop there that I had to work to stop myself from spending anything there. The puzzles were all wooden and very intelligent and fascinating.
After the Jaffa station we moved on to Jaffa itself. There we were given a couple of free hours for lunch and to browse the artist colony and flea market. The day was warm and bright and I enjoyed myself quite a bit.
After window shopping and meeting back up with everyone we took the bus to Independence Hall to see the place where the State of Israel was signed into being. It’s a much smaller hall than the pictures and videos make it seem.
Our final hours were filled with a closing ceremony and dinner at a great little restaurant up the street from Independence Hall. From there I stayed with the group to the port where they were hanging out until heading for the airport. I took a cab with a crew of four Birthrighters heading for Petra to the bus station and hopped the bus to Jerusalem and am now at a hostel ready to catch some Zs. I’ll use tomorrow to regroup, do laundry, and plan out the rest of my stay. I will move to another hostel in the Old City that is all Jewish and is free on Friday. Till then!