Israel Fall 2008
FACTOID: The UN Security council has 15 members. Five of the members are permanent and they are the U.S., UK, China, Russia and France. The other 10 seats rotate among the other countries in the UN except for Israel. Of the 192 member countries of the UN only one cannot serve on the Security Council - Israel.
The King's son Morgan has lived in Israel for about three years and we have not visited him. We decided to add ten days onto our Rome trip in October 2008 to fly to Israel. Israel does not have the proper relationship with the European airlines for any discount service from Europe to Israel so the cost to fly from Rome was pretty expensive. There were cheaper flights available then the non-stop offered by El Al, the Israeli airline, but they were through European cites and had long layovers. For example, we could have flown on Air Malev, the Hungarian airline, for about half the cost of El Al but the layover in Budapest was 14 hours both going and coming!!!!
When we arrived in Israel it was about 2 AM in the morning. Svi and Tikva, whose house in Rehovot we were going to stay at, told us to take a taxi from the airport to their house. There was a flat fare and a metered fare and they had told us to take the metered fare. The taxi driver did not know Rehovot but he had a GPS and we assumed that would take us directly to the house. Once we got to Rehovot the GPS stopped working and the driver drove around looking for the street. We thought this may be a scam since we were on the meter and we were now at a fare that was above the flat rate. He finally talked to another cab at a taxi stand and then called his office and we found the house. He refused to take the amount on the meter and actually took less than the flat rate fare. Our first experience with a cab driver where we expected to be ripped off and it was the opposite!!!!
The next problem was to find the correct house since the street was dark and we could not quite make out the numbers. The house we thought was the correct one had lights on and we could here a TV on. Fortunately, Svi had given me the keys to his car and it had an automatic unlocking gizmo and when I pressed it the car flashed its lights and we knew we were in the correct driveway. It turned out that Tikva always leaves a light on and the radio playing.
The house was very nice. The bedrooms were large and the house was specious.
Photo: The Queen and King had breakfast each morning outside on the side porch.
Photo: This is the kitchen area of the house.
Photo: This is the living room area of the house.
Morgan lives in the Northern part of Tel Aviv about three blocks from the Mediterranean Sea and two blocks from the Yarkon River. He is about three blocks from the old port of Tel Aviv. The port was closed about 25 years ago and all shipping is done to Ashdod to the south and Haifa to the north. The port area has been renovated and is now filled with lots of shops, restaurants and bars and is a happening place.
Photo: This is the outside of Morgan's apartment building.
Photo: This is the inside of Morgan's apartment. It is a small efficiency.
Photo: This is the bike path along the Yarkon River, which is only about two blocks from Morgan's apartment.
Photo: We ate one night at Bennie the Fisherman one of the restaurants at the port area. They had huge portions and all the meals came with many Israeli salads.