The past month has been a crazy one since I last updated everyone. I began my “official” classes at TAU, explored Israel further and traveled to Europe all in about four weeks. Phew! It’s definitely been an adventure. Here are some of the highlights, with pictures of course.
Eilat: As if we needed even more of a vacation, my friends and I ventured down to Eilat a few weeks ago. Israel’s hottest and southernmost point is a huge spot for tourists and travelers. We spent the weekend relaxing on the beach and at our hotel pool, which was decked out with queen-size beds. (Is this real life?!)
Aside from the clear skies and sunny days, the trip was actually really eye-opening and educational. We learned that Eilat borders Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and that the closest borders were only two miles away. We are also swimming in some very historic water. The Red Sea, which Moses parted from Egypt to Israel, was just at the tip of our toes (photo below). Pretty cool stuff.
Barcelona: Having been abroad for about seven weeks, I was obviously missing my dearest and closest fellow Gators who are also studying abroad. So, I decided to take a trip to see what the fuss was about all the way in Barcelona. Though I don’t think I could get used to eating dinner at 11:30 p.m. (yes, this actually happened…twice), Barcelona was so beautiful and a place I would love to return to one day. I spent the weekend doing what most first-timers probably do. Eating, walking, touring, walking, eating, napping, and so on. Gaudi’s Casa Batllo (pictured below) was one of my favorite sites. And how could I forget adventuring out to Barcelona’s hottest spot- Opium. Luckily I was careful not to lose sight of my bag during the weekend and managed to come back to Tel Aviv with my wallet and phone intact. Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.
I was so amazed at how beautiful Barcelona’s architecture was and how historic all the monuments looked. I especially loved how “European” it all felt, compared to the Middle Eastern lifestyle I’ve been used to. I even rode a bike in skinny jeans and converse. Now that’s European!
Up Next: The next few weeks are going to get even busier my friends. Midterms and Purim (Israel’s version of Halloween) are next on the agenda, and shortly after my parents will be visiting me for 11 days! I cannot wait to finally play tour guide and show them how great Israel is. As always, stay updated with my weekly blog posts through University of Florida’s abroad blog, Global Gator. And for more epic food and travel pics, follow me on Instagram @jmc91893.