Clouds On Fire {Sar-El 🇮🇱 Day #14}

Clouds On Fire {Sar-El 🇮🇱 Day #14} | Saturday 23rd July 2016 |

Like last Shabbat, I took the opportunity to relax for as long as possible. My day consisted of swimming, noshing on Doritos, reading (I’ve almost finished my book now!) and sleeping in the shade by the rooftop pool in the hotel. The others went to the beach but I didn’t fancy getting all sandy, so I joined them later on when they brought the French guys to the hotel. We had a chill afternoon by the poolside, joking around and people-watching as Shabbat’s end was nearing. 

As the pool was closing, the friendly lifeguard let me stay up there to continue reading my book. He came to chat to me and we discussed Israel, my volunteering, intermarriage, and I taught him about the “friend zone”! He’s the kind of lifeguard who does his job but also goes the extra mile to schmooze with the guests and make them feel at home. So yes, I did make friends with a 50-something year old Israeli, but he offered to let all the volunteers use the pool whenever we’re next in Tel Aviv, which was really sweet of him. There was an artist yesterday at the market who also thought it was great that we were doing Sar-El; she said “I am so proud of you”, which really meant a lot to us. 

The sunset was extraordinary today. The sun was setting behind some clouds, so it made the outline of the clouds look neon or like they were on fire. Also, there were huge rays of golden light beaming through the clouds in all directions, which looked stunning both in the sky and reflected in the sea. 

After Shabbat, the whole group of us met up at the Namal and queued up at a restaurant for at least an hour whilst they were opening up. Some people refused to eat because of the bad service, but we were the first table to receive our orders and the pizza we’d all been craving was well worth the wait. 

Of course, we went for ice cream after the meal. But we had planned to go to the pop-up Magnum store where we could design our own Magnums, so this was an extra special ice cream treat. It was such a great idea and we all loved picking out our own unique topping combinations. I think they have something similar in Covent Garden but I’ve never been so this was a cool experience. One of the French boys had to leave us to back to the military hostel in time for the curfew, but the rest of us had a long walk (primarily in search of a rooftop bar but my room mates and I ended up returning to our hotel out of sheer exhaustion). 

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A Dorito A Day {Sar-El 🇮🇱 Day #7}

A Dorito A Day {Sar-El 🇮🇱 Day #7} | Saturday 16th July 2016 |

It’s really strange coming from a programme like Genesis, where Shabbat is such a special time, to being left on your own in Israel with no “family” to sing, dance and schmooze with. 

Today was a proper day of rest. I relaxed by the hotel pool pretty much all day, reading, napping and taking in the awesome 360 view of the Tel Aviv skyline. 

My room mate was in the room all day but we reconvened as Shabbat ended and then headed out to find food. All the Kosher restaurants were still closed or just about opening, so we just went to grab some snacks from the supermarket. It’s hard not to get distracted by all the Kosher chocolates, sweets, crisps and ice creams that aren’t suitable or available in the UK (especially Doritos, which I have been eating every day- I’m going to end up looking like Phineas from “Phineas and Ferb” if I continue like this…)

My room mate went out with her aunt for a real dinner and I joined the French volunteers on the beach for some ice cream. We messed around on the beach taking photos on giant chairs, playing on the exercise machines and watching hench guys show off with back flips and dance moves. I had a really enjoyable evening and I felt so happy to have made such nice friends already.