We got our tickets in Jerusalem and while waiting for the train we met and chatted with a couple from the US who had just gotten married in Jerusalem and were off to the Tiberius for their honeymoon. They were very excited and happy that they got married in such an ancient city, amidst so much history.

Our train ride to Tel Aviv was uneventful. We mostly sat in the train, talked a lot about Jerusalem and how we really enjoyed every sight in the city. We arrived Tel Aviv’s Savidor Merkaz station and took a cab to our hotel, the Park Plaza Orchid. I gave strict instructions to the cab driver on which route to take (based on internet forum postings that cabbies are notorious for taking longer routes) and he asked me directly “Are you doing this because you don’t trust me?”; I replied I do trust him as a person but I just don’t want to be ripped off. He said I could trust him and he’s not like the rest of the cabbies who try to make a quick buck. He then gave us good advice on getting to Caesarea.

We were on the last leg of our journey and all our subsequent nights would be spent in Tel Aviv, with day trips to Caesarea, Haifa and Akko. We had two nights booked at the Park Plaza Orchid hotel and the rest of the nights at the Sheraton Tel Aviv.

The Park Plaza Orchid was a nice hotel with good views of the Mediterranean sea. Our room had a partial ocean view. The room was tad small but had everything we needed and we felt comfortable for the two nights.

View from our room at the Park Plaza Orchid

View from our room at the Park Plaza Orchid

View from our room at the Park Plaza Orchid

View from our room at the Park Plaza Orchid

We settled into our room, showered, made some calls back home to let everyone know we’re safe and decided to have some Indian food for dinner. Our destination was “Sab Kuch Milega“, a hostel cum restaurant that serves Indian vegetarian/vegan food. We took the bus to Hamashabir Rd and had to change buses once. On the bus we met a fellow Indian engineer who lived and worked in Tel Aviv! We chatted for a bit before he had to get off the bus. At Sab Kuch Milega, we got the vegetarian thali, which includes unlimited vegetables from the buffet. The food was very tasty, but the preparations were adapted to the western/Israeli palette. In the end, the Indian chef came out and we talked to him and thanked him for a delicious meal. Even though our expectations were to have desi-style food, we were still happy with what we got, and I think this is a part of travel – you get something different and you enjoy it as you go!

After dinner as we walked back to the bus stop we could not stop comparing the neighborhood to the streets of Bombay – the buildings, streets, signs all seemed so similar. We felt nostalgic and excited! We were going to love this city!

One the way back, we stopped at a convenience store and picked up some milk (for the coffee), bread, butter and cheese. The breakfast buffet at the hotel had few vegetarian options and the menu was just too pricy.

Back at the hotel, we were very tired and decided to hit the sack almost immediately. The next day was a long one – we were going to take a day trip to Caesarea!