Tel Aviv is located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in central Israel. It is the second largest city in Israel with a population of 405,000, and is part of a metropolitan area that includes about 3.5 million people. It is the financial capital of Israel being the home of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Tel Aviv was founded as a small community on the outskirts of Jaffa but it grew very quickly due to Jewish immigration. Tel Aviv is not mentioned in the Bible because it is less than 150 years old.
When arriving in Tel Aviv there isn’t much at first to make you think you are in a different country. The airport is a lot like the airports in the United States. The main difference is that signs and advertising are written in Hebrew. Yes, they often have English on the signs too, as you can see in the pictures below. In many ways Tel Aviv is like many cities in the United States. The highways are similar. There are tall buildings. There is plenty of traffic. But there are some differences besides the language. It is warmer. There are palm trees. There are very few American made cars. And, because fresh water is scarce, the rain is cherished. As you can see in the pictuers, it is raining today as we come into Tel Aviv. Fresh water is not as plentiful here as in Minnesota and so even though the rain will sometimes cause flooding and other problems, it is definitely a good thing, because water is life.
I was also able to connect to the internet today and have a video call with Sallie. I also used my ATM card to get some money in the local currency – the shekel.