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Malka - Eyal Shani's newest addition

The noise and ambience and food of Israeli celebrity chef Eyal Shani's new kosher restaurant in Tel Avivmay not be for everyone. But, the combination of tastes and the perfection of cooking times for each dish blew me away. Skip the vegetables (except the beet carpaccio). The foccacia will fill you up but it is a must at least once. And absolutely have the signature schnitzel dish filled with potatoes.  I still dream about the combination of flavors in the meat and fish dishes. This is Jewish soul food with endless soul!
Malka Restaurant -  Asia House, 2 Dafna Street, Tel Aviv -03-609-1331 - RESERVATIONS A MUST!

Al Hamayim - perfection!

Eating an excellent meal on an enclosed terrace watching the sunset over the Herzliyia beach is as close to perfection as one can get. Al Hamayim has been around for many years but recently became kosher. The food - sushi and creative twists on fish and dairy dishes - is beyond delicious. The natural ambience of the beach makes this a showstopper. I have yet to meet a disappointed customer. The only downside is the pricey bill at the end of the meal!
Al Hamayim - Herzliyia beach - 09-950-1767

Israel Independence Trail - see where it all started

Tel Aviv recently opened the Independence Trail - its own version of the Bostom Freedom Trail. Follow the gold line to ten stops which were critical locations regarding the creation of the modern State of Israel. We took a Hebrew tour (sign up for the free English or Hebrew tours online). You can also walk the trail on your own. In the coming months there will be an option to walk the trail with information provided on an app. It's a nice way to learn history!
Israel Independence Trail - independencetrail.co.il - vist the information desk right across from 11 Rothschild.

Whiskey Bar - a wow experience even if you are not a whiskey lover

Recently, we had an amazing evening at the Whiskey Bar and Museum in the Sarona complex in Tel Aviv. Being surrounded by 1,000 whiskey bottles with the chance to try whiskeys from all over the world must be heaven for whiskey lovers. But the very hip atmosphere of the underground wine cellar and the excellent food from appetizers to desserts will win everyone else over as well (and the whiskey cocktails and whiskey dessert are a must, even if you are not a whiskey lover!).

Whiskey Bar - Sarona Compound, Tel Aviv - 03-955-1105 Reservations highly recommended

See the Country on a Segway

Segways may be of limited use in "real life", but they are a great way to see the nooks and crannies of Israel. Many tourists "segway" in Jerusalem (highly recommended), without realizing that segway tours can be even more interesting in other parts of the country. The Segs company has an expansive list of segway tours offered all over Israel. I did both the Jaffa and Haifa two hour tours which were the perfect way to get to know the ins and outs of each of these places.  Both times the guides were informative and entertaining.  I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the country!

Segs - www.segs.co.il - info@segs.co.il - 054-585-0405 - reservations a must - specify if you need an English tour AND participants must be age 16 and older

Kayaking at Rosh Hanira - fun, history and sports all in one!

The father and son team that runs this operation provides a great experience all around.  Most importantly, safety is paramount. Everyone wears life jackets and receives a short instruction lesson, and, the guides kayak alongside the group. It is a little rough until you get out to sea, but then it is smooth sailing as you kayak along the beautiful beach, and through the Rosh Hanikra grottos from a totally different perspective than walking through them.  The guides provide short explanations regarding the geography and history of the location which makes this not only a fun and active experience, but a meaningful one as well.

Kayaking at Rosh Hanikra - http://www.kayaksailinisrael.com/ - Reservations a must - the sail may be cancelled if the sea is too rough

Jerusalem midnight bike ride - a totally different way to see Jerusalem

This approximately three hour bike ride starts several hours earlier than midnight and requires stamina and strength for the many hills of Jerusalem, but it is a unique way to experience Jerusalem.  Yuval, our English speaking guide took us through various points of interests such as the Promenade in Armon Hanatziv, the First Station in Baka, and the Christian, Muslim and Jewish quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem.  We took a few breaks so that Yuval could provide some history, but for the most part, he wisely let this beautiful city speak for itself. As the night moved forward and the alleys started to quiet, the magic of this sacred city was overwhelming.  This is a great way for first time visitors to see some key points of interest which they can return to in daylight hours.

Jerusalem Midnight Bike Ride - http://jerusalembiking.com/  - RESERVATIONS A MUST!  Dress in warm layers that can be removed as Jerusalem nights can be chilly and bring a water bottle.