Winter day in Tel Aviv 1987

On that winter of 1987 my friend S. Elbaz suggested to me a few times to go and photograph the streets of Tel Aviv. As an artist he noticed the rapid change that his city was going through and was wondering how will these streets look in 30 years. On a cold rainy day in January we did go and did some photography besides laughing and meeting with remarkable people.
On my last gig in Tel Aviv on December 2013 the weather was very stormy. Heavy rains, winds and very low temperatures. In my hotel room late at night, I recalled that great day I spent with a friend in these very streets, 26 years ago.

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A winner recipe for the holidays


For over two decades the Varon team Helsinki has enjoyed this special old ginger bread recipe.
With the spirit of the season I would like to share this little secret.
Follow the instructions and I guarantee that you`ll never get the industrial version from the store again.

Happy holidays !

250 g butter
2 cups demerara sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp cardamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp clove
1/2 tsp allspice
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda

Bring the butter, sugar and spice to boil. Let the mixture cool down. Add the eggs.
Mix the flour and soda in the dough by sieving it gradually. Mix the dough until even. Let it harden in the fridge at least until the next day.
Roll the dough into a thing layer with a little bit of flour if needed. Make different forms using ginger bread molds.
Bake for 6-8 minutes at the heat of 175 degrees Celsius. Be careful not to burn the cookies!

Spinalonga, the sad story of the Cretan leper island


spinalonga crete 1
This is the landscape we have been watching on our trip in Crete just a while ago. Now Yle Teema is showing a good quality series called the Island about Spinalonga island and its leper community. 
The series is based on a novel The Island written by Victoria Hislop. 
Uzi took this picture on a mountain just above Elounda. A beautiful place despite of its sad history!
Hurry up if you want to watch the series. The first episode can be seen on Yle Areena still for the next five days. 

Diving with dophins

We got to see some underwater wonders at the Red Sea in Eilat.

Images by Jonathan Fournerie


There are six dolphins living at the Dolphin Reef. Here is Nana, a 20 year old lady. She was curious and came to see the newcomer.

Nana turned her stomach to Adi and longed for some scratching.

Beautiful fish and corals!

Underwater meeting: I, Uzi and the instructors



You can snorkel and dive at the Dolphin Reef and in both cases you will be accompanied by an instructor. You don’t need prior experience in diving, instructions, equipment… everything is included.

Only the instructors are allowed to touch the dolphins as the owners of the place try to keep the living conditions of the dolphins as natural as possible. The reef is open from time to time for the dolphins to dive in the sea.
Snorkeling 270 nis, diving 340 nis incl. the equipment.



Going off road!

Our desert adventure in Mitzpe Ramon began with an early wake up-call at 5.30 but it was worth it.  At 6 am we already were standing on the top of the mountain (or Makthesh as they call it here) waiting for the sunrise.
Makhtesh is a Hebrew language word and a geological term for a crater that got its shape on its own and not from a meteorite that fell to the ground. Makhtesh Ramon is a really huge “crater” with a length of 40 km and width of 7 km. 
I wore harness on the tope of the makhtesh and soon found myself hanging on this steep wall.

All my sleepiness was swept away at this stage…

off road drive negev dedsert israel
After rapelling we jumped on a jeep and drove down to the bottom of the makhtesh.

desert wild herb tea
Our guide boiled water and mixed some herbs into it: sage, za’atar (hyssop) which is related to oregano, camomile and nobody knows what else. The results were amazing!

hiking in the Negev desert
After breakfast in the hotel we headed back to the terrain – this time by foot. Beautiful morning, mineral formations in the rocks, acasias (which is a real miracle by the way!). Simply great!

hiking in maktesh ramon


Our bedouin guide Younis finds a herb from the nature for every problem, holds a scorpion without getting bitten and catches a porcupine (I saw one by the way!) from its nose.

Negev desert hiking boots

My faithful shoes got a bit dusty on our 10 km long hike.