My time in Israel was limited, but everyone who knows my interest in urbanism wouldn’t be surprised that when I got an invitation from a new friend and active couchsurfer Yaniv to explore his town, Rishon LeZion, I couldn’t say no. The town is close to Tel Aviv and people can commute between them relatively easily. From the first sight it is an upper middle class suburb, which even reminded me of Luxembourg. But rents are lower than in Tel Aviv, and living there allows one to have more personal space. I was curious to hear that Rishon LeZion hosts several festivals, like an world food festival, international skate hockey championships, and big events on the Israeli Independence Day.
The first time I learned about Bonn was when I was studying old maps as a child. This was one of my hobbies. In those maps Bonn was still the capital of West Germany, and when I started learning geography at school, it was still the seat of the united German government. I imagined that being a capital once it must have a similar feel to my hometown Kaunas, which was the Lithuanian capital in the 1930s. The difference is that Bonn was the capital until recently, and it still hosts various sub-ministerial agencies, along with 18 UN institutions.
Today, in addition to being an important administrative hub, Bonn is marketing itself as a cultural center, especially since Beethoven was born there. Continue reading