Without a doubt covid has affected all aspects of life, not the least of which is travel. I had a research presentation in Tel Aviv and am happy to report that all three of my covid tests done within 5 days of each are all negative. Hope never to need another nasopharyngeal swab for a very long time.
The meeting was at the Convention Center and was excellent with presenters from all around the world. I presented our research and moderated a session, so it was worth the time and effort to get there and back. The one thing I missed was the chance to do a little sightseeing but hope to do that again sometime. Everyone had to quarantine for 24 hours upon arrival or until the airport performed covid test returned. It is hard to sit still in a hotel room - so it was good that I needed to work on my presentation! Once test results were reported I walked for a couple of hours just doing a bit of exploring. It felt good to stretch after such a long airplane ride.
My hotel was about 1.5 miles from the convention center, so I took the opportunity to walk back and forth through a lovely park. And yes, I did a bit of bird watching along the way. The weather was warm and there were only a few sprinkles to dodge. The park was not crowded so it was a really peaceful adventure. And an adventure it was as the first time I walked to the center, shall we say, I took the long way there! An extra mile and a half long way there!
One thing worth mentioning is the food. From breakfast at the hotel to the food at the convention center it was always fresh and delicious. Even the snacks during the breaks at the conference were healthy - fresh fruit and vegetables. Sweet snacks were bite size - just big enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. I really did enjoy the local menus.
Here is a melodious myna bird. There were many of them everywhere and were fun to watch.
Also watched many, many parrots flying and feeding on the ground.
The handsome bird is the state bird of Israel - the hooded crow.
The US requires a covid test within 24 hours of departure. Fortunately, I was able to have a testing service come to the hotel. But the results were available just three hours before departure - a bit if a stress as the results arrived as I was leaving for the airport.