It takes almost five hours to get from the Tel Aviv iconic Central Bus Station to the Red Sea resort city of Eilat on a bus. The road through the Negev desert is windy and picturesque, especially for those who are not accustomed to such desolate landscapes.
Eilat proper, however, is far from being desolate. Metaphorically far, the desert starts where the city ends.
My friends who live in Eilat for many years were very hospitable. They provided me with a room to stay and were my guides for the whole weekend in and around the city. I wouldn’t be able to see even a fraction of landmarks and points of interest without their help. Otherwise, places like the Timna Park and Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve are pretty much accessible either on a car or as a part of an organized tour only.