A Travellerspoint blog

Jaffa and the Old City

OR boy is this country old!!!!!!!!!

Louie and I are doing extremely well under the circumstances. When I mean under the circumstances, I mean getting up and heading for a quick dip in the Mediterranean. Eating great food and touring the country. Remember that someone has to do it and it might as well be us. Wednesday morning we still felt a little jet lag. We decided to head to Jaffa( old city of Tel Aviv.) Unfortunately before we could do that we first had to make a trip to the mall for a power adapter. Well....let me tell you about an Israeli Mall. MASSIVE......(and we all know how Louie loves to be in a mall) Four floors later and two city blocks long, and up and down and up and down, we found the store. Luckily for us the clerk lived in the US for some time and knew exactly what we needed. Then on to Jaffa. Jaffa faces the sea with old stones that date back to the Ottoman Empire. The old part is a very small village and presently there are shops that sell beautiful artwork. We arrived just as the sun was setting over the water. We climbed to the top for a breathtaking view. There, we met a woman and discussed the prospects for peace. It seems that most Israelis believe that the leaders of the Arab world are not interested in any peace, because they need to have something to unite their people. That would be a common enemy(Israel). We can only hope for the best, she said. (Alavi)-(sp) In Hebrew and Yiddish, we can only hope. We will definitely be back to Jaffa since it is only about 3 miles from our apartment.
Thursday morning - Jerusalem- Kotel(Western Wall) and the Old City. We left our apartment at 7 in the morning. (No more Jet lag) Walked a mile and took a non-stop bus to Jerusalem. I think we were the only Americans. The ride was about 45 minutes with no traffic. We entered the city and took another bus to the Old City. It is still amazing to me, how the Ultra Orthodox Jews can wear those long black jackets in that heat. Many were praying on the bus and I felt that I was back in Borough Park. Nothing like feeling like being home. We approached The Wall and of course men on one side, women on the other. It was so crowded that I couldn't even touch it, let alone leave any messages in the cracks. I know that Aaron left a message in the cracks, because he asked me if I remembered when the Red Sox won the series. We then proceeded to find a tour for the tunnel, but needed to make advanced reservations. Looks like we will have to make another trip next week. After that, we went to the Arab Market. Lots of junk, but did buy some beautiful pictures and some nice tiles. Louie started to speak to a woman, who was a Palestinian Christian. She, on the other hand, said she did not like the Israelis because she said that they really didn't trust anyone who was not Israeli. She also said she had an American passport, because her family in the US lied about her birth. How that happened is beyond me. I'm sure you can fill in the dots. Next the Tomb of David( just a room, men praying on one side, women on the other), then on to the room of The Last Supper ( which was a Passover Seder) That was also a big room with nothing in it, but some people praying and singing. I think those people were Americans from the midwest. The stones in the Old City date back more than 3,000 years. They definitely look good considering their age. There were many areas where there were archaeological digs and you can see the different layers in the earth. WOW!!! I am sure those rocks have some good stories. The Old City is broken up into four different quarters, Moslem, Christian, Armenian, and Jewish. Each has its own favor. More to come on our next visit. Hopefully, attached is my first video. It is the wall and a Bar Mitzvah. I don't even have video of my own children, but I do have an orthodox service at the wall. Go figure.
Tonight, we will meet Aunt Adele and Uncle Joseph's nephew for dinner. They are the people we stayed with (Louie's great-aunt and uncle) the last time we were in Israel. It should be an interesting dinner. Then, Sergio's daughter and family on Sunday( Sergio is Louie's best buddy from high school, who lives in Argentina, daughter moved to Israel )and also we were just invited to Sabbath dinner with Yossi's family, next Friday night. Yossi helps manage the apartment we are staying in. His mother is from Yemen and his father is from Egypt. Another interesting experience. Well until you tune in again....Shalom from the Middle East.

Posted by frimit 07:48 Comments (2)

Day two and three OR why does everyone here speak Hebrew????

Day two......my Hebrew is not very good. I can only remember a few words and everyone here speaks too fast. We walked and walked until we arrived at the Carmel Market. It was like we went back in time. We bought some cheese and bread which tasted amazing. Israel is famous for its goat cheese and i enjoyed every bite. They definitely have it right in the food department. What else can you expect from Jews. Day three......Tel Aviv University and the Dispora Museum. The Dispora Museum......in short........the history of the Jewish people or how the Jews were kicked out of every country they ever lived. We did learn something very interesting though, Israel is a melting pot of Jews from all over the world, each with their own unique culture and ethnic background. Nighttime and a trip to the beach.......while I was swimming a woman approached me and asked me a question in Hebrew and of course I did not know what she was saying. So, I attempted my first sentence in Hebrew......and to my surprise she actually understood me. The sentence. I speak English, not Hebrew. Sorry this not written very well,but my computer died and this is on the iPad.

Posted by frimit 12:18 Comments (3)

Shalom

Shalom and Welcome to Israel.......

After a very rough start, we are here. Right before we were leaving for the airport, I realized that I didn't have Louie's passport. It had fallen out in my mother's car when I went to return some shorts. Thanks to my mother, who seems to remember everything, my great son and my patient husband, we prevailed and we were on our way. Our flight........ considering it was overnight, was not that bad. EL AL.....airline of class. We were first asked a number of questions by a girl who could have been Shaina's age. She wanted to know where we packed our bags, who we met in the last 24 hours and why in the world we were visiting Israel. We explained that we had been there in 1976 and always wanted to return. She seemed very happy with our answer. Then onto the plane. After take off we were given hot towels to wash and treated to great heros, Israeli style. Then lights out and a flight attendant walked around most of the night with water in hand in case we became thirsty. (Sleep) Two hours before landing another hot towel and breakfast.....eggs with bagels and lox. A taxi to Tel Aviv and our first look at the country we visited over thirty years ago. Tel Aviv looks a lot like Miami, but the signs are in Hebrew. Our apartment is about five blocks from the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean is beautiful and the water is delightful. Last night we walked around the streets until 12:30 and it seemed that everyone was also cruising at that time. We went to the supermarket and a man approached us and asked if we were Americans.....( Louie with his shirts) We said yes....and the conversation started. We discussed the political system in the US as well as Israel. It seems that some Israelis are worried about Obama. The question is .....is he really good for Israel??????? We explained that the other side is much worse, but I could understand the apprehension. I am sure as this trip continues we find out more and more about how Israelis feel and how they view the world. While walking around today, we noticed that the people look very different from Americans. They are not overweight and are in excellent physical condition. Well tomorrow I will update you on some tourist sites and our future plans for this wonderful country. Shalom

Posted by frimit 12:13 Comments (1)

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