A Travellerspoint blog

ISRAEL

WOW!

sunny 82 °F

Israel is wow!
Such a small country and so much happening in every nook and cranny.
Yes, we started in Jaffa right in the middle of a Muslim holiday so the streets were bustling all day and all night long. There is so much diversity in every way that there is something interesting to see in all directions.
The streets are crowded and the horns are honking, men, women and lots of children are coming to Jaffa to eat and swim.
The old city has narrow streets and alley ways full of restaurants and shops. The walking is not easy as Jaffa is not flat and the street beneath your feet change from smooth old stones to cobblestones, changing back and forth for no particular reason. We walked all around and took in the sights and sounds.
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From Jaffa we moved on to Jerusalem for five nights and it’s as if we are in a different country. A city of contrasts from the ancient holy wall and Arab market to the modern hotels, trams, museums and everything in between.
We stayed at a big hotel right by the Mamilla mall which leads directly into and through the Arab market into the old city.
So Jerusalem has everthing you can imagine that is very new and innovative to the oldest of old and every level in between.
Unfortunately for us the hotel, although very nice was a Mecca for the big bus tours from the US and I suppose other places which at times made it seem like a train station.
Most of the staff were outstanding providing us the best service they could, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I can’t identify with families who let their children run around like they own the place, yelling up from the pool to their parents on the balcony of the room ten floors above. Did I let this ruin my trip? NO WAY!
Jerusalem is beautiful the markets are amazing and I had endless fun watching the people buying and selling goods and also watching the religious families with children of all ages trailing behind. The women, Muslim and Jewish with their beautiful head coverings all colors and styles. I wanted to do a photo essay but I was too shy to ask these women for fear of upsetting or insulting them. I got my nerve up a few times and got a couple photographs but could have taken hundreds more pictures.
Jerusalem is also a city of Rabbi’s, so many I lost count. At first I wanted to take pictures of rabbi’s shopping, waiting for a bus, riding a bike or getting money at the bank machine, but then I realized it is just nothing unusual because this where they live just like anyone else anywhere.
The other great thing about Jerusalem and Israel in general is the way people live in the moment. At night the place becomes alive with all people young and old eating and drinking outside in restaurants in the bars and small back streets. Celebrating, laughing and enjoying themselves with friends and family, great food and music all around and it seems like without a care in the world. All this right in the heart of the most contested land on the planet.
Amazing.

Posted by Lauriesam 06:03 Archived in Israel Tagged #history #nightlife #family #greatfood #jerusalem #holycity #livinginthemoment Comments (0)

From Zurich to Jaffa

Like from the South Pole to the South Pacific

sunny 77 °F

The calm of switzerland a distant memory as we deplane and rush to Immigrations. It’s hard to tell if there are separate lines or just one big crowd pushing forward.
Actually the wait to get through immigration control was only about 15 minutes and our bags came off the plane pretty quickly as well. As we depart the airport we grab a taxi and head to Jaffa. Our hotel was a prison at one time and located just above the beach in old Jaffa. We arrive during the Muslim holiday Eid al adha or Hajj. The streets are crowded.
No Dorothy you are not in Kansas (or Switzerland) anymore.
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Again we are two nights in a hotel so we don’t really unpack just grab some clothes and try to get a lay of the land.
We meet up with our family and have drinks at the bar before heading off to Claro for dinner. A fantastic restaurant reminding me of Zahav in Philadelphia but on steroids.
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Great atmosphere and vibe and such delicious food. We zig and zag in the streets as we walk back to the hotel some streets are dirty and some are cleaner, the cafes and hooka bars are open and so are the gelato and pizza shops. I even saw a fried chicken restaurant. Since it was a travel day we turned in early with great anticipation of the days to come.
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Posted by Lauriesam 07:25 Archived in Israel Tagged #family #jaffa #exoticcountry #muslimsandjews #israel #lovetotravel Comments (0)

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