We woke to the news that our Nationals won the second game of the World Series while we slept! A nice way to start the day.
Another nice way to start the day is with the sumptuous breakfast buffet. Like the Nats, it did not disappoint! The hotel is kosher, so by offering dairy (yoghurt, cream for coffee, butter) we knew there would be no meat. Every baked good I’ve had since we arrived has been mouth watering and the pastries and bread at breakfast did not fall below what I can only assume is some kind of national standard.
Our group met at the civilized hour of 8:30 to begin our tour of some of the highlights of the city. We have a 45 passenger bus, so we can each have a seat to ourselves if we want to spread out. Today’s high was 80 with a soft breeze and full sun.
We explored the side streets of the ancient city of Jaffa, linked to the biblical tales of Jonah and St. Peter, perched on top of a hill overlooking the Mediterranean. With its natural harbor and fertile soil, ancient Jaffa was a strategic prize. It was conquered and reconquered countless times by Canaanites, Phoenicians, the Pharaohs, King David, the Assyrians, Ottoman Turks, and more. It is now a suburb of Tel Aviv. The old parts of town have limestone streets and walks and sandstone buildings. Once in disrepair, it is now a thriving arts community oozing charm.
While in Jaffa we had a private tour of the Ilana Goor Museum. The building, situated on a rise overlooking the water, was built around 1740 and served as the first Jewish hostel in Jaffa for pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. It has been beautifully restored and now displays the funky, unexpected, multidisciplinary creations of Ilana. Her work encompasses sculptures, furniture, lighting fixtures, jewelry, and fashion items. One industrial looking metal light fixture weighed hundreds of pounds. Another light fixture was fashioned out of an African dugout canoe. One installation covered a whole wall and had an old plow integrated into the bottom of it. Another huge creation had balls of metal twine, animal skulls, and a farm implement. Ilana is known worldwide with pictures on display proving her acquaintance with the likes of Elton John, President Clinton, the Dali Llama, and dozens of others. We enjoyed seeing the museum building (where she also lives), loved the views from the terraces and kitchen, appreciated her art collection as well as her work but couldn’t, quite frankly, understand the appeal of some of it.
All that art left us hungry, so off we went to the Sarona Market complex for lunch. Think upscale food court with a couple of cooking stores, flower shops, and beer on tap. Dan and Alan went for chicken schnitzel and Sandy and I braved a savory pastry with cheese and spinach that came with a hot hard boiled egg, olives, hummus, and fresh tomato sauce. Gelato topped it off.
Our drive to the last stop for the day took us past some of the Bauhaus buildings that Tel Aviv is famous for. In fact they have more than any other city in the world. Jewish architects from central and eastern Europe fleeing the Nazi regime brought the Bauhaus design concept to a very young, open minded Tel Aviv in the 1930s.
We ended our day with a tour of the Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center. It chronicles the life, career, accomplishments, and tragic assassination of the late prime minister and the complicated development of the State of Israel after World War II. Mr. Rabin is beloved for his introduction of the idea of peace talks in place of continued conflict. His successful efforts in this regard brought hope to the country. Gabi told us she was at the peace rally where Mr. Rabin was shot and killed.
Tonight’s dinner blew us away. It was served mezze style where dishes were placed on the table for everyone to share. Tuna ceviche was followed by bread, hummus, green salad, pesto pasta, fish, beef, mushroom ravioli, and three kinds of dessert. We were only too happy to take a walk along the sea to encourage aggressive digestion.
… Fun Facts …
The population of Israel is nine million.
Israel is the approximately the size of New Jersey.
The typical down payment for a house or apartment is 25% – 30%.
The unemployment rate is 5.5%.
The inflation rate is 1%.
2 thoughts on “Tel Aviv (October 24, 2019)”
Jaffa sounds cool
Matt Mongeon, PMP, Technical Project Manager II
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Enjoying all of the photos, the comments and your blog. Thank you! 😊