Day 2 So today was the day we went to Yam Melech, Salt Sea or you might call it the Dead Sea. The bus ride was fabulous and I even grabbed a few snap shots of my beloved Masada from the bus window as we went by.
Alas, this year I did not get to see any Gamalim (camels) en route. But I did get to see goats being herded. Not for the tourists, but for a living.
But NOT Camels!
I should take that back. We did get to see two gamalim. When the bus took a 15 minute rest stop on the way a couple of Arabs had a couple of camels saddled up over at the side. They would allow tourists to ride the camels. And no, I didn’t. Once we got to the Dead Sea the first order of business was to find Cafe Cafe. We NEEDED coffee. You understand of course, right? Well, and a bathroom. With the most pressing items on the list taken care of we headed down to the beach. We walked around until we found a shelter with some empty space and ask the young girl there if we could sit there. There were 4 other people coming, but we left room and it worked out great. The rest of the day was spent taking turns going and floating on the water and guarding our stuff.
The Salt Sea, as you can see, not dead.
Lunch was fabulous, Deb had packed us a good lunch. After each dip in the sea you could go rinse off in fresh water showers. There were things that were different than any other body of water. Don’t rush into it, like you see people running into the ocean, because you don’t want to fall. The buoyancy can float your feet up. Having your head under salt water is bad. But the floating is awesome! I floated on my back a lot, I liked looking at my cheerful orange toenails pop up out of the water. You can also float vertically, you don’t need to paddle or anything. You just let go, of everything and float. It’s also an excellent place to just let go and pray. I also spent some time reading my book while Deb took her turn in the water. About 1630 we changed and headed to Cafe Cafe for dinner. Huge, fabulous salads! With cafe ha fouk after. Then we went and hung out at the bus stop and caught the bus for Beer Sheva so we could pick up the train to Tel Aviv. While we were on the bus we went by the apartment where we lived last year. I got to see my beloved Etz Tamar (palm tree). The train ride back to Tel Aviv was quiet, we got back around 2212 and then we grabbed a bus back to the apartment. Got home, showered & shampoo and no more salt crust. A cup of coffee, some roof time and a prayer of thanks. Bed time.
Night Sky in Tel Aviv
Day 1–Yafo, the Hagana and Etzal Museums It turns out that June 1st is a very appropriate day to visit the Hagana and Etzal museums and originally the Irgun was to have been disbanded on June 1st. The first item on the day’s menu though (literally) was breakfast. Which we enjoyed at Benedict’s. It’s won the best breakfast in Tel Aviv for 5 years running. Not only does the food look beautiful, it tastes beautiful! The eggs Florentine were fantastic, as was the salad, breads and the Cafe. Ha Fouk required two cups. Just to be sure it was as wonderful as it seemed. It was.
From there we just walked a few buildings up to the Hagana Museum. This is an awesome museum! As it turns out, they have a monthly pass deal which we bought! It covers not only the Hagana museum but the Etzal museum and if I need to go back to double check something? No problem! We were met outside the Hagana museum by the very pleasant security man. I liked. Him despite the fact he wouldn’t let me have the ginger tabby that was hanging around outside the museum. It reminded me so much of Macabee. He said no doubt the cat would love to go with me, but it was the museum’s cat. The first floor of the building had the part that originally been the Hagana commanders home set up as it had been at the time. I loved looking at the furniture, the wallpaper and ceilings, all of it was intact as it had been. The museum was wonderful, and I felt like I learned alot! The next stop for the day was the Etzal museum by Yafo, and it was at that point I realized that Sheila in Israel without a writing pad was never going to work well. Lucky for me that Deb had a small notebook in her purse and I cabagged a couple pages for notes. Memo to self, acquire steno pad STAT!!! From there we had a very pleasant walk up the beach of the Medeterrainian to Yafo. Have I mentioned I adore Yafo? I adore Yafo!!!! We prowled the old streets of Yafo, did some shopping and then had dinner at Dr Shakshuka’s. Have I mentioned I adore Dr. Shakshuka’s? I do. The very nice waiter treated us to dessert with our kafe after dinner.
And, the age old question of potatoes in shakshuka or no? YES!
Potatoes clearly belong in shakshuka
From there we kind of wandered around trying to find a bus home. We finally ended up walking home to Tel Aviv. It was a beautiful night for a walk, and it gave me a chance to get a photo of this tower. If you want the story behind that, you can read about it when I get it up for The Zelman Partisans. All in all? A fabulous first day back!