My first week has been a whirlwind. Since I got off the plane I have hardly had a chance to sit down and write. Tis is probably a good thing as I flew 21 hours to get here and it would seem like a waste of time sitting and writing when I could be out and about. However, I am in-between activities and I thought I would take some time to share one experience with you.
As soon as I landed I was met by family and instead of collapsing and craving bed, I suggested we go out for an early dinner. Cafe Neto is a chain of cafes here in Israel where the coffee is above average and the food is plentiful. My first tip for you is when you order eggs in Israel, you don’t just get a serve of eggs on toast. No sir, you get a loaf of bread, yes a loaf, and Israeli style salad which consists of finelychopped vegetables with a very mild dressing. but wait there’s more! You are also served an array of cheeses and dips. The serves are never ending and I, Tully, a unable to finish her breakfast. Unbelievable I know. So, if you’re a light eater I suggest you share the meal with someone or eat it all and skip lunch.
But this isn’t the point of my post. A few days after my arrival, our family friends took us on a drive to Jerusalem which is south of Tel Aviv. Fifteen kilometers from Tel Aviv, along the way to Jerusalem, our friends took a detour to show us a moshav called Bnei Atarot, meaning Sons of Atarot. Firstly, a moshav is, according to Wikipedia, is:
“a type of Israeli town or settlement, in particular a type of cooperative agricultural community of individual farms.”
In the late eighteenth century a group of German Christians established a community so that they could carry out their holy work within the Holy Land in order to be closer to God. During World War 2 they were sent to Australia. Later the area they had built was turned into a moshav. When we went there it was pretty quiet because it was the Sabbath but the idea of it interests me where everybody knows each other and a few streets of houses aren’t just filled with strangers.
Anyway, we went on to Ein Karem which is a town within Jerusalem and means Spring of the Vineyard. It’s a very pretty green area and attracts 3 million people a year. We stopped there for a quick lunch at Karma where the only way in is by climbing up a flight of stairs. Thankfully we had left Scarlet (my walking frame) in the car. The food there wasn’t memorable except for their pizza oven baked bread.
Our family friend then drove us around the outskirts of the Old City where Jews and Arabs live “side-by-side”. The Jewish side was extremely quiet as it was the Sabbath whilst the Arabs were out and about doing their every day activities. This contrast was noticeable as our tour guide led us to different view points overlooking Jerusalem.
Our day was long and of course tiring for me but I was so thankful of our friends who had shown me the beauty of Jerusalem and shared it’s history with me.