Jaffa and Tel Aviv

Trip Start Nov 10, 2011
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11
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Trip End Dec 03, 2011


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Flag of Israel  , Tel Aviv,
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

11/21/2012 -- As I reread and copy last year's blog into this new blog site, I can't help but think of the people in Israel who are experiencing strife, once again, in their eternal war.  One year ago we were in Israel and never felt unsafe.  Never.  This year, bombs are exploding on some of the same streets we walked along.  My prayers are with the people of the Middle East.  

I will begin with Tel Aviv because our day today was BORING. Tom did not feel well, it was raining, and if we'd known what type of day our guide had planned for us, we would have both stayed behind. Tel Aviv could be a large city anywhere in the world. Cheryl, who is from Miami, said last night as we were walking back to the hotel after dinner, that she thought she would see her house along the way. It is large, noisy, reasonably clean, the roads are well marked (Utah has difficulty striping its roads), the drivers are crazy, but we have yet to see an accident in either Jordan or Israel. The pedestrians in Jordan were crazier than the drivers. 

I haven't looked at today's pictures so I might not send any to Amy. We began with a trip to Jaffa, a port city near Tel Aviv that is believed to be one of the oldest ports in the world. Jaffa is mentioned in the Bible. We saw an Egyptian archaeological site, a church named for St.Peter because he was in Jaffa, a funky & eclectic museum of art, and a permanent flea market. We then traveled back to Tel Aviv -- just a few miles -- to see the market where people shop for anything and everything (we bought an umbrella since we didn't bring one), we were shown Bauhaus architecture that was brought to Palestine from Europe after WWII, and the site where Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated.  Overall, it was not an exciting day. Tomorrow, we go to Caesarea and Nazareth. Woo Hoo! 

This evening we had dinner at a synagogue while a young Ultra-Orthodox Jew told us about their lifestyle. Basically, according to our guide, they study all their lives, don't work, put their wives to work who also have to raise an average of 8 children, and the government subsidizes them. For being a minority, the ultra-Orthodox have a great deal of influence on the Israeli government. It was very interesting and showed us a different element of the confusing conflicts of this country. The ultra-Orthodox do not recognize the Reformed and Conservative Jews, that are most prevalent in the USA, as being Jewish. 

Tom noticed that our room at the Cinema Hotel -- a converted cinema from days gone by -- has a steel door between the bathroom/closet area and the bedroom. It also has a steel cover that can be slid across the windoow. He asked about it and learned our room is one of the designated bomb shelters for the hotel. That means if Israel and Palestine decide to get into it tonight (our last night), we'll be having a party! Too bad we didn't stock up on booze!
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