I eat lots of hummus
Trip Start Feb 19, 2012
24Trip End Apr 01, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Since I wrote last, I did some more exploring in Tel Aviv, including checking out Neveh Tzedek, one of the original and oldest neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, back when it was a small cluster of homes outside the city of Jaffa. The streets here are very different -- they are barely narrow enough for cars, and the neighborhood has become this cutesy little oasis. I went by a private French middle school in the neighborhood, where the French, EU, and Israeli flags were flying at half mast... I presume this is about the horrible shootings that happened recently in Toulouse. They were quite a big deal on the news here, to the point that even I who am not watching nor understanding the news understood that
I dealt with the lost and found desk at the Savidor Train Station in Tel Aviv for an hour or so in the morning before coming to Jerusalem, trying to get the documentation I need to file with my travel insurance... wooottt... then I got a lunch at an Italian cafe on Dizengoff before taking the bus to Jerusalem. The buses couldn't be easier here -- 18 NIS (about $5) and 1 hour travel time, and you get from the heart of Tel Aviv to the heart of Jerusalem, with wireless internet on the bus to boot.
In Jerusalem, the biggest tourist attraction I tackled was the Israel Museum. What a behemoth it was, I did the whole thing in one day, and it's an enormous museum with a very eclectic variety of holdings. There are different wings, so that included Archaeology, Jewish Life (basically an anthropological museum on world Jewry, including transported intact synagogue interiors from Venice and India), Art (modern and not modern, Israeli and not Israeli), and then a new exhibit area that had primarily photography and video. And then there is the pride of the museum, the Shrine of the Book, which houses the fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest existing Hebrew manuscripts. Before they were found, the oldest ones known were from about a thousand years later in history, so the Dead Sea Scrolls are very important
But this is a museum that has the Dead Sea Scrolls, Monet paintings, and modern art installations. Quite a lot to see, and it was a marathon that took me probably 5 hours (and a lot of passing pretty quickly through stuff I find boring but will not name since I have some readers who probably would have gone apeshit for those parts of the museum...). It was a pretty incredible museum, and outside there is also a 1:50 scale model of Jerusalem as of about 60CE, I think?
This morning, I started the day at an Arab hummus restaurant with hummus ful, which is hummus topped with fava bean paste and a bunch of olive oil, served with pickles, raw onions, crispy falafel, pita, and a bowl of very spicy hot sauce. It was very good, my host Amit took me there, and I would never have known to go to it! Just a nondescript food shop with no sign in English, and hummus as good as any I've ever had. I learned that hummus is a morning food -- if you get hummus at an Arab shop/restaurant, it'll be best if you get it before noon because it's all made in the morning and intended to be eaten then (but I'm sure the very central and touristed places like Abu Shukri are marking it all day).
Fortified with hummus, I set out to find a matzah cover for my mom, which took about 2 hours to find one that was neither ugly nor garishly colored