The occasion of Andrew’s cousin visiting him here gave me a chance to play the part of a tourist.  We rented a car and made use of it to get around over shabbat.  Last Friday we went to Yafo (Jaffa) to see the arab market there.  We were late in getting there, however, so many of the stalls were closed.  All in all, I didn’t find it that impressive, especially in comparison with the souks of Morocco.  Raquel, Andrew’s cousin, haggled with shopkeepers over the price of a dress.  She did some other shopping too, as I stood by and watched men smoking in cafes over their small glasses of coffee.  There were throngs of tourists mixed in among the crowd there.  It was the first time I’ve heard a mixture of languages instead of just Hebrew.  

Raquel picked up a crepe filled with nutella.  It became a rather messy affair as she worked her way through it.  I grabbed a small pizza-like bread from a popular bakery.  It had a cheese like feta over spinach and zatar.  After wandering around for a bit and shopping, we walked up th hill to see the view of the Tel Aviv beach and skyline.

The next day we went up North to Mikhmoret again.  It’s become a shabbat tradition.  We went to Avnar’s parents’ place for a BBQ.  As usual, the food was delicious and plentiful.  Afterwards we went to the ruins at Caesaria, which are nearby.  Avnar, who works for the Israeli Antiquities Authority, was an excellent tour guide.  He explained the defensive features of the crusader-built main gate, the special cement that allowed the Romans to build an artificial port and the luxuriousness of the palace Herod (hint: it rhymes with “swimming tool”).  Andrew, Avnar and I threw the disk around on the grassy area in the middle of the complex.  We were joined by an Israeli for a while before we gave it up.   In the musuem there, we got to ask questions to holograms of King Herod and Hannah Shonesh.  I had no idea about the fascinating story of Hannah Shonesh, which is well-known in Israel. (read the wikipedia article for the details)  

After Caesaria, we went to Banana beach and had a beer while watching the sunset.  Then, we went back to Avnar’s house and had dinner before taking off for Tel Aviv once again. 

On Sunday, Raquel went up to Tsfat to find the grave of her grandfather.  Andrew and I stayed behind on the boat.  I can’t say that we really got anything done on the boat that day.    Raquel was successful in finding the rabbi who lead her right to the gravesite.

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