And this is a view of Jaffa from our hotel balcony:
We had walked along the front from Jaffa to Tel Aviv.
We had been into the sea.
I had been knocked under the waves.
We were soaking up the warmth.
The food was amazing. My favourite places to eat were:
Top Choice: Restaurant Ifrah where they filled our table with 'free' food - well, food we hadn't ordered but it was so delicious we ate it anyway. There were pots of humus and salads and freshly baked pitta breads, and after the meal plates of baclava and bowls of melon so sweet they tasted as if they had been infused with honey. On our last evening we strolled past the restaurant and the owner shook us by the hand and wished us a safe journey home. I know of no place in Leicester where they would even recognise me and I've lived here for... well... for all my life.
Second Top Choice: Dr Shakshuka. I am now in love with shakshuka. It's served in a skillet and has a tomato, onion and garlic base with two fried eggs broken into it. It makes my mouth water just looking at this photo:
I had my first go at bartering. It's a good job that Daughter was with me or I'd have paid way over the odds for things.
I would recommend The Market House Hotel, Jaffa, to anyone wanting to visit the area. The staff were friendly and helpful, everywhere was clean and the food was... sorry to be repetitive... the food was amazing! Here is just one of the two heavily laden breakfast tables. I love Israeli breakfasts:
But even more important than food is this, my final point:
My abiding memory of Jaffa will be of the many religions living and working side by side and the feeling of being safe and welcomed. At one point we were walking along the sea front to the sound from the minarets calling Muslims to prayer, the sight of a Jewish wedding taking place under a chupah on the hill overlooking the port and a procession of Armenian Christians (I think they were Armenian Christians) walking with lanterns in their hands. Why can't the whole world get on together like that?
It was lovely to return to Israel. It was especially lovely to meet up with my friend Ann who you can visit on her blog, Anne Goldberg Writing. And yes, in spite of my wailings about the fear of flying, I rather suspect that I will be back.
(Most of the above photos were taken by Daughter. She is so much better at holidays than I am. She knew about the best places to eat and to shop and even which beach to go for a swim. She is also better at photography. And so to my lovely daughter I say, "Thanks for looking after us. Just like the food, you are amazing.")