Wednesday, 1 July 2015

I Love Jaffa

Last week I had a moderately large birthday and Daughter had her 'Major Operation First Year Anniversary' so we decided to leave the country. We went to Jaffa in Israel. This is the view of the Old Port of Jaffa from the beach:


And this is a view of Jaffa from our hotel balcony:



The Sea:

On the day that the photo on the left was taken, it was exactly a year since Daughter had been lying on the operating table but here she is lying on a lounger on a perfect sandy beach looking out to the Mediterranean. 

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. 

Bliss!



The Food: 

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:



The Shopping:

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.


The Hotel:

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:

Religions Coexisting: 

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.") 



27 comments:

  1. What a treat. I'd like to visit Israel someday. You only heightened my interest. Happy Birthday to you. And I'm happy for your daughter's health. Sounds like an excellent time together, and a good message about the world.

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    1. I would recommend it as an ideal holiday destination, Joanne.

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  2. Oh Ros, I'm so glad you had a lovely time. Jaffa looks beautiful, seems to taste scrumptious, and sounds like an example city. As you say, why can't everyone get on like this? fabulous post!

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    1. Thanks, Val. I'm glad the tastes came across!

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  3. How lovely that the two of you got to spend some quality time together. Wishing you both good health and happiness.

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    1. Thank you, Maria. We could all do with a dose of good health.

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  4. A belated happy birthday, Ros! Aren't daughters and holidays good things!

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    1. Especially together! Thanks Pippa.

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  5. "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."

    Seems I need to visit - cities that manage the multicultural bit without fisticuffs are simply the best!

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    1. You'd love it, Jo, you have to go, really you do!

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  6. It all looks amazing. I'm not sure why no restaurants recognise you. I can think of at least four where I'd be welcomed by name (We went to one on Sunday in Loughborough.) I guess it depends on the restaurants you visit.

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    1. I don't know why either but I've never received that kind of welcome in Leicester,

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    2. Drive over to Loughborough, Visit 108 World Buffet. Ask for Rep, and tell him Anne and Kevin sent you. I PROMISE he'll recognise you every time!

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  7. Yes it was great to catch up on almost half a century of news ( not that we don't stay in contact by email but face to face occasionally is great fun) You should all come here and visit and see the vastly underpublicised coexistence between us all.

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    1. You must be mistaken! I really don't think that either of us are old enough to have half a century of memories to talk about, Ann.

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  8. I am so pleased that you and daughter enjoyed the holiday. The pictures of the food and the suk remind me very much of a holiday I had in Marrakesh. There too various peoples mixed harmoniously. I love cooking Shakshuka as it is one of my favourite meals. However when nearly ready I crack eggs into the thickish stew so as to be coddled. Petra.

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    1. Wow! Have you actually done that 'egg in the skillet' type of cooking, Petra? I've never tried anything like it but I'm definitely going to give it a go.

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  9. Travelling with my daughters is the best things ever! My daughter recently went to Israel and she said the food was so expensive that they survived on hummus and pita bought from the supermarket. It looks as though they missed out on some good food. How did you find the prices in Israel?

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    1. Compared to the UK we found the food very reasonable in Jaffa. Not sure if it's the same in Jerusalem. Maybe we just were lucky with our restaurant choices.

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  10. Hi Ros - that all looks amazing and I'm so pleased your daughter is up and about and running around again - full of the joys of travel, photographer, shopping and good food ... it does look amazing and I'm just wondering if I need to wait til lunchtime! Love that sort of food ...

    How wonderful to find everyone getting along so well, and being so welcoming ... lovely photos - congratulations to you both .. you for the post and daughter for all the extras!!! Welcome back to heat?! Cheers Hilary

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  11. PS - it made me look up on Google Maps where exactly Jaffa is .. and then expand out ... so I could see the region and the boundaries ... I didn't spend long - but I'll be back to check it out ... it's good to be aware of countries etc ... H

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    1. It's very convenient for Ben Gurion airport and the main city of Tel Aviv.

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  12. Looks lovely. So glad Lena able to enjoy life again. Pleased you all had such a good time. Love Karan Xx

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  13. I love Jafa, too. Did you go to the bakery?

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    1. No! We meant to but when we set off to buy stuff the sun was going down and, with it being Ramadan, we couldn't get anywhere near it! Very popular bakery!

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  14. Missed this first time round....lovely pictures and reliving visit ages and ages ago

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