Saturday, April 28, 2018

2018 Eastern Mediterranean Trip - Day Three, Old Jaffa Tour

One day of acclimation and it is off to serious business of being travelers. So let's start with a 3 hour tour of Old Jaffa...except when we added in the 45 minute walk to get to the tour and the 45 minute walk back and the fact the guide was 3 and a half hours and still going when we realized we needed to get back meant that it was 5 hours on our feet. I am SO GLAD that Wife and I continue to recognize the need to cut back and act our age.

Our guide was Albert. He was born in Algeria, moved to France and then moved to Israel. He used to work in high tech before he became a guide. He was very historically oriented which suited me fine. I will give you the very short version.
  • Hebrews come into the land of Canaan. Joseph moves everyone to Egypt. Doesn't turn out well. Pharaoh builds a 'big, beautiful wall' and Moses has to take them back to Israel
  • Jaffa mentioned in Egyptian chronicles of Ramses II and his wars with the Hittites
  • The Prophet Jonah goes to Jaffa to catch a boat and get very far away from God because he doesn't want to fulfill God's commandment and go to Nineveh and tell the all-powerful, very cruel Assyrians they are up shit's creek in God's eyes. Large fish (mistranslated to 'whale' let's Jonah know 'getting away from God' not so easy
  • Simon/Peter is told he 'Will be the Rock' on which the church will be built. He's not convinced. Goes to Jaffa to get away...notice a pattern here...Local folks tell him someone is dead and can help -really! - but through God's will she is risen and he now believes
  • Richard the Lion-hearted and Saladin have big ole fight outside Jaffa. Richard wins battle. Loses the war. Jerusalem stays in Muslim hands
  • Mamalukes decide that these Crusades are a big bother. Negotiate with Pope to give Christians access to holy sites. Franciscans chosen to be the gate keepers
  • During 20th century Jaffa is caught in a number of situations with Ottomans, British, Palestinians and Jewish settlers that leave it the worse for wear
  • 21st century and suddenly Jaffa become 'hip'. Many art galleries ensue and gentrification
After the tour it was 12:30 and we needed to get some lunch and get back to the rental because Daughter # 3 and family were flying in and joining us. Somehow we couldn't find a place until we were almost back to the rental. It was a local hole but the food was great. The kids arrived and the usual enjoyment of family ensued. #3 wanted to cook dinner so she and family went out and did shopping which was great as Wife and I needed to collapse and nap. Enjoyable evening followed.


Arrival of respectful Daughter #3 and her 3A

Station for washing feet and hands before entering mosque
The combination of the three main faiths is quite visible

Going along the coast and seeing some Ottoman era architecture

Home of Simon the Tanner where Peter's resurrection took place

Wandering through the old town

Examples of modern art in Jaffa

Views of Modern Tel Aviv

History everywhere
A building where the foundation of Israel's largest bank took place

The church where the Franciscans set up their base 

Clock Tower from the Early 20th century when the last Ottoman Sultan insisted each town have a clock so they could start to take time (time precision was not an aspect of that culture)

Examples of Pre-fab houses from Maine
A group in the mid 1800's that set up a colony to 'make things better so the Jews could return'

General street scene and cool tree that looks like it should be in Southeast Asia

Hummus, a couple of salads and kebabs of chicken and kibbeh (ground meat). Quite yummy. $27

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