Saturday, May 31, 2008

Shabbat.
As you may know, Jerusalem is pretty well shut down on the Sabbath [Shabbat]. Cousin Jacky and I took a few walks around our neighborhood, but stayed close to home.

We did have a wonderful breakfast, however!
Our buffet table.


House 57 guests
at breakfast.





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Friday, May 30, 2008

7:30AM - House 57.
This morning everything at Gershon's apartment was packed up. Food, clothes...the whole works! Out on the street it only took a few minutes to hail a taxi to take me House 57. This is to be my new home for the next 20 days.

House 57 is in the Ramat Eshkol neighborhood in northwest Jerusalem. Most of the homes around House 57 are individual homes vs apartment or town homes found in much of the rest of Jerusalem. House 57 is actually the address on Sinai Street [Sinai=Midbar in Hebrew].

Breakfast.
This is a Bed and Breakfast place. When I arrived this morning, breakfast was being setup. Different breads, hard boiled eggs, cut up tomatoes and cucumbers. Jams, cream cheese, orange juice, coffee, yogurt. A ton of stuff.

Nobody goes off hungry from breakfast from House 57!

Internet connection.
There is a wireless internet connection in the patio of House 57. I will be making my blog posts in this patio. It is a very lovely place with trees and plants all around. The patio is also the place where breakfast is served.
Ms. Viola and George
at House 57.


3PM - Heading for the airport.
Although Cousin Jacky's airplane does not arrive until 8PM, I am heading for the airport really early. Today is the beginning of the Sabbath, and there is no transportation except taxis later in the day. So, I took an Egged bus to the airport.

It was a cost thing. The taxis cost $60US one-way. And the bus cost only $7US.

At the airport.
I found the Ben Gurion Airport very interesting. Especially the people that I met there, as you may see in the pic below.
Me and former Prime Minister
of Israel David Ben Gurion.



Cousin Jacky arriving
without her luggage!


Hopefully, Jacky's lost suitcase will be delivered to where we are staying in Jerusalem on Sunday. Jacky is very fortunate to be experienced enough to have brought along a change of clothing in her carry-on bag!





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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Last Day at Gershon's apartment.
Today is my last full day living at Gershon's apartment in the neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem! So, Little Mavicito decided to make a video commemorating our stay here. Something for us to look back on for our memories!

My Herzl Boulevard apartment is in the center of things. Buses run along Herzl Boulevard making transportation soooooo easy. The Central Bus Station is only minutes away.

As the first month in Jerusalem closes for me, I feel that I've accomplished my goal of experiencing Jewish life here in the capitol of Israel. Riding the buses all over Jerusalem, talking with people who live here. Visiting the Old City. Praying at the Western Wall of the Temple. Watching people at Mehane Yehuda Market, while eating pistachio nuts.

And the best thing, is that I've made a wonderful friend here in Jerusalem. Shimon Z'evi is a fabulous photographer. I bet that you would like to look at his photo website! [Link]

What a great time!


Last Day at Gershon's






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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Village of Lifta.
On Monday we walked to an overlook of the Village of Lifta and Little Mavicito took some pics. Several readers were curious to know more about why Lifta appeared abandoned. This morning, my friend Shimon and I drove into the canyon containing Lifta to explore.

We found that nearly all of the homes in the canyon are not occupied. The dirt road which descends into Lifta is much too steep for myself or Shimon. So, we took pics from the upper part of the canyon.

After Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, a war on Israel was declared by Arab countries surrounding Israel. During the war, Arab residents of the Village of Lifta were displaced, never to return.
View of Lifta from head of the canyon.


Closeup view of a few abandoned
homes in Village of Lifta.


Beit Shemesh.
West along Highway #1, is Beit Shemesh, a city whose roots go back 3,000 years. Shimon was thinking of showing me another place in this area. However, fate took us in hand and led us to the center of Beit Shemesh.

We spent a few hours of enjoyment sharing the afternoon together. You know something? The miracle of friendship does not come along everyday. And when it does come along, it may be best to just enjoy every single second!
George & Shimon in Beit Shemesh.





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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yemin Moshe.
This morning I have a date with my friend Shimon Z'evi who is picking me up at the bus stop near my apartment. We are going to visit, Yemin Moshe, one of the oldest communities in Jerusalem.

As you may see from the pic below, Yemin Moshe is a well to do place.



A fountain in Yemin Moshe.


Overlook of the Old City.
Shimon and I sat for a long while talking inside Yamin Moshe. We found a place with a gorgeous overlook of the Old City. Wow!

View of Old City from Yamin Moshe.


Ein Kerem.

During the early afternoon, we drove to the Jerusalem community of Ein Kerem to drink beer. Shimon explained that Ein Kerem means "eye" or "center" of the vineyard. Those vineyards are long gone.

We found a restaurant that Shimon has known about for a long time. We ordered our beer, and then decided to have pizza! I learned that pizza in the USA is different than pizza in Jerusalem. Here it is all veggies and cheese, no meats.






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Monday, May 26, 2008

Questions from readers.
Since I began to search for adventure in Israel, the most asked question from readers has been, "Do you miss MsTioga?" Let me answer that question with a story about what happened today.


Walking around in northwest Jerusalem.
This morning Little Mavicito and I went walking in northwest Jerusalem. This is where Highway #1 heads towards Tel Aviv. We came to an overlook view of a deep valley. Immediately below we see what appears to be a deserted village.

Looking down in that village, I see a ton of places where I could drive MsTioga and make a Camp. MsTioga and I would be able to Camp there all day, and even all nite.

But without MsTioga, I am only able to walk around.
Ton of Camps would be possible
in deserted village of Jerusalem.





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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Malha Train Station.
This morning we are taking the Egged bus to the Malha Train Station in the southern part of Jerusalem. My Cousin Jacky is flying to Israel this coming Thursday. I want to find out if taking the train to Ben Gurion airport is possible.

We take the #17 bus to Malha, which lets us off about 1/2km from the train station. As we are walking, we pass Teddy Stadium where we believe a championship football match was just played.
Teddy Stadium


Malha-Jerusalem Train Station.


Inside, the train station sort of looks like BART [Bay Area Rapid Transit] in California.
Entrance to trains.

We find out that the train goes to Tel Aviv, but not to the Ben Gurion Airport where Cousin Jacky will be arriving. So, we will be taking a bus/taxi to the airport on Thursday.


Jerusalem Mall.
We catch the #18 bus to the nearby Jerusalem/Malha Mall. After looking around in the Office Depot, it seems time to eat lunch. There is a food court here. Little Mavicito captured a pic of Burger King's menu board.

Do you see #1 on the menu board? That's a regular Whopper combo. With the dollar valued today at 30 centsUS = 1 Israeli shekel, that Whopper costs $10.77US! Wow! What a whopper!
Burger King menu.





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