I told you in one of my previous posts that I had been on a trip for ten days and, although I had been on a very similar - not to say exact - trip before, I enjoyed it very much. It was good quality time with friends and we visited some amazing places that I recommend to everyone without a doubt.
I haven't taken many pictures throughout this month but here are some that summarise very well the five weeks I've spent in this beautiful part of the world.
This was taken at the Bahai Gardens in Haifa.
And these are my friends & I at the Western Wall or, as it is called in Hebew, Kotel HaMaaravi. It is the most important place for Judaism since it is the only remaining wall of the Temple Mount.
We also visited these beautiful caves in Rosh Hanikra, right next to the border with Lebanon.
One of the beauties of this country is that you can go to a forest in the north and be in a few hours in the desert, located in the south. The picture shows the whole group, posing right outside the Bedouin tents where we "slept" for a night, before waking up at 3.30am to climb up Masada in order to see the sunrise from the top of the plateau. The view is truly captivating but so is the sunset view from the terrace in my family's apartment.
And above you can find this week's culinary experiment. In Israel - and in most parts of the world where there's a Kosher food store - you can buy frozen malawach. It is basically puff pastry that you can put on a pan with very little oil and cook for a couple of minutes. I usually eat it with grated tomatoes, a little oil and salt but this time I felt like mixing Malawach and Galette and this was the tasty and colourful outcome.
But even better than galawach or whatever I should call my experiment are sufganiot. Jews eat them in Hanuka and they are DELICIOUS. You get all dirty eating them - or at least I do - but it is absolutely worth it. They are so soft and just so fantastic.
There are a million things to do and visit in Israel but if I took pictures of everything I'd have to blog about Israel too many times so I'll just tell you a bit about the Shuk HaCarmel for now. A shuk is a market in Hebrew and there are markets in most cities here but this one feels special to me. It occupies a long street in Tel Aviv, close to the beach, and you can find a wide range of things: from clothes, and souvenirs to perfumes, toiletries, kitchen utensils and food... Pretty much anything, as you can see. It has nothing to do with one of those little French markets I love. This shuk doesn't smell of roses and in August it gets far too hot, as everywhere in the country, but I still like it. Maybe because I like the food they sell or maybe just because I like the contrast between this and other very bohemian and modern parts of Tel Aviv.
Some people love this city (I include myself) and others just can't stand it because it is truly messy and it is very different to what we generally consider 'nice cities' but it does undoubtedly have a charm, something truly special and unique - and I must mention it has a great nightlife. It is half way between the East and the West.
This bread is called Lejem Yerushalmi (Jerusalemite bread, in English). It is soft and you eat it with Za'atar, a very common spice in this part of the world.
Now you can see the handbags behind the fruit. I wasn't lying when I said that you can buy pretty much anything you want here.
And for reasons that I'll explain in future posts, this last picture is a taste I'm leaving you of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.
More posts soon.