The sun is about to set on a hot day in Tel Aviv. A quiet day. I spent the morning at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, which is full of many wonderful treasures ~ Chagall, Miro, Calder, Rothko, Monet, Renoir ~ many of which are rarely seen outside of Israel. After drinking my fill of the art and cool air of the museum, I headed to Jaffa for lunch. The port of Jaffa is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) ports in the world, and is supposedly where Jonah set out from before being swallowed by the whale. In more recent history, it has played host to Christian and Jewish pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, and to Napoléon during his campaign of 1799. Traditionally an Arab town, Jews and Arabs lived there peacefully until the 1920s when discord prompted the Jews to establish Tel Aviv to the north. During the 20th century the city fell into disrepair, but the old section has recently been brought back to life and restored. Today the streets were nearly deserted, and the many art galleries and cafés closed in observance of the sabbath. I did find a lovely café perched high above the port with the most gorgeous view of the Mediterranean ~ turquoise blue water as far as the eye could see. Lunch was tomato salad with fresh bread and herb butter, and a glass of lemonade infused with mint ~ so refreshing! After lunch I wandered through the old streets ~ charmed by window boxes full of jasmine and roses, shutters painted the brightest blue, and old carved wooden doors (photos to follow, I promise!).
I am off to Jerusalem in the morning. So, for now, shabbat shalom.