13.09.2008 -17 °C
In looking at the map we received from the hotel, I became aware that there was a free tour of Jaffe and some of Tel Aviv. After the concierge phoned to book a tour for us, I was informed that we had 20 minutes before the tour van arrived. I really wanted to hook up with Joni, the organizer of our bicycle trip, before we left that morning. Yes, we are actually going on the bicycle trip! I quickly walked over to the nearby hotel where they were assembling the bikes, met Joni, and rushed back to get Rick to go on the tour. This was all done in 20 minutes.
The tour was excellent. We had an opportunity to walk through history. Jaffe dates back 4000 years.
As we walked through the streets we saw artist's studios in buidlings that were build thousands of years ago.
Jaffa was originally a walled city.Now, inside the walls is an artists area. We saw the amazing work of Frank Meisler who creates scupture from silver and each piece has at least one moveable part. From there see talked about the history and the progress of invasions through the centuries.
Jaffa is known for "Jaffa oranges". Actually, oranges are not grown in the area, but they were all shipped from the port. This orange tree was originally planted as a seeding in the hanging pot. Now that it has grown, the roots are cracking the pot
Following this we walked through the extensive craft market. It was fascinating to see the variety of crafts. Much more creative than the crafts Susan and I tried to sell many years ago.
The crafts were actually on Allenby Street, a street closed off to cars, and open only for vendors. It's a block away from the Carmel market.
There are musical ensembles, religious crafts and ordinary ones.
In the evening we went for a dinner for Beit Halocheim. It was great to meet the cyclists and some of the people going on the mission. There are 17 people from North America doing the ride and another 18 veterans from Beit Halocheim. Of the group only 3 of us are female - it will be interesting to see what the dynamics will be.
The next day we realized that the bus would not be leaving until 8:30 p.m. for the start of our ride at Nahariym. This meant we had one additional day in Tel Aviv that we hadn't counted on. This is not a bad thing considering we will be riding for 100 km a day for the next 5 days without much riding for the last two weeks.
In the morning we decided to walk to Jaffe to enjoy the walk along the see and to see this beautiful old city again. We were able to go to a small museum to learn some of the history and see some of the excavations they had done in Jaffe. From there we went to a restaurant where we sat on couches and ate our lunch watching the sea. It doesn't get much better than this!
Then a few hours on the beach and our drive to the beginning of our ride.