I’ve posted about the Mahane Yehuda Market here, and a bit of research indicates that a project ‘Tabula Rasa’ (Blank Slate) was begin in 2011, and all the artwork on show is the brainchild of street artise Itamar Paloge who co-opted a number of other artists to decorate the market. It’s a joint venture between this project and the merchants of the market and makes the market far more than just a place to buy food.
Our memory of Jerusalem (while not complete by any means) was that there are three distinct experiences to be had – the Old City (of course) and the nearby newer, trendy area Mamila precinct, or the urban area away from both of the other two.
We experienced the urban area both during the day and night time. During the day, it’s hot and things are a bit sleepy and quiet, but as the day draws to a close, people arrive from work to get the supplies and provisions they need. Clothing stores seem to do a roaring trade and fashion, jewellery and other boutique-type stores stay open until late. It’s a very chilled vibe around this area with most people just going about their lives. The trams runs our a strict schedule, and it always seems to be full of people doing hustle and bustle things.
We were focused on food and photography. And we enjoyed both immensely. Luckily, we brought back some lovely teas and more than enough photographs.
Mahane Yehuda Market is one of those places that if you stand in one place long enough, you’ll see the town pass by. At least, while you’re standing there, I’m pretty certain you won’t go hungry or thirsty. Fruit, nuts, hummus, halva, freshly squeezed juice, coffee and cheese will keep you satisfied.
It’s also known as ‘The Shuk’, and while not very large, there’s a lot crammed in there. It’s covered, so even in the heat of the day, it’s shady coolness is inviting. The roller doors of each of the stores are graffiti’d with the most amazing murals. Often, the mural will depict what the store sells; the roller door with a main fishing will be the fish shop. Naturally, if you’re looking at the mural, the store will be closed, and while it’s open, you can see what they’re selling. Even the trash bins are decorated. It’s a sight to behold and quite a lovely one.
I think it’s safe to say that we’re addicted to travel. The only issue with this addiction is that it’s pretty pricey, so often the main aim is to minimise the costs while still getting an experience that isn’t limited. An example would be to choose cheaper accommodation, but far out of town. This will mean that extra time, effort and expense will be spent on getting to where you want to be. And back again.
So one of the options we’ve discovered is renting an apartment for a short period. There are countless services offering these, most notably, AirBnB. We chose AirBnB for Jerusalem, and we weren’t disappointed. It was great. The searching on AirBnB gives you a chance to read reviews, look at images of the place and even see where it is on a map. Coupled with Google Maps and Streetview, you can be pretty confident of what you’re booking will meet your needs. That’s not to say that you WON’T ever be surprised, but it certainly reduces the risk. In the case of Jerusalem, we WERE surprised. in a good way. It was a great stay. It even had a Nespresso machine.
And we see one of the perks of getting our own place as having to go shopping for groceries. Rented apartments almost always have a kitchen, pots and cooking utensils. So in Jerusalem, to make these work, we headed off to Mahane Yehuda Market to get stuff.
We we lucky to have an awesome sunset on our last night in Tel Aviv. The clouds were motionless in the sky, but that was all that wasn’t moving. Everything else was. I managed to get a really nice sunset image that will be a lasting memory for us. I hope you like it.
It’s been a few days since we got back, and while bags have been unpacked, image backups have been made and credit cards paid, Israel is still a strong memory. It was such a short trip, yet has had a profound impact on us. Probably because it was so relaxing!
When Cris went earlier this year, she told me about the vibrant nightlife along the beachfront in Tel Aviv. I thought I had an idea what to expect, but I was wrong. During the day, it’s quite chilled and a bit sleepy even, like because of the heat. At night though, the place comes alive. And not just for for a few hours around sunset. We’re talking LATE into the night. Seeing someone set off on their daily jog at 10pm is not unexpected. Kids and dogs. Roller blades and bicycles. You really have to keep your wits to not get run over by someone or something.
Restaurants absolutely thrive in this place. The one we managed to find a table at after a mercifully brief wait turned over patrons at a rate of knots. We were spared though and had a peaceful seafood meal.
A while back, I posted a sunset view of Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak Drive on the even of the Cape Town Cycle tour (read about it here).
Today was different – I actually cycled the route for a bit an early evening workout. This was the view that greeted me from the lookout point at the top.
It was my first ride in two weeks, having been away in Israel in-between. Between the break, the wind and the hills, I certainly felt pretty sluggish.
It’d been raining on and off for the past 24 hours, and the wind was brisk. My fingers were cold and I was thankful for the neck buff I’d brought along. Normally I take photographs on my rides with my cell phone. This does a decent job, but today I grabbed my little point and shoot. I was very glad I did. It takes fantastic images, given it’s small size and light weight.
Today is our last day in Jerusalem. We’re off back home tomorrow. It’s been a good time and we kipped the Dead Sea trip in favour of a spa massage. This was a fantastic idea. But then spa treatments are always good.
A few last dashes around for shopping and we had the rest of the time to just amble about. So we decided to walk around the Old City. By walk around, I mean *WALK AROUND*. All the way past New Gate, Damascus Gate, Golden Gate around below Dome of the Rock with the purpose of viewing the Mount of Olives as the sun was setting on it. Top tip for Jerusalem travellers: DO THIS – it’s great. The view across the valley over Garden of Gethsemane, Church of Mary Magdalene (it’s Russian, so has onion domes. In gold!).
The sunset was great, the walk was good and we were looking of over the City of David when the call to prayer rang out from the mosques around the valley. It was pretty surreal and a moment we won’t forget in a hurry. If ever.
We made it back for a last slap-up binge in town with a walk THROUGH the Old City. We’ve had a lot of fun.
- Aperture: ƒ/4.5 Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Focal length: 42mm ISO: 6400 Shutter speed: 1/30s
The main upside to doing a short-term apartment rental when on holiday – you get to experience a city like a local. From just getting out and about to getting groceries, it’s jsut so different from staying in a hotel.
So, the first thing we had to do when arriving in Jerusalem was to hit the stores for something to eat and drink. We tried a local supermarket, but it wasn’t working for us, so a few inquiries had us on our way, and we found an astonishing indoor market selling all kinds of things we felt like eating. Halva, dates, cheese, pastries and sweets all looked so tempting. We settled for cheese and dates, and we’re glad we did. But, it’s a place that locals go to for their daily shop, with many coming after a day’s work to get stuff for dinner. A good cup of coffee, and we were on our way back home.
- Aperture: ƒ/3.8 Camera: Canon PowerShot SX610 HS Focal length: 4.5mm ISO: 400 Shutter speed: 1/30s
We’ve not used AirBnB before, and if our experience in Jerusalem is their standard offering, we’ll definitely be using them again. Wow! is all we can say. Really topnotch stuff from start to finish. It also helps that we picked a fantastic location – just a short walk from the New Gate into Jerusalem’s Old City.
After settling in, we did the requisite grocery shopping. With a twist… We managed to find the most amazing market where we got cheese, baklava, dates, more cheese and granola. The granola looks to be enough for our stay, but may not last the night at this rate. The stuff is delicious!! Our apartment is a duplex, and the stairs are pretty steep, and after this evening’s marathon walk on the cobbles of the Old City, we may need more than a few espressos to get up to bed.
The image I’ve included this evening was a ‘grab shot’ as I saw a Hasidic couple walking towards me out of the light into a darkened street. They’re just a silhouette, but it epitomises the old City at night. I love the glare coming off the shiny cobbles of the street surface. The contrast between this evening and daytime two days ago is strangely creepy – at lunchtime, you can’t move, and you can’t be heard over the din. At night, there’s no one about, and it’s eerily quiet. It’s really quite an experience.
- Aperture: ƒ/2.8 Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III Focal length: 50mm ISO: 3200 Shutter speed: 1/30s