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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 10
Israel, Paris


Carol and David and the ancient wall surrounding Old Jerusalem  
Day 8
Tel Aviv

Slept well. Enjoyed a nice warm leisurely shower.


Today is Memorial Day. Shlomo picked us up at 8:30am and we drove to the University of Tel Aviv where an English woman named Liz gave the three of us a private hour and a half tour of the Museum of the Diaspora.

Carol and Shlomo at the Museum of the Diaspora

After the museum, we were driving in Shlomo’s car when the 11am memorial sirens began to wail and we again stopped the car and stood in the street with all other Israeli’s and for two minutes our heads were bowed in memory of all those who lost their lives in the fight for independence.


Next Shlomo took us into Old Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, where we had lunch at a “traditional” restaurant – 3 differents kinds of hummus, tabila, pita bread and a “secret” green chili sauce.

Lunch in Old Jaffa
David and Shlomo enjoying lunch in Jaffa

Jaffa is an ancient town with mixed flavors of Jewish, Arab, Bedouin, British and other cultures. We walked through the open market and these flavors and influences were quite obvious and alive. Shlomo is quite successful in his position as a director in the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Science. His earliest memories are from the time his family spent living here – Arab and Jews mixed together quite peacefully. He guided us through the poorer part of Jaffa where multiple families share one room. He showed us the schools he attended as a young boy. The blue-green water of the sea contrasts against the brown of the buildings and the sandy hills.


Shlomo showed us where his house once stood. He lived in Jaffa until he was 26. Now Jaffa is almost entirely Arab. Then, to Carol’s delight, Shlomo introduced us to the magic and wonders of discovery at the ancient Jaffa open market.

Shlomo and Carol at the ancient Jaffa market
David purchases a scarf at the ancient Jaffa market

We spent a couple of hours walking around the winding alleyways of Old Jaffa and the old port, where the memory of the Crusaders still lingers. It was wonderful spending time with Shlomo, who is truly a beautiful, warm and generous human being.

Shlomo and Carol on the back streets of Old Jaffa
David in ancient Jaffa
Carol and Shlomo in Jaffa with Tel Aviv in the background
Shlomo, Carol and David in Jaffa with Tel Aviv behind us
Comfortable cat in Old Jaffa

At 3pm Shlomo dropped us off at the hotel and Carol and I both fell into bed and took long, much-needed naps.


At 6pm we had a delicious dinner at the restaurant on the street level of the hotel. Onion soup, fettucine, spinach raviolis and chardonnay. Then Carmi and Meira met us at the hotel at 8pm and we all walked several blocks to Rabin Park for the Independence Day Eve celebration happening there tonight. Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at the municipal building that marks the north edge of the park. We sat and sipped beer until 10:30pm when the activities began – much singing and dancing culminated by an incredible fireworks and laser light display.

Decorations for the Independence Day celebration
Meira at the spot in Rabin Park where Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated
Memorial to Yitzhak Rabin
Meira, Carmi and David at Rabin Park for the Indpendence Day celebration
Carol and Meira at Rabin Park for the Indpendence Day celebration

Meira’s brother Yossi and his 13-year-old son came by our table and we visited for a while until they had to go home.

Meira's brother Yossi, Meira and Yossi's son at the Rabin Park Indepence Day celebration
Fireworks over Rabin Park for the 60th Independence Day celebration

At midnight, we walked back to the hotel, stopping along the way for delicious ice cream. We said goodbye to our dear friends and bid them Lilah Tov and then crawled up the two flights of stairs and fell into a deep sleep.


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