|More from the big trip
||[Jul. 10th, 2014|10:51 am]
So I'm home now but I'm still writing up the trip in short entries so this won't be the last one.|
So more information on Jaffa. We got a late start because the rest of the family wanted to go to some fancy pool to swim laps in Tel Aviv. Kevin and I just slept in because we were pretty exhausted. In Jaffa we started at a little flea market where we could pick up some sunglasses since Kevin forgot his and my extremely cheap ones broke. They're pretty important somewhere as sunny as Israel.
Then we went on to a little jewelry shop that is notable because a few years ago they tried to renovate and found a bunch of stuff buried under the space. They wound up just building a little basement museum dedicated to what they found, which again shows that layer cake of history. There are Bronze Age coins and insignia from Ottoman uniforms and cannonballs from when Napoleon invaded Jaffa. Then we went to this square that had a really neat fountain with 12 very cute sculptures that represent the figures of the Zodiac. Kevin and I had to persuade the rest of my family to go into a museum there since they just wanted to eat gelato and chill. It was sort of a weird reoccurring theme that we were super interested in all the history but no one else was. As my brother later summed up my dad liked the idea of going to Israel but didn't actually want to do anything that you go there for.
The museum was small but again showed off how much stuff has gone on in that city historically and religiously. It was alternately run by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, Ottomans and French, so we were looking at Greek amphora and ancient Egyptian scarabs and a full excavation site that showed Greek mosaics and pillars. There were also a bunch of incredibly goofy but cute movies that explained the city's significance as both the start of the tale of Jonah and the Whale and where St. Peter had his vision that he could convert non-Jews.
We had lunch at this really awesome little place where we had lamb and chicken kabobs plus a bunch of little salads – beets, carrots, olives, roasted vegetables and fried eggplant. Apparently that's a common thing in Israeli restaurants, a lot like all the stuff you get at a Korean restaurant. I loved it and wish more places in America did food like that.
Then we headed to Caesarea, an area that was built up by King Herod to be a major port. He built a lavish palace there, right against the ocean, and you can still see the mosaics and pillars and what was probably his swimming pool. There's also a beautiful theater that's been rebuilt to host concerts and the remains of a chariot racetrack, a bathhouse and an office that was used to keep tax records from the port.
After that we went to our new hotel in Haifa where we had a snack and then went to sleep. When my parents came to wake us for dinner we were so exhausted we decided to just skip it and keep sleeping. They woke me up when they got back at 11 p.m. with some leftovers, which I ate enough of to not wake up too hungry before going back to bed. The food was pretty bad so I felt good about my decision to sleep instead.