Jaffa, bats, shopping and food.
Before leaving Tel Aviv for Jerusalem, I went to Jaffa. I didn't spend too much time there as everything was closed, I think it was Shabbat and I was leaving first thing the next morning to Jerusalem, but I still got to see many beautiful things that made me want to go back. And I did later during my trip.
I must say I really fell in love with Jaffa. When I went back there I stayed at the Old Jaffa Hostel which was great, I enjoyed their rooftop lounge with the open air kitchen, it is a really nice place.
Right across my hostel was the nicest little shop, Hasadna, where I bought many things. They do a lot of art objects with recycled materials, it's very interesting. A little further in the street, I discovered a very good restaurant where, for some strange reason, the waitress offered me a home made cookie and home made iced tea and I know I was the only customer to get that treatment. Puaa it was called, they have a french and english menu but I took the Hebrew one because I'm cool like that.
About here in the Old Jaffa, I heard weird loud squeeky sounds, so I approached the building where the sound seemed to come from. I arrive in front of an old abandoned church, the door has been replaced by bars so automatically I stick my head between them and I saw about a dozen giant bats flying around the black ceiling. A couple of minutes later I realised the ceiling wasn't actually black but covered with hundreds of giant bats, I've never seen bats that big. Go see them!!
One thing I didn't like to see in Jaffa or at Hof Iafo (Jaffa beach) was all the muslim ladies sitting in the shallow waters all dressed, head scarves on while their sons, brothers, fathers and husbands swam the sea with a small bathing suit on. I felt warm in my summer clothes, I could not imagine how the felt! But that's another debate.
And then I hit the road to Jerusalem. I have so much to say about Jerusalem, it deserves it's own post!
The traveler's prayer:
יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ וֵא-לֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶתּוֹלִיכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם וְתַצְעִידֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתִסְמְכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתַדְרִיכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתַגִיעֵנוּ לִמְחוֹז חֶפְצֵנוּ לְחַיִּים וּלְשִֹמְחָה וּלְשָלוֹם וְתַצִּילֵנוּ מִכַּף כָּל אוֹיֵב וְאוֹרֵב וְלִסְטִים וְחַיּוֹת רָעוֹת בַדֶּרֶךְ וּמִכָּל מִינֵי פּוּרְעָנִיּוֹת הַמִתְרַגְּשוֹת לָבוֹא לָעוֹלָם וְתִשְלַח בְּרָכָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵֹה יָדֵינוּ, וְתִתְּנֵנוּ לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים בְעֵינֶיךָ וּבְעֵינֵי כָל רוֹאֵינוּ וְתִשְמַע קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנֵינוּ. כִּי אֵ-ל שוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה וְתַחֲנוּן אָתָּה: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', שוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה