Our early flight from London to Tel Aviv, Israel went smoothly. And, so far…the people seemed normal on the plane. What exactly does that mean? Well…I’m not exactly sure but we thought the people would stand out…that we would feel like outsiders…that everyone would be dressed differently and talk differently but it all seemed quite normal. We could have been on a flight in NY.
We arrived and thought the customs process would be long and grueling but it was fairly quick and efficient. We did have to give the name and address of our friend Ayal whom was showing us around Israel but after a few questions and glance at our passports we were through customs. Candice and Ayal were on their way to pick us up at the airport and in the meantime we changed clothes right away because one step outside proved to be much different weather than Scotland. It was HOT.
We were picked up and greeted by Candice and Ayal (Candice our friend from NY and Ayal her husband from Israel) and they informed us we were driving straight to Jerusalem today! The drive was about 45 minutes and we stopped here and there to take pictures as Ayal narrated details of exactly what we were looking at since the signs were not in English. The signs were in the two main languages, Hebrew and Arab. Hebrew not only sounds nothing like English or any other European language but it is read from right to left and even the numeric system is not the same as ours. So…when things like a check are given…you cannot read what was ordered let alone what the bill totals. Thankfully Ayal was a local and speaks Hebrew!!
We arrived in Jerusalem in a small village near the old city called, Ein Kerem. Ayal’s friend has a studio in which he let us stay a couple of days. It was connected to his lab where he makes all kinds of natural remedies for patients (he had sent me a few items as well when I was going through chemo).
After a bit of downtime, we went into town for dinner. We went to a place called, Mona ( www.monas.co.il/en.html ) which was a nice local restaurant in an old stone building full of art work from students. We quickly realized we were going to love the food here. The veggies are fresh and flavorful. The cuisine like the landscape reminded us of Greece. We ordered a big salad full of bright peppers, tomatoes, onions, basil and mozzarella with a vinaigrette followed by a Barramundi fish (white fish) dish served on linguini. We also had a glass of local wine and delicious lemon tart for dessert.
After dinner we went to bed. Tomorrow we visit the old city of Jerusalem.