• Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • The route to the Dead Sea goes cross-country
  1. Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  2. The route to the Dead Sea goes cross-country

The Israeli Diaries

I may have gone a little overboard with the pictures here, so please, I won’t be offended if you don’t get through the entire post. I’m sure you have kids to feed and cars to wash. But if you have a minute (or fifteen), check out this incredible country! I had never been to the Middle East before, and if they hadn’t started throwing bombs around I’d probably have seen a lot more. Alas, the atmosphere in Tel Aviv was not the same after Thursday night… On what was supposed to be the busiest, sexiest night of the week, we barely dared to step foot out the door. The city was empty and it stayed like that until I left on Sunday. No Israeli boys for me, no crazy dancing on the bar… Sigh…

But before all that happened I went visiting. I told you about the Dead Sea already – magic! But I was most impressed with Jerusalem. It had the same impact on me as Rome had. There’s so much history and culture there, it’s almost impossible not to feel small and in awe. Every religion is represented. Mosques were built next to Orthodox churches and muslims pray next to Jews. If you think about how old the Western Wall is (over 2000 years) and all the people who have stood and ‘wailed’ there before you, you go a little quiet. The shopping is intense too. The tiny streets are packed with vendors who sells all kinds of colorful stuff. I bought a hand-stitched Bedouin jacket for 450 shekel ($100) because I was cold. Everywhere I went other vendors yelled: “Nice Jacket! How much you pay?” They were hoping I got ripped off I suppose but apparently it was a price that could not be beat! Score!! Then, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, that’s something else…. It’s like an underground maze of mysterious rooms and altars, Orthodox with hundreds of images of Jesus and Mary. It’s kind of spooky but you can really feel the higher powers there. Again, you go a little quiet…

Tel Aviv itself has a few fun neighborhoods like Neve Tzedek (= the West Village) and Jaffa, the old port town in the South. There’s tons of vintage markets and the food is insane! I gained about 4 pounds in one week…. Awful but necessary. I tried every Israeli dish I think: Shaksuka (egg dish), Shish Kebab (meat balls on a skewer), Falafel, tahini, hummus, baklava, pomegranates, you name it, I ate it. The beach didn’t do much for me. The sand’s not very nice and the water is boring. Ah, and there are French people everywhere! (In case this entices you) The boys stare as if their life depended on it. I hear they love blondes with blue eyes and perhaps my little dresses were a sight – girls wear mostly pants in Tel Aviv.

Anyways, it was a very special trip, one destined by fate and circumstance. Tel Aviv has tried for years to become a tourist destination and when it was finally named the “world’s best gay city” the bombs started raining. Something the city had not seen since the Gulf War in 1991. I’m not taking sides, I just want peace so I can come back.

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