One of the first things we did after separating into slightly smaller groups was enter through the Damascus Gate into the Old City and search for food. I must admit, Lena and I feel more comfortable in the Muslim Quarter of the Old Jerusalem since we lived for a year in a Muslim country. We know some of the language and most of the foods. I'm not sure how the Arabs there feel about us, but I hope they appreciate our feeble attempts at speaking in Arabic. We went with a few of the girls through one of the main streets looking in every second or third shop to see if any trinkets caught our eyes. We were delighted to find loz (English spelling varies), tiny, unripe almonds. You eat them whole with the fruit on the outside and the nut on the inside. It turns out almonds are a fruit related to peaches and plums. They are sour, but refreshing. We were excited to share this delightful little gem from our past life in this part of the world.
Right after finding the almonds, but before we discovered a surprisingly large restaurant, we happened upon a popular dessert that must at least be tried when traveling in the Mediterranean
We finally made it to a restaurant we liked. It looked like just another hole in the wall along the streets filled with tiny shops selling anything and everything. Turns out it was a full restaurant with several dining areas and restrooms in the back. The girls ordered enough food to share. For group meals the place served five or six different types of salads. We ordered some fresh juice and lemonade, and sat and talked for a while. It was our first meal in Old Jerusalem.
From there we left the walls of the city to retrieve our cars and head to the third hostel we stayed at on this trip
Before our trip I was contacted by several people by chance. One guy had heard that we were going to be in the country. He just happened to be traveling in Israel for business and would be joined by his family for a month of sight seeing. We had hoped to meet up with them for at least a Sabbath or Holy Day, but that never happened
Lena and I were joined by Steven and Danielle, as well as Matt and Erica and their kids. We walked along Yafo Street next to the tracks of Jerusalem's light rail searching for a certain little cafe that Matt and Erica recommended where they serve the food like a cafeteria but aren't stingy with the portions. We shared hummus and matzo, and ate rice with various meats in the little cafe on Ben Yehuda Street where colorful lights hang above your head to illuminate the night. We parted ways with Matt and his family after stopping off for coffee and milkshakes. Such a wonderful and strange way to meet up with good friends.
Bonus Blog: First Meal and Old Friends
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Jerusalem, Jerusalem District, Israel