October 22 Tel Aviv
Today is the free tour of Jaffa. Our guide, Nicola, is a Jew from Britain.
We saw the door to Simon's home, although it is in a 19th century building. This is where Peter realized he should let "pagans' become Christain, not just the Jewish people. As in many other places, when a place was conquered, or they wanted to build something new, they leveled what was there and built on top. There are many Tels that show the history down to 3000 years ago.
Jaffa was a walled port city with a moat around it for protection. Mohammed Agha, also known as Abu Nabbut, the Ottoman governor, wanted a place where people would feel safe at night, so he had the gates closed at dark. One day he had the misfortune to be locked outside himself.The guards could not see him and he was denied entry just like anyone else. At this time he realized he should provide some services for those who were locked out, so they wouldn't go elsewhere. Thus the extention of Jaffa.
He also wanted people to come there so he declared there would be no taxes. This lasted until the British arrived and decided there needed to be a tax imposed on people coming in.
Of course all children go to school, and the schools are all publicly funded to one or another. However, each school is made up of only one religion, or religious sect, so the children only learn and play with others of like mind.
There is a marine organization, kind of like our Boy Scouts, that has children of all religious affiliations attend. This has it's meeting place just outside the walls of Jaffa.
Jaffa has been taken over by many nations because it is a port and therefore a very lucrative place to have. It was always a tax free port until the British came. They immediately instituted a tax. The old tax collection building is still there, across from the first hotel in Jaffa, which was Armenian and is now an Armenian hospital.
Jaffa is a cool place with narrow streets and many small, interesting shops. We stopped at a courtyard that has an orange tree growing out of what looks like a large (avocado?) pit. It is suspended in the air and hangs and grows. It shouldn't be there and it shouldn't grow, but it does. Some of the Jews think this kind of shows Israel and the problems it has. This artist has done several other artistic pieces and placed them in various places, getting people to think.
After the tour, Lana and I went to the Carmel Market. It was a typical market with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. They also had a wide variety of sweets. We couldn't resist and bought a pistachio roll covered with shredded carrot, an almond one the same, and a square of cheesecake inside the same shredded carrot.
A man sold me 4 small bagette type rolls and a larger flat loaf of bread that he swore were what free, for 10 shekels. He said he was tired and wanted to go home. They were not wheat free!!
The sand on the beach is like icing sugar, it is so soft and white.