Sunday, July 3, 2011

Old City (and the lighting is pretty)--and sweet potato ravioli

Part of the internship is that we get to go on all sorts of field trip-y type things. Naturally, number one on that list is the Old City in Jerusalem (up-coming trips include the Israel Museum, which I'm super-excited about, since when I went when I was here for the year everything was out for fixing up).

In any case, Elisheva Gordis was our tour guide. I think every one of the interns had been to the Old City before, but like Elisheva said, there's always new stuff being uncovered, like this ridiculous painting on the wall near the Cardo (note the little boy with a baseball hat and a backpacking playing with the ancient girl?).

I love seeing the Dome of the Rock. It's so beautiful. Also, we heard the church bells chiming at the same time as the muezzin calling, which is one of my favorite sound combinations. 

We also went through Hezekiah's Tunnel, which I've never been through. Basically, it's a water tunnel that was dug under the City of David around 700 BCE, and you can still walk through it today. At it's highest, the water comes up to mid-thigh (Abby height) and it was a lot of fun to walk through, especially when we made everyone turn all their flashlights off! It's about a foot/foot-and-a-half wide at the most, and generally no taller than 5 feet high, so even I had to duck! But the water is cool and refreshing. Makes you wonder how long it took them to chisel such a long tunnel--I think it's 500meters long.

Leah and I both fell in love with all the scarves/belly-dancing skirts, Aladdin pants, pretty jewelry, and aromatic spice booths in the Arab shuk in the Old City (okay, I fell in love last year. I could spend days in there and be happy just looking at all the colors). So after we had finished with the tour and spent a few good hours at Shalem, we decided to walk back to the Old City and spend a few hours there. 

We got some good haggling (and, of course, scarves) out of the deal, and plus we discovered an entirely new way down from the Old City that led us by an old church (name?) that I remembered having gone to with the Mechina. The lighting in the Old City right before sunset is gorgeous! It reflects off the Jerusalem Stone a pretty, warm sunny  orange.

I know I've been raving about how well we've been eating, but tonight's dinner was really something to boast about. There are approximately 2098581 people named "Sam" at Yale, and approximately 2098573 of them are involved in Slifka, Yale's Hillel. Since I'm living with two Yalies, I've gotten to meet one of these Sams, who happens to be in Tel Aviv for the summer (another one, also a "Sam G." will be coming in about a week). In any case, Sam's parents are in Israel for a stint, and invited us out to dinner with them at Luciana's, a delicious Italian restaurant about 4 blocks from our apartment. Leah and I shared sweet-potato ravioli in white wine cream sauce with blue cheese on top, and a salad with sweet potato shards on top and pasta and delicious dressing and garlic and salmon... mmm it was so delicious! (And we have leftovers for lunch, too). It was a wonderful dinner, with great company, and lots of joking around, including a "birthday cake" for Leah, whose birthday is at the end of August, and a great waitress who totally played along with our shtuyot.
What a great day!


  1. Hezekiah's Tunnel sounds particularly interesting. I would have been anxious about encountering critters in the water, although it's always nice+distracting to be in a group -- even sans flashlights. Party on, Garth.

  2. The only critters were other people's toes--and possible remnants of urine from the hordes of small children that patter through it every day?