Israel (Day 8)

Today was our “free” day. A few of us decided to spend s little more time in the Old City of Jerusalem.

When we met in the hotel lobby after breakfast, there was already a cabbie looking for a fare, so we hopped in. Our driver was a native of Jerusalem and shared s little of his views on yesterday’s election.

He dropped us off at the Jaffa gate, after we got our bearings, we headed down through the Arab market. We happened across Bassam Barakas, a fourth generation antiquities dealer who had more to offer than the usual trinkets (like yarmulkes with NFL logos). We purchased a pendant with a “widow’s mite” from the 1st century B.C. from him.

Bassam told us that his brother Yosef owns Tony’s Pizza in St. Augustine. We’ll check it out when we get home.

We returned to yesterday’s lunch place, the Upper Gate, for fish meatballs, salmon, and falafel.

After lunch we left the city and took a tram to Menachen Yehuda market, a huge area selling everything you can imagine. We bought some awesome dried fruit from Haachim Levy, drank a Tanzanian long espresso from a little coffee roaster, and bought some baklava to bring home with us.

After a quick taxi ride home, we packed a little, had a drink, and joined our group for a farewell dinner. Our bus to the airport leaves very early in the morning, so it’s time to get a few hours sleep.