Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A Very Excellent Pilgrimage of Israel

Our lovely time in Haifa, Israel had almost concluded.

I'd been bewitched by the brightly lit dome up on a hill since the first night we arrived here. It was time to investigate.

Behold! The gardens of the Baháʼí World Centre.

This dome guy is the Shrine of the Báb.

"The Shrine of the Báb is a structure on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, where the remains of the Báb, founder of the Bábí Faith and forerunner of Baháʼu'lláh in the Baháʼí Faith, are buried; it is considered to be the second holiest place on Earth for Baháʼís." I don't know anything about these people but they certainly have predilection for puncuation.

We were allowed inside the shrine but it was so so holy that we weren't allowed to take any pictures. Sad.

They had a garden of eden level landscape artist out here.

Bethlehem is in Palestine so we thought it might be a hassle to get in and out, especially since it's around Christmas time. Sorry baby Jesus. I did want to hit some other familiar cities though. One cool part of driving around Israel has been seeing cities that I know from bible stories on road signs or maps. Those had always been sort of mythical places to me that I don't think I ever considered going to personally. I thought Nazareth was a pretty good site to check out.

We had another Tel Aviv market tour booked for today initially but Lydia likes it when I call last minute audibles and take her on unplanned adventures. We'd already done two Tel Aviv market tours by this point anyway.

We stopped at Tishreen for some lunch.

"Freekeh salad

Arugula, cracked wheat, onions, peppers, carrots, chicken bits, pine nuts and soy sauce."

The food here was great, and a lot better than a lot of the supposedly good expensive restaurants we've been to on this trip. "Grilled eggplant: red tahini sauce, Harrisa and roasted red peppers."

"Original Muhammar

Taboun bread covered with chicken bits, onions, and sumac spice." Avid JMAA readers will recall that I had my first "taboon" clay oven cooked meal about a week ago in Tel Aviv.

While we were eating that "A Horse With No Name" song came on and talked about a bunch of weird stuff that happened in the desert. I thought that was funny.

You see the restaurant's taboun oven through the window.

According to Greek Orthodox tradition, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she would conceive and bear Jesus at the current site of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. The catholics have a different church that they have declared to be the location of the same event.

I heard that this spice shop was worth visiting.

I lost my spice appetite after seeing a pigeon sitting unmolested in the store eating from a big bag of dried goods.

"The Synagogue Church is a small Christian church in the heart of Nazareth known by this name due to a tradition claiming that it the location where the village synagogue stood in Jesus' time. Above its doorway is an embedded sign in Arabic and English: "Synagogue"."

The catholic Basilica of the Annunciation was a much grander affair than the Greek version.

Lydia's most excellent pilgrimage continued with a drive to the Sea of Galilee.

We listened to a bit of Johnny Cash during the drive as it is some of the rare religious music that doesn't cause me to vomit in my mouth. I recalled this song in particular because it has a line about "talking to the man from Galilee."

"The Mount of Beatitudes (Hebrew: הר האושר, Har HaOsher) is a hill in northern Israel, in the Korazim Plateau. It is the traditional site of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount."

The Church of the Beatitudes

Lydia's general demeanor be attitude so I thought that maybe taking her here my have some sort of positive effect. Maybe I need to spritz some holy water or something for the spell to take effect.

There were always a lot of military vehicles being transported around the highways. War crimes aren't going to commit themselves I suppose.

We did some exploring in Tel Aviv's Old Jaffa neighborhood. It seemed pretty old.

We had our last Israeli dinner at a hip joint called Faruk BaShuk on the sidewalk. Lydia had a fun sandwich.

"Challah with schnitzel

challah bread with schnitzel, lettuce, rocket leaves, green onions, matbucha and tahini served with french fries."

I got my e-visa ready for tomorrow's journey to Saudi Arabia. 

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