Oh – the skies are cloudy and temperatures chilly, but we are in Jerusalem – wonderful and exciting! The hotel is bustling with so many groups. It is hard to find the CAARI table in the dining room!
Our first stop was the Knesset. It feels very formal as we enter the area – lots of security. Susan and Neil gave them our Passport numbers, the read us the dress requirements – no ripped jeans, etc!
We are ready to enter and meet our guide. She was fabulous – one of the best. Our hour plus tour included a description of the Chagall tapestries, explanation of how the Knesset operates, a Committee room and the Knesset Chamber. All very impressive!
Now, the visit to the picturesque village of Ein Kerem. We met with Atalya who took us on a culinary experience to the homes of two wonderful families. Atalya, herself, is a charming person, energetic and so knowledgeableabout food and Ein Kerem. She was born and raised in this lovely village, and lives there today with her husband.
After a short explanation from her, we walked over to the neighbors, a Yemenite husband and wife who warmly welcomed us.
They were in traditional costume and before you knew it, Jerry and Fern too were dressed in the Yemenite costumes and dancing to the drumming and Yemenite music. Great pictures taking! Mazel gave us a cooking demonstration explaining the different spices and prepared foods.
Of course, we ate on their lovely patio overlooking the flowering almond trees! Delicious!
We walked down the small alleyways, along cobblestone walls, down many steps, past charming houses until we arrived at the center of town and a stop at the homemade chocolate shop. Oh yummy!
She passed out samples and told us ‘stories’ of the past and the history of the villagers.
She and her Mother have recently written a cookbook on the cuisine of the area, which is diverse as the population. We hope will be translated into English.
Next stop, the Kurdish home where we cooked and ate. Lovely and they were so hospitable! We loved hearing their stories and learning about the traditional foods.
Together, with the help of XXX we made a special pastry. Sondra was busy frying up the these tasty items. We also enjoyed the guitar playing and we all joined singing songs. We concluded our visit with Hatikva – how appropriate.
It was quite the day and a wonderful experience.
Fern says….how are you going to top this?