We were so tired from our long day yesterday, that we decided today would be a rest day. Up late, breakfast at Center-Chic and then to Jaffa on the bus. The only complication was that the bus we were on had no English on the crawler, so we couldn’t tell which stop was ours. As we were discussing among ourselves where to get off, a woman nearby heard us and offered to help. She was an American from Boston who had recently emigrated to Israel. She got off with us and walked us around Jaffa, leading us to her favorite place for lunch, called Old Man and the Sea, right at the port of Jaffa. It was a huge restaurant with many people already outside enjoying the food. She greeted her friend and we were seated. Immediately, appetizers began arriving, perhaps 20, in some cases quite different from what we’d been served at other places: two different cabbage salads, a potato/egg mixture, marinated tomatoes, hummus and tahini of course, two different eggplant preparations, sautéed mushrooms with red pepper, avocado, corn with olive, parsley salad, cabbages, pickles and olives and cucumber in tahini. Warm thin pita bread was brought along with a big pitcher of fresh lemonade with mint. Everything we are was fabulous, fresh, flavorful and we were almost full just from the appetizers. But, no, the salads were included as long as each of us ordered an entree and we knew we wouldn’t be able to do that, so we opted for two entrees, one of chicken, one of squid and shrimp in a light broth, and paid 55 shekels extras for the salad. The grilled chicken was a full, spatchcocked breast that had clearly been marinated and then cooked quickly on a flattop. Yummy! The shrimp was also delicious and the calamari tender. We left half of each, decided not to order dessert, and then were ready to finish touring Jaffa. The bill for four of us was about $130, pretty reasonable for all the great food.

We meandered around Jaffa, looking for the flea market, which was pretty filled with junk and uninteresting. Later, we discovered a big open-air market which was much more fun. Tons of fresh fruit and vegetables, almost all twice the size of what we have back home, and in addition, many places that sold nut confections, Mexican food (I know, a woman there assured us she was the only one doing such food in Tel Aviv!) and halvah. We also watched a Druze woman prepare some type of crepe that was cooked on a domed pan. The young man who was buying it said it was delicious and we should try, but we were full from lunch. I had been looking for halavah, so we tasted several but none compared to what we had at the Arthur Hotel in Jerusalem, so we didn’t buy any. Fun to wander around there. We walked from the market back to our hotel, started packing up, and met our friends later for happy hour. We were all still stuffed from lunch, so we walked around the neighborhood a bit more enjoying the beautiful weather and great energy of the city, then we had delicious gelato and headed back to the hotel.

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