Shauna and I started our Monday with a little Jerusalem education. Our tour of the Old City took us through 4,000 years of history, with rooftop views, a walk through all four quarters (Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Christian), and breaks from the heat under lovely grape arbors.
Allan was a delightful tour guide. He’s an Irish native who has spent the last 30 years in Jerusalem.
Soren especially loved this mosaic map of the Old City.
Breastfeeding break in a Greek Orthodox bookstore.
Grape leaves make for beautiful landscaping.
Naturally, all that learning made us hungry, so we lunched at Lina — another top hummus spot in the city.
Soren’s licking the first taste off his fingers.
After Soren’s afternoon nap we headed back to the Old City to walk the Via Dolorosa — the street that supposedly (but probably not really) marks the path where Jesus walked to his crucifixion.
At Station 1, Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. Don’t worry, I didn’t take pictures at all 14 stations.
Just your standard Old City street. Some areas are bustling and crowded, others are dark and quiet.
Jerusalem is the city of cats. Stray felines all over the place.
The final stations on the Via Dolorosa are inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church is venerated by some (not me) as the site of the crucifixion and burial.
We capped off the evening with more Moshiko and ice cream, then spent the night dreaming of the full-day food fest Tuesday would bring.
The Machane Yehuda market was high on our list of spots to visit in Jerusalem, so we spent a good chunk of our Tuesday there. Tim found an amazing self-guided food tour online, so we bought our tickets and prepared ourselves for foodie paradise.
We made sure to give Soren plenty of time to roll around on the floor of the apartment before stuffing him into the Ergo for the day.
Heading out of our home, sweet home at 27 Ben Yehuda.
This card was our ticket to deliciousness. The market is also known as “The Shuk,” and it has more than 250 vendors selling baked goods, fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, cheeses, nuts, seeds, spices, and even some textiles and shoes and clothing.
Our first stop was Basher Fromagerie, apparently one of the top cheese outlets in the world. Many of the cheeses they offer are Israeli, but the shopkeeper also ventures to a giant wholesale market in the suburbs of Paris every month to maintain his supply of hundreds of varieties.
Don’t be alarmed by these colors. The green wedge represents two of the greatest tastes combined into one — it’s pesto-infused gouda! The red is flavored with tomato. Heavenly.
One of the most interesting tidbits of this part of the tour was the controversy between the cute cheese monger and her husband — apparently he hates the stuff!
Next up was the land of spices. Pereg Tavlinim is more than a century old and contains more spices than I knew existed. There were towers of paprika that were taller than Soren.
This man convinced me to purchase all varieties of spice blends. I’m not usually such a sucker, but he kept filling up bags and I kept buying.
As we made our way to this juice bar, we figured it was just like all the others in Jerusalem. Boy were we wrong.
We were pleased to meet the most lively character in all of Jerusalem — Uzi-Eli Chezi, i.e., the juice doctor, i.e., the etrog medicine man. We tasted three concoctions, all of which he devised using his ancient healing skills.
We kept asking what this magical fruit was, and he kept telling us, “citrus!” Turns out it’s citron, or etrog in Hebrew. Separately, Soren was absolutely terrified of the juice doctor. When we took this picture, the medicine man let out a boisterous guffaw, and Soren burst into tears.
But after I gave Soren his first ever sip of juice, he decided the man must be alright.
Along the way, we feasted on the flakiest, most amazing cheese-stuffed Georgian pastry from Hachapuria.
Soren was made to travel. Look at that face!
After a few more stops, and just when I thought my stomach couldn’t handle any more, we arrived at Fishenchips (that really is the English translation they chose for their sign).
Tim ate his mustard- and beer-battered fish while speedwalking around the market. Oh, the sacrifices we make to keep the baby asleep.
We marveled at the wonders of the shuk as we walked off our lunch, regretting that we didn’t have a few more days in Jerusalem to keep exploring the hundreds of stalls.
I don’t know what this is, but I want it.
Soren must have enjoyed himself — on the walk home he would throw his head back and smile.
Hands full of loot after a day well spent at the Machane Yehuda.
Tim had a dinner and tour to attend as part of his conference, so my mom and I went for an accidentally loooong walk (like, all the way around the walls of the Old City) to get to the Western Wall.
We wrote our prayers on tiny slips of paper and stuffed them in the cracks of the wall.
Next post: Farewell Jerusalem, hello Tel Aviv!
Tagged: Basher Fromagerie, citron, etrog medicine man, fishenchips, Hachapuria, Jerusalem, juice doctor, Lina, Machane Yehuda, Old City, Pereg Tavlinim, Sandemans, shuk, Uzi-Eli Chezi, Via Dolorosa, Western Wall