Ashod Stuff


  It’s Sunday; the first day of the work week. 

In Hebrew my name is Rut.  There’s no th sound here.  When I have to give my name in a cafe and I say Ruth, they just look at me surprised.  Eve told me to say Ruthie, or Rutie because that’s the name Israelis would use.  I had to do that yesterday when Randal and I ate at a McDonalds in Star Center Mall.  We went there to the grocery store, the only one open on Saturday.  We had planned to eat at Aroma Cafe but it was closed.  The McDonalds was open.  There was no English menu.  Randal ordered a Big Mac and Coke Zero.  I ordered a salad with chicken and water.  The bill was 60.80 NIS, New Israel Shekels; almost $16 US. Seems a lot to me.   Granted there was a ton of chopped cucumber and tomato in my salad and the chicken actually tasted real, but it cost 39 NIS which is about $10.  The water had 00.00 next to it and the Big Mac was 11.90 NIS.  The medium Coke Zero was 9 NIS.  It’s about 3.85 NIS to $1 US.  That’s the first and last time we’ll eat in McDonalds.  At Aroma I ordered "a half "  Haloumi Cheese sandwich on whole wheat ( the size almost of a whole standard piece of bread) and it was about 16 NIS.  Randal had a "Breakfast for Two" of eggs, some tuna, some avocado, and some yogurt with bread, butter and jam and a huge chopped salad enough for two and that was 33 NIS. Much more food for less money at Aroma.   In China McDonalds was one of the more expensive places to eat while we lived in Jingan.  Actually it’s not such a bargain at home either if you get a Big Meal, which I don’t but Randal does…only occasionally.   Today we’ll walk into Ashdod to our favorite doner place and have that for lunch.  A Coke Zero, a Diet Sprite and a large baguette stuffed with grilled chicken cost 41 NIS.  They spread humus and a bit of pepper sauce on the bread and then add the chicken which makes it taste great.  You should try that.  And humus is healthier than mayonnaise.  We should never have started this voyage in China where a great noodle meal at the "Father and Son" food stall in the pedestrian mall cost about $1.50.

  I also bought some calcium chews as I finally finished all of the good ones I’d gotten at home from our friend Carol.  These have 500 mg of calcium and 400 of D.  They are sort of chalky but with enough sugar to make them ok.  I guess the Israelis need their medicine with sugar too.  I got 120 chews which cost 100 NIS, about 22 cents per chew.  Is that a good price?  Should I load up?  I like the gum drop ones from Carol better.  Obviously not much happening here if I’m writing about calcium and eating at McDonalds 

  We do have our tickets for home..September 19th and returning to somewhere in Turkey November 14th.  We’re not 100% sure what marina we will choose.  Our tickets are from Izmir rather than Istanbul. 

   Tomorrow, Monday we’ll take the bus to Jerusalem for one last visit.  We’ll return to Ashdod on Wednesday afternoon. 

And so it goes.


I wrote this email Friday. 

Ashdod June 2012

Not much happens in Ashdod during the summer. Everyone goes to the beach. Museums close for renovation. Classes for adults end, and programs for children off from school begin. Israelis go on vacation. Thank goodness for my Kindle. I’ve even been bored enough to clean half of the pilot house and the back bathroom cabinet. We did make our way to the small “light industrial” area of Ashdod looking for chemicals so Randal could pickle the water maker. No luck but Randal had some on the boat he could use. Eve and I went off to the Ashdod Museum of Philistine history and contemporary art; it was closed for renovation. But Ashdod is a great place to walk and there are lots of small neighborhoods to explore.


Yod Alef

The small shopping center in the Yod Alef neighborhood is about a mile from Doramac’s back door. Eve and I discovered it while on an evening walk.  You can get almost anything you need; fruit, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, soda, oatmeal, dried cranberries, and even bacon! There is also a post office, a hair salon, a veterinarian, a health clinic and family health center. The shop keepers are friendly and helpful and the prices not so different from the Wednesday open air market. According to the map Yod Alef has 2 high schools, 2 synagogues, a community center, day care centers, kindergartens, a park, playing fields, and 3 more health clinics. Amazing to me is the lack of a library. How can you have all of that other stuff and no library?

I have a new favorite walk that takes me about 80 minutes if I don’t dawdle too much or take took many photos.

My Friday morning walk…

I leave the marina and head north along the beaches. I can either walk the beach promenade or along Sederot Moshe Dayan.

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The beach promenade has lots of kitsch sculptures but they’re fun. The street promenade has more serious sculptures. I’m not sure what the sculpture, paid for by French Ashdodians, is supposed to be, but the graffiti doesn’t help.

At the intersection of Moshe Dayan and Rogozin is the Monument to the Struma and Makfura, two illegal immigrant ships.

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Mafkura and Strum.

Sederot Moshe Dayan turns away from the beach so I follow along Hatay Yelet past the huge area where the Wednesday open air market is held..


In the huge parking area adjacent to the Wednesday open air market I passed a group of cyclists having some type of class.


It was Thursday so the market had vanished. On Wednesday this area is packed with stalls, shoppers, trucks, cars, buses… It’s all much easier on a motorbike or even on foot. Security inspects the trunk of every vehicle that enters the area but they just wave us in. I guess our back carrier isn’t big enough for whatever they are looking for.

I turn right off Hatay Yelet and cut through a park as I head back up to Rogozin.


A pony?

I couldn’t believe I was actually seeing a pony until I got close because it’s so out of place. I guess some lucky kid really is getting to keep it in her room as there are only apartment buildings here near the park. No barns or farms or anyplace you would keep a pony. This other woman was also taking a photo.


Beit Canada Absorption Center

   "The Center is multicultural, integrating singles, families, professionals and non-professionals from all over the world including Latin America, North Africa, France, Russia, the Ukraine, Ethiopia, and Central Asian. Residents can be found mingling freely in the lobby, the library, courtyards or in the park.

   A variety of levels are taught in the Hebrew Ulpan classes. There is also a language lab, a library, and a computer room with educational software for language study, which serve the immigrants in their acquisition of Hebrew skills. Classes are taught by licensed Ministry of Education instructors, and are held five hours a day, five days a week for a period of five months. As a service to residents and immigrants in the area, the Center offers special classes for engineers with an emphasis on technical terminology.

    In addition to trips and seminars, Jewish and cultural programs, a strong emphasis is placed on both the cultural integration of the new immigrants, as well as their social involvement in the wider Ashdod community. Towards this end, there are joint holiday celebrations, on-going activities and special events with local artists, volunteer groups, I.D.F units and community and regional organizations. A testimony to the success of these activities is that many Beit Canada residents on leaving the Absorption Center, choose to live not only in Ashdod, but in the Beit Canada neighborhood.

   There is an Information Center on the premises, offering immigrants advice and guidance on vocational opportunities, retraining options, higher education and housing etc. A Russian language community library is available for olim and local residents, and the Institute for Jewish Studies offers study and conversion options for new immigrants." /Absorption+Centers/Ashdod+12-overview.htm

Absorption centers provide help for those who come to Israel to live.  Those who come illegally from Sudan or Eritrea are as much of an issue as illegal aliens are in the US. 

On a lighter note, or I should say "highlighter" notes…….


Small shops along Rogozin.

Once coloring your hair was something people lied about.  Here women sit out in front of the salons and tell the world what they are doing.  There are lots of shades of red hair you only see in Europe.  We first noticed it back in 2000 in Italy.  I’m only brave enough to grow my hair and let it dry curly in the breeze; not brave enough to make it some other color from the rainbow.

There are a few 7 Eleven type shops but mostly lots of small shops in neighborhoods which is really more fun. If you spend enough time here you could become fluent in Hebrew and Russian.



Shabbat at the Marina.

About 10 am this morning a small boat pulled up across from us. Lots of pre and young teens and some adults unloaded lots of picnic supplies, pool toys, etc. Even a rubber baby pool. Randal and I were working on our dinghy which had become unglued. We had the shell and the pontoon but they weren’t stuck together. Randal was laying down some stuff like sikaflex on both pieces and then we would put them together and let it set. It was not so easy to do and with kids walking by every 2 seconds unloading stuff…… Anyway, the dinghy got glued, no problem. Eve made a sign in Hebrew that asked people not to touch the dinghy. Randal put some heavy bricks on it to press the pieces together and wrapped rope around. We also tied the whole thing to the cleat on the dock. Hopefully it will work. With all of the kids running around in the area no one bothered the dinghy. We stopped worrying about it and went off to the grocery store that stays open on Saturday. The kids were noisy and energetic and in and out of the water all day; but everyone seemed nice. Past Saturdays there has been older kids drinking and being rowdy. Some took a discarded table top from Big Boat Karina and threw it into the water to float on. A security guard came and took the board and kicked them out. Technically you’re not supposed to be in the boat area unless you have a security key. That’s true of all marinas. The people visiting this Saturday were just fine. The small kitten wasn’t so thrilled with it all and stayed hidden most of the time. It did ask for food at one point and I fed it. (It had already eating a morning meal.) About 6 pm I heard a horrible meow that sounded like it was coming Davy Jones Locker; all echo and watery. Everyone went looking. The men in the big orange dredging boat; all of the picnickers, Randal and me. We found the kitten not where it should be.  It was hanging on a tire the dredging boat was using as a fender.   I went to get Randal and our look wood boat hook the kitten could cling on to.  Somehow before Randal got there the kitten ended up in the water.  And then just quiet. Randal and I were afraid that she had drowned. But then there she was swimming towards Eve’s dock. When she swam close enough to one of the boats near Eve’s a man grabbed her by the tail and flung her onto the dock! Whew. Everyone was smiling and happy…just because of one tiny kitten. Nice people. Russians I guess because it sounded like they were speaking Russian and not Hebrew. The kids could speak some English. Now it’s quiet. Hopefully it will stay that way. Big boat Karina played music way too loud, way too late last night.


Randal at the helm plotting our next passage…back to somewhere in Turkey where we will spend the winter. 

A very long email about the Bauhaus in Tel Aviv


   Our marina internet comes and goes, though thankfully, with our big booster antenna, we have it most of the time.  Today we found out that only Israeli citizens can buy dongels to use with their computer.  Eve asked as a kiosk in the mall.  We’ll double check at a bigger phone store.  We’ve had to register our passports in other countries for local SIM cards but we’ve always been able to get one.  Not good.  No library card, no SIM card: what’s the deal?  No English information in the big, fancy new Ashdod Art Museum.  Just because it seems the French XPats paid a big bunch so it’s called Monarts…they still could provide some English along with the French and Russian.  Not much to not complain about today! 

   This is a really long email about our walking tour in Tel Aviv.  I put most of the text at the end for anyone who wants to read it. 


Saturday, June 16th , Randal and I took the motorbike to Tel Aviv. On Shabbat, public transportation stops so there’s less roadway traffic. It wasn’t as bad as a week day, but I can’t imagine traveling on other days with double the traffic. We just can’t go fast enough on our little bike. Our friend Eve said she’d teach us some of the back roads so that will help. In Tel Aviv a free walking tour of the Bauhaus area of Rothschild Blvd. is offered every Saturday. It was well done. The guide had a mini-megaphone so you could hear and she knew quite a bit. The “White City” of Tel Aviv was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2004 because of its 4,000 or so white box shaped Bauhaus structures. Some are lovely well maintained buildings, some are being renovated, and some are just beyond repair.


Our tour guide Yona Wiseman (in the center) had moved to Israel from South Africa in 1961. ……..

“The most important thing that you should know about Yona is that she loves Israel : the history, the countryside, the cities and especially the people. She is passionate about Tel Aviv, a unique city that in April 2009 celebrated its 100th year.

Yona has taken courses, listened to lectures and learned about Israel and Jewish history from the time that she first made aliyah in 1961 and culminating in her studies at the Archeological Seminars in Jerusalem, where she qualified as a licensed tourist guide. The learning process has always been backed up by tireless trips to sites around the country. Yona (and her camera) always comes home renewed with excitement for where she has been and what she has seen.

And where is home? Home is in the Yemenite Quarter of Tel-Aviv, where Yona is the expert English-speaking guide concerning her own neighborhood, the recently renewed area of Neve Zedek, International / Bauhaus Architecture in The White City of Tel-Aviv (recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site), Jaffa and the landmarks of the establishment of the modern Jewish state. She is well-versed about the colorful Carmel produce market, the exotic Flea Market and all sorts of wonderful restaurants be they by the sea or in the passageways of Old Jaffa.

Yona has made a wonderful niche for herself as a Tour Guide in Tel Aviv, and you can see by the list of her tours that she knows all the nooks and crannies of her city. You are welcome to join her group tours – some of them Free which is sponsored by the Association of Ministry of Tourism Tel Aviv. You are of course invited to form your own tour at your convenience, and Yona will gladly assist you to put together a tour for special celebrations – Wedding Guests – Bar/Bat Mitzvahs – Birthdays parties, etc.”

The tour begins at 11 am. The meeting place is 46 Rothschild Blvd. at the corner of Shadal Street. Randal and I arrived with about 2 minutes to spare. We’d left Ashdod by 9:30 but had to stop for gas in Jaffa as our gage read E! Luckily Randal can guess exactly where to find fuel so filled up ( it takes one gallon) and raced off to Tel Aviv only getting a bit lost. The walking tour started across the street from several busy restaurants and no one noticed when I walked into one just to use the Ladies. I was just rejoining the tour group of about 30 people when Yona began the tour. She first told how Tel Aviv came to be settled and why the Bauhaus style was so prevalent. I have copied info from some websites that pretty much tell the same story. First, here are some photos. She did mention that horrible cholera epidemics ravaged Jaffa prompting people to want to move away from the crowded commercial city.


Levine House

“The home of the Levine family was built in 1924 and designed by Yehuda Magidovich. This magnificent urban villa, known as The Castle, is one of Tel Aviv’s “Dream Houses,” as features a turret with a mechanically opening roof (that could be used as a Sukkoh) Upon the founding of the State of Israel, the building housed the USSR Embassy. In February 1953 a bomb was thrown at the embassy to protest the persecution of Soviet Jewry. In the 1190s it was reconstructed and refurbished, restoring the building to its original grandeur.” http://visit-tlv/?CategoryID=271&ArticleID=215

Yona told us that the building is now owned by the Canadian government which uses it to provide rooms to Israeli soldiers in transit.

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Interior and exterior of the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv also designed by Yehuda Magidovich


Many building just look utilitarian.


Some are wrecks as was the one that had previously stood in this parking lot.

Yona told the story about coming here one day and the building was “gone!” Another guide told her that you have to check the day before a tour to see if the buildings on your route are still there. Obviously the UNESCO Heritage designation doesn’t protect every “White City” building.


Balconies were and are still part of most structures.

The wood balcony is an addition painted gray to show it’s not part of the historic architecture of the building. Balconies were included to be an outdoor rooms useful in hot climates as they were shaded by the balcony above. Yona said that didn’t always work so well as the higher balcony forced the hot air back down onto the people sitting below. We did see some balconies that seemed much closer together than these. I like balconies. Yona kept comparing the architecture to boats…staterooms have balconies. She also said that in earlier days people could call to each other across the streets from one balcony to another. And at one point laundry was banned from hanging on the front balconies, but the ban must have been lifted because we saw lots of it. Some buildings had million dollar condos and some, with laundry on the balcony, cost less. Some even had squatters.


These are slightly more art deco with the air spaces cut in the balcony walls.


Yona called these “thermometer windows.”

They do look like a thermometer, at least the old fashioned, pre-digital kind.


Some corners became rounded.


Bait HaYam. I think it means House of the People. Eve says it was a entertainment center where movies might be shown or other entertainment offered.


Yona showed a photo of the water tower, the largest structure in Tel Aviv at one time when Tel Aviv was largely sand dunes. Tel Aviv was all sand dunes once upon a time. Yona said the Ottoman owners only sold the land to the Jews because it seemed worthless sand dunes.


Men walking home from the Saturday services.

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Engle House 84 Rothschild

“This is one of the best known residential houses in the area known as the White City which has become the symbol of the international style of architecture in Tel Aviv. Built in 1933 by architect Zev Rechter, it was the first building built on pillars in Tel Aviv. The elongated balconies and the horizontal ribbon windows that traverse the building create a play of light and shadow against the background of the white plaster. During WWII the open lobby was enclosed with cement blocks and served as a shelter. The building is designated for renovation and preservation.”


Yona said Israel had no “Israeli architectural style,” but rather reflects the many styles immigrants brought with them from Europe. It also is designed for hot Mediterranean weather. She pointed to some wood shutters on the window of one lovely building. European immigrants brought building supplies with them. I can’t remember if it was because they wouldn’t find those materials in Israel or because it was what they were allowed to bring with them leaving Europe so spent their money on supplies. In either case, Yona said wood shutters weren’t a good idea in Israel because the climate causes them to need lots of upkeep. Plaster and tile are probably much better materials.


A poster explaining about the building was posted near the front door.

“The first building in the city to rest on an open storey of supporting columns was inspired by La Corbusier. The partial storey of columns in one of the corners allows the sea breeze from the west to waft through the street floor level and forms a harmonious link between the avenue and the building’s courtyard and private garden.”

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These three parts are really now one building.

The basic box style with balconies seems always to be there no matter what else changes.

At one time the roof was for everyone. Yona says that now, if you buy the top floor, the roof is yours.


I could live here…


At # 96 Rothschild, on a balcony of the Friedman House, “The Choir” sculpture by Ofra Simbalista permanently serenade passers-bye.


Yona said this home was a very early Tel Aviv farm house just off on a side neighborhood.


Green spaces were included in neighborhood design to provide open space.

Yona pointed out that some of the trees provide fruit for bats. The bats eat the mosquitoes. But the bats poop out fruit mess that sticks to the plaster finishes on the buildings and is impossible to remove requiring frequent painting to cover up the purple blotches. The choice being mosquitoes or bat mess, the choice was to keep the bat mess so you can see the purple blotches on the buildings.

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Shaded streets in the neighborhoods adjoining Rothschild.


Young girl with long hair and camera.

This is a sculpture of a coffee cup and into the arch are carved the Hebrew letters for the word spring which happen to be Aviv as in Tel Aviv.

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Hebrew Book Week celebrated on Rothschild Street.

The Hebrew Book week will open June 6, 2012, and despite its name, will last 10 days, until June 16.

The first Hebrew Book Week took place in 1926. It was a one day event on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv organized by Bracha Peli- The founder of Masada Press. The purpose of the event was to promote book sales. Since 1926, the Hebrew Book Week has grown to enormous dimensions and every municipality and book store in Israel finds a way to celebrate the event.

I think for Book Week they should invest enough money in the one library Ashdod has to make it into a library worthy of a city of this size. Eve and I made a second visit today and it was even more disappointing. It wasn’t worth paying the 60 shekels for a 6 month library card. As an Israeli citizen Eve could get one though she would have to pay because her mailing address is at her brother’s in another town. But between us we didn’t see any reason to pay even that amount. Eve isn’t sure she will remain in Ashdod depending on the job she might find and I can get books from my library on my Kindle. The Art reference books are only available in the afternoon and most wouldn’t be in English. So that was that. I’m really so glad that I got my Kindle!


An old friend to sit on the bench and talk with: priceless!

Tel Aviv History

Tel Aviv was founded on April 11, 1909. On that day, several dozen families gathered on the sand dunes on the beach outside Yafo (Jaffa) to allocate plots of land for a new neighborhood they called Ahuzat Bayit, later known as Tel Aviv. As the families could not decide how to allocate the land, they held a lottery to ensure a fair division. Akiva Arieh Weiss, chairman of the lottery committee and one of the prominent figures in the city’s founding, gathered 60 grey seashells and 60 white seashells. Weiss wrote the names of the participants on the white shells and the plot numbers on the grey shells. He paired a white and grey shell, assigning each family a plot, and thus Tel Aviv’s founding families began building the first modern, Hebrew city.

The time was at a peak wave of Jewish immigration – the Second Alyia. Neighborhoods in the ancient port city of Yafo were becoming overpopulated and crowded. Many of the newcomers were Europeans of middle-class origin who sought to build surroundings that would give them a sense of what they had left behind. They wanted to build a modern suburb of Yafo.

The true development of Tel Aviv took off with the arrival of Scottish urban planner, Sir Patrick Geddes. In response to the unplanned expansion of the city, Geddes was invited by the municipality in 1925 to present a comprehensive master plan for Tel Aviv. In his vision, Tel Aviv was to be a garden city, as foreseen by its founders. His plan called for a clear separation between main streets, residential streets and vegetation filled pedestrian boulevards. An important element of his plan, reflecting the social climate of the time, was the creation of shared public spaces – in the form of parks and squares, as well as within residential blocks.

The city was again transformed starting in 1932 by a massive wave of immigration of Jews fleeing persecution in Europe whose arrival rapidly expanded a small town of 42,000 people into a flourishing city of 130,000 by 1936. In 1934, in the midst of this wave (the Fifth Aliya), Tel Aviv was declared a city, and Meir Dizengoff, the president of its council, as its first mayor.

The housing needs of this wave of immigration brought the rise of the Bauhaus, or Modern Movement, style of architecture. Many architects trained in the Modern style were among the refugees from Europe who began rapidly building to accommodate the population growth, resulting in what today is known as the White City. Influenced by the clean, functional lines of the Bauhaus School of Art and Design in Germany, they adapted the Modern style to suit Tel Aviv’s culture and climate, giving the city its special look. The White City of Tel Aviv, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, includes over 4,000 buildings in the Modern style.

In the 1930’s, Tel Aviv became the country’s largest economic center and had the highest concentration of social and cultural institutions. Tel Aviv was the center of the emergence of Hebrew culture and culture in Hebrew – and remains so to this very day. Tel Aviv became known for its modern cafes, hotels, concert halls and nightclubs. The city enjoyed a sense of international chic, which was rare for the region, especially at the time……….. (history of Tel Aviv continues on the website below)

The Bauhaus was a school which operated in Germany between 1919 and 1933 and was devoted to art, architecture and design. It had remarkable influences on all these disciplines. Although throughout its years it carried varied approaches, some ideas were maintained. One main principle is the reunion of the arts and the crafts in order to achieve total works of art. According to this principle, all arts, as well as new technologies, should be combined in the art of building. A significant approach in the school was the search for the basic ingredients of art and design. Thus evolved the “Bauhaus Style” in architecture and design—in which primary forms and colors are given great importance. The Bauhaus had a great impact on the Modern Movement in architecture, embracing functionalism and rationality and condemning ornament. The architectural style of the modern movement is called “The International Style” or “Bauhaus Style”. This style is characterized by asymmetry, compositions of primary volumes—cubic and rounded, ribbon windows, pilots, thermometer windows, balconies, roof terraces and plays of shadow and light.

Bauhaus In Israel

Modern white building rises from the sand in Tel AvivFour Israeli architects studied in the Bauhaus school: Arieh Sharon, Shmuel Mestechkin, Munio Gitai-Weinraub and Shlomo Bernstein. However, the influence of the Bauhaus on the architecture built in Israel in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s was by far wider than being expressed by those architects only. The legacy of the Bauhaus was absorbed by other architects, studying in Brussels, Ghent and Italy, such as: Dov Carmi, Genia Averbuch, Ben-Ami Shulman, Ze’ev Rechter and Joseph Neufeld. And of course—all of those prominent figures presented the new ideas to just everyone who was around. In Tel Aviv only, more than 4,000 “Bauhaus Style” buildings were built. Thousands more were built in Haifa, Jerusalem, the Kibbutzim and elsewhere in Israel. The main question is, therfore—how, in an era when this new style was still unpopular, did it reach such magnitude in the built work in Israel? The main answer is that the social-cultural ideology behind the “Bauhaus Style” fit like a glove to the socialist-Zionist movement and to the striving of this movement to create a new world. White houses, in every sense—form, style, material, functionality, color—grew from the sands without a past, towards a future.

The Bauhaus and Israeli Architecture Page

“Though being over 5,000 years old and considered the source of western history, Israel lacks the architectural grandeur of a place whose significance would presumeably justify such structures. What she has instead – particularly from the modern era – is a trove of architectural designs ranging from the Ottoman to the Levantine, Bauhaus and our own domestic specialty of "box" buildings on columns.

She hasn’t often had the luxury of looking back and appreciating the greatness of her architecture, though its presence has been celebrated in song and in the popular culture – the piece "White City" ("Ir Levena" in Hebrew) celebrates the beauty of (old) Tel Aviv when its bauhaus structures were still white from newness; Chava Alberstein remensices about the centrality of the Israeli balcony in peoples’ lives in her song "Playing Cards on the Balcony". The balcony in our popular culture is the little citizen’s plot of the congested land on which he can survey the landscape, spy on – or, in days past, shout across the street to – his neighbor, hang out his laundry or beat his carpets, entertain his guests – or do a barbeque. The balcony is also a key hallmark of the various architectural styles in our country and a centerpiece of attention when observing the buildings.”

Bauhaus in Tel Aviv

Central Tel Aviv has the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus style buildings. The International Modern Style of architecture appeared in Europe in the years immediately following World War One. Its greatest exponent was the Bauhaus School of Arts, Design and Architecture, founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar Germany in 1919. The Bauhaus School later moved to Berlin and was closed by the Nazis in 1933. Over the years many have come to regard the terms Bauhaus and International Modern Style as synonymous.

The rise of Nazism and successive waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine brought many new immigrants from Germany, including several prominent Bauhaus architects, to Tel Aviv in the 1930’s. In Israel these architects had to adapt their style to different environmental, especially climatic, conditions. Tel Aviv’s tremendous urban growth at this time provided them with ample work. The results can be seen through the approximately 4,000 Bauhaus style buildings that were built in Tel Aviv in the 1930’s and 40’s.

So what is Bauhaus Architecture?

Bauhaus style architecture favored functionality for the benefit of the residents over decoration. In building design, the organization of space took prominence over mass. Architects strove to optimize light and ventilation, an especially important challenge as they moved from central Europe to Middle East. Bauhaus buildings standout for neat flowing lines, both vertically and horizontally. Decorative elements were avoided. Construction favored the use of modern materials and relied on an internal shell rather than being supported by external walls. In Tel Aviv many Bauhaus buildings were built standing on pillars with dangling corners to provide for greater ventilation and shady areas outdoors.

The White City (Hebrew: העיר הלבנה‎, Ha-Ir HaLevana) refers to a collection of over 4,000 Bauhaus or International style buildings built in Tel Aviv from the 1930s by German Jewish architects who immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine after the rise of the Nazis. Tel Aviv has the largest number of buildings in this style of any city in the world. Preservation, documentation, and exhibitions have brought attention to Tel Aviv’s collection of 1930s architecture. In 2003, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Tel Aviv’s White City a World Cultural Heritage site, as "an outstanding example of new town planning and architecture in the early 20th century."[1] The citation recognized the unique adaptation of modern international architectural trends to the cultural, climatic, and local traditions of the city. The Bauhaus Center in Tel Aviv organises regular architectural tours of the city.

Update from Israel


   We have our motorbike on the road!  Yippee.  Eve had volunteered to help us but we needed one more person and there aren’t so many people here to ask.  Luckily two men came along curious about Doramac and after chatting a while Randal asked them to help.  They were more than happy to help, being "real sailors" for years so they know cruisers help each other.  Afterwards they came onboard for a beer and a chat.  I have no photos or name, but "if you guys look at our website Thanks and come visit again."  That was Monday.  Tuesday we took the bike the short ride to Ashkelon to visit cruising friends and check out the marina again. The marina is fine, but too far away from the town.   Here everything is walkable from the marina so I vote for staying here. 

   The local Supersal has a good selection and pretty good prices and the people who work in the different sections are very nice and helpful.  The security man just waves us right in the door with no backpack check.  I’ve even learned to bring back to use instead of a cart.  But the lines are enough to make you insane.  One evening Eve and I went walking to find the shopping area in one of the neighborhoods near the beach.  It’s great!  You can buy anything you need, even the Israeli diet grapefruit soda in two liter bottles.  The deli even has bacon!  There’s a bakery that sells these great flat cookie crackers that taste a bit like pie dough but not so floury.  They are flavored with anise.  There is a fruit/vegetable store and a post office and pizza place.  They are open in the cool of the evenings too.  Now I’ll only go to Supersal if I need cat food or when I just have the patience to stand in line. 

  We also took the motorbike to a small Not Kosher grocery store that sells salami and shrimp and pork ribs.  Randal is making some in the slow cooker as I type.  It feels odd to eat them here, but I will.  Kosher is sort of enforced here because we shopped at Supersal and they only sell kosher.  You have to find other shops.  Restaurants serve shrimp and other not kosher foods, but that seems different.  Interesting. 

  So now we’ll do more exploring.  We can motorbike to Tel Aviv and Jaffa and also Jerusalem if we’re brave enough.  I’d like to visit Jerusalem on a Saturday just to see what that’s like.  We’ll see.

So that’s it.  Sox not so good…


ps  I read several chapters of the Montefiore Biography of Jerusalem book last night just before bed.  Bad idea.  Lots of horrible killing and mayhem of everyone by everyone.  I had nightmares and Randal had to wake me up. 


Our view at the marina: when it is quiet you wonder what just happened?


Our nearest neighbor..a dredge boat…is always quiet.

I always feel like a biggish boat until we park next to a “big boat.”


Beit Levron Community Center.

Randal and I walked about 40 minutes to get here but they offered no art classes so suggested we go to the community center in Dalet. Ashdod is divided up into areas each with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Dalet is actually closer to us but Beit Levron, in Bet,  had been recommended. So off we went to Beit Levin in Dalet. We found a community center in Dalet but not with the name Levin. They were just finishing an oil painting class taught by a woman who spoke French. That was all they had so suggested we go to the Mon Arts Centre….even closer to the marina!


Ashdod Art Museum

I still haven’t made it in for a tour…but one of these days.  The Municipal Center where the museum is located doesn’t seem to have a letter, just the neighborhoods.


Mon Arts Centre

Randal and I finally found our way in because to us, nothing was obvious. No signs in English. We finally found an office with some people. One of them spoke English and she told me everything for adults had finished and the summer was just for kids art classes. That’s fair but unfortunate. So that was that.  She gave me the name of someone to call about private lessons, but I don’t know if I will.  We’ll see.


Hoopoe…National bird of Israel

It is pretty fascinating to watch these colorful birds especially when they fluff out their head feathers to make themselves look fierce. The black and white feathers are really distinct and their beaks are fascinating to watch as they hunt for insects. You can get pretty close if you are lucky though this photo was taken too far away so is fuzzy. There aren’t many Hoopoeto be seen and I think Linda and Charmaine said they were migratory. Maybe I’ll get a better photo before we leave.

“The diet of the Hoopoe includes many species considered to be pests by humans; for example the pupae of the processionary moth, a damaging forest pest.[19] For this reason the species is afforded protection under the law in many countries.

In the Bible, Leviticus 11:13–19, hoopoes were listed among the animals that are detestable and should not be eaten. They are also listed in Deuteronomy (14:18[20]) as not kosher. The Hoopoe was chosen as the national bird of Israel in May 2008 in conjunction with the country’s 60th anniversary, following a national survey of 155,000 citizens, outpolling the White-spectacled Bulbul.

Just a 20 minute walk along Sederot Moshe Dayan which runs along the beach south from the marina are these ruins.


Ashdod Yam Fortress



The ruins are right on a sandy beach.


There were no signs with information so you just have to use your imagination.


Walking back to the marina.

These walking and separate bikeways are all over Ashdod. It is a very walkable city and very good for bike riding too. We only have our motorbike now, but we see lots of people with bicycles.  Eve foes everywhere on her bike.


Lunch at the Ashkelon Marina.

Our friends Betty and David on Sundance are just getting ready to leave Israel for Turkey. We all met on a Malaysia rally a few years ago.  We hadn’t called ahead to say we were coming to visit so I didn’t want to just drop it at lunch time.  We ate at the marina and then went to visit. 


Colorful and cool


My new obsession…mint tea: sometimes I don’t even add the tea bag and just drink the hot mint water.


The Wednesday Open Air market on the beach in Ashdod.

The vendors often sit up on “lifeguard chairs” and call out to shoppers or just sit quietly waiting to collect money if anyone buys anything. We only looked until we got to the fruit and vegetable tables. Where the stalls are crowded you just have to be brave and jump right in or you would never get a turn.


Fishermen come many mornings.

Twice now fishermen somehow caught their line on our boat and we’d be awaken at 5 am to someone walking on the boat to untangle the line. But they are kind and feed the cats!


And so do we.

This kitten lives in the drain area just across from our boat. A mom cat, maybe its mom, lived there too but we haven’t seen her for a bit. I’m afraid she’s off somewhere having kittens. We call it Ashdod and it comes when we call because it knows it will get fed. In the morning it wakes us up crying for food. I feed it some in the morning and some in the evening. Scraps from our meals and canned cat food that I buy at the crazy Supersal Supermarket.

It must be lonely because it now comes onto the boat. It will be sad when we leave, but Eve will be here to keep an eye out for it. It visits her too. And it will be several months older when we leave so better able to care for itself.

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Coming and going, but not close to us to be pat on the head. 

Today in Ashdod


  The horrible blaring music has stopped and the silence is ringing in my ears.  Perhaps there is a prohibition on noise on Friday night.  I hope so.  It is so amazing.  The marina looked like a scene from, if not Animal House, then at least what a college fraternity party sounded like.  Loud music, beer, singing at the top of young lungs and young males acting like crazy people.  There were a dozen in the open space between our boat and Eve’s and they were just yelling and blaring their music until a blue shirt security guard invited them to leave.  The rest of the noise was on boats that belong here.  There were empty beer cartons and plastic bags floating in the water.  Just a general mess and not very amusing. 

  But now it’s quiet and lovely.  This is the story of the rest of the day.


A Library Disappointment but a Kindle Success

When we were kids we donated money to plant trees in Israel. I wish they’d spent the money on libraries instead. Like Georgia O’keeffe, I’m not so much of a tree person; but I am a library person and Ashdod is really disappointing in that department. I took myself off to the Ashdod Municipal Library today, the closest library to the marina and the only one showing on the Ashhdod map. It was a 40 minute walk but it’s easy to find your way around so that was no problem. (Well I had a tiny mix up on my way, but got lucky and asked a “Municipal Library” patron and she pointed me the right way. Turn right on Shippira and left on Herzl: go a few blocks over and there it will be. And there it was. And it was open! Sort of open as today is Friday and that means early closings and limited services. Only the fiction section of the library was open. That would have been OK if I could have gotten a library card and checked out some books. But only Israeli citizens can have cards. I had been told last week, at the Friday meeting of the English Speakers Club of Ashdod, that I could buy a membership. Nope, I couldn’t. The lady behind the desk suggested I borrow a friend’s card. She was sure that if we stayed for several months we’d make at least one friend who would lend me a card. She did kindly give me the key to the bathroom in the “not on Friday section.” I asked about wifi so I could download 2 Roanoke County Public Library books to my Kindle. She asked what I meant by wifi? Oiy! I turned on my Kindle and there was no wifi. Maybe not on Shabbas? Oiy! So I left and walked the 30 minutes back towards the boat to the Sea Mall and asked at a Kinkos like place if they had wifi or knew of a hotspot. They had computers but no wifi ;suggested the bank and then said, “ Aroma coffee shop at the mall.” Now there are two malls, but from where he was pointing, I guessed it was Sea Mall. I had not a clue how I would find the place once I got there, but I would just search the mall and hope for the best. As I walked to the security entrance I saw in huge letters clip_image001

Aleph, Resh, Vav that sounds like O when in the middle of a word, Mem, and Hey that sounds like Ha at the end of a word. Aroma! Yippee for me. So I went in, sat in a booth and figured out on their all Hebrew page how to sign in and click the “agree to their terms or it won’t work” box and voila, my 2 RCPL books were down loaded in 2 minutes. So then I ordered an iced cappuccino to thank them for having wifi and to hold me for my next trial…the supermarket on Friday. But even that wasn’t so bad. I had brought bags so didn’t need a coin for a shopping cart. Using a cart leads you to buy more than you can carry. I got the essentials, diet grapefruit flavored soda, a bottle of white wine, a cooked chicken, salad stuff, 6 eggs and 2 cans of cat food because the stray mom cat and her kitten have eaten most of the can of Spam substitute we’d gotten God knows where. All that was almost more than I could carry the mile back to the boat. So now we have food and I have about 1000 pages of library books to read before June 21st. One is Jerusalem: The Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore. The other is beach reading: Heat Wave by Nancy Thayer. I started the Montefiore book at Aroma and it looks to be quite interesting.

Randal and I spent yesterday on a bus trip to Tel Aviv to visit the “insurance pool” office to purchase insurance so we can ride our motorbike. Luckily Randal has an M on his driver’s license so he doesn’t need a new Israeli license. They have lots of rules for driving vehicles that aren’t rental vehicles. If you rent a car it’s just a matter of paying money. If it’s your own vehicle there’s lots more paperwork.

I don’t know how long we’ll stay in this marina. It is a lovely location but there is so much noise it’s truly awful. Not boat noise or even Israeli Navy noise. It’s loud music all afternoon and night until the wee hours of the morning. Pounding music and people yelling. I wish they could have a good time without making us miserable. How can think to find ways to make peace when there’s drum music pounding in your head. It may well be kids just finished with high school who are going wild before they enter their military years. I might be doing the same thing. I’m just afraid they’ll have an army all hard of hearing. To be fair, when we need help with directions, I look for a “kid in a uniform” and especially the girls are always helpful. And they are always carrying a gigantic pack and machine guns…or at least half of them have the guns. They learn how to use them and Israel has very low “gun crimes.”

So now it’s time to make dinner. I have no wifi connections so will send this later. 

It is now…later and I have wifi.



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You can see the text of the book on my Kindle and the interior of the coffee shop.

I have to say, I was a bit reluctant to get a Kindle but now I am a true convert.

Some photos of Ashod


  Soon I’ll be writing to you in Hebrew!  I had my first Hebrew lesson today.  I spent about an hour or so with Eve and she taught me how to print and read and pronounce the letters. It will take me forever to learn the difference between Cha and Kha and HCHA… Half the letters are easy and half are not.  At least to pronounce.  I’ll probably be able to speak more and read more before I can write on my own and get the letters correct.  But Eve is a good teacher and has patience so we’ll see.  I paid for my lessons with banana bread. 

   Today was a very full day.  We started the day making our second trip to the Licensing Bureau to see about getting our motorbike on the road.  Randal complied with the eye test that meant walking half way across Ashdod and paying 50 shekels to get it.  But he drew the line at visiting an Israeli doctor.  There are no questions when you rent a car; pay money, show your license and you get a car and the rental company provides the insurance.  Because we own the motorbike it’s different.  So we left the Licensing Office frustrated and went off to the Wednesday Open Air Market near the beach going northeast.  Lots of great fresh fruit and vegetables.  We bought some, less than we might have if we weren’t about to walk to the nearest Police Station to double check about what was needed to ride our motorbike.  It was a long walk lugging our produce, but worth it.  The front desk policeman was helpful, but luckily another officer came along and he was just great.  Coby Mor is his name and he really listened to our problem and took the time to help solve it.  He looked at Randal’s driver’s license and saw the M for motorcycle.  Right then he told us Randal could drive the bike.  But when we told him we needed insurance, that was the issue.  Thankfully he didn’t send us back to the Eye/Physical alternative.  He made more phone calls and found a place in Tel Aviv where we could go for insurance.  Officer Mor called it an Insurance Pool and I’m guessing it’s a place where "uninsured motorists" can maybe get insurance.  We’ll see tomorrow when we go.  Luckily from our travels around Tel Aviv we know where to go and how to get there.  Hopefully it only involves paying money and not an exorbitant amount.  We really would like to use the motorbike around Ashdod and even go further afield.  It was interesting going into the police station which was located in a neighborhood.  There was no security check; you just walked in the door.  I mentioned that to Eve.  She said sure, of course, there are no crowds.  Suicide bombers go where there are crowds.  Not a happy thought but it does explain why no check at the Police Station or the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv.  As for Officer Coby Mor; he reminded me of my cousin Stuie when Stuie was young.  If they ever need a "poster boy" for the Israeli Police they could certainly use Coby Mor.  He even took the time to listen to Randal’s Marine war stories about the M16 rifle and shared his own about Israeli weapons.  Just a really nice man.  Actually, everyone we’ve met connected with Israeli security has been very pleasant. 

  So that’s the story.



DoraMac in the Ashdod Blue Marina

The building with the sloping roof is being developed as a venue for weddings and parties. Hopefully it will be finished after we leave. There’s already lots of partying and loud music so when the facility is finished there will be even more partying and loud music. But so far we haven’t had to close up the boat and put on the AC as we had to do in Georgetown Penang Malaysia when the QE II Restaurant/Bar blasted music from 9 pm until 4 am Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. DoraMac vibrated!


We are down the finger pier to the right of my shadow.

Just past the taller grey building on the left is the mall/ art museum/ supermarket area: a 15 minute walk.


Surrounded by munchkin crafts…sea kayak classes are held here as well as sailing classes.

There are 4 boats behind the far dock. The small one on the right, with its bow behind the base of the pole and with the blue cover is Eve’s catamaran.


The sand lot behind the marina provides some open space between us and the hot air of the city.

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The promenade along the beach southwest of the marina has lanes for walkers and bikers.

Charmaine, Linda and I walked one morning and I’ve gone myself since then. There’s a “natural turn around point” about 45 minutes from the boat. Across the road are high rises but then mostly single family homes almost touching each other on the sides but each with what looks like backyard living areas


About every hundred yards there are exercise areas. This one is for people in wheelchairs to share.


The curved side of the sails sculpture faces town; the straight side towards the marina.


Across from the sails sculpture is the art complex and just beyond that two malls, two supermarkets and lots of shops. Beyond that are more really walkable streets, high rises and open spaces.


Randal and I ate lunch at the Café Greg with the art complex visible behind us.


Our grocery store… Supersal in English and Hebrew if you can read it.

You never want to go late in the day and whenever you do go, bring lots of patience. The lines are long, the cashiers slow and groceries are bagged by shoppers so it takes forever.

The party ferry is just now going past out for an evening cruise…can you hear the salsa music?


Across Sederot Herzl along Sederot Menahem Begin. (You could only be in Israel with street names like Herzl, Begin, Rabin…. Wide covered arcades of small shops line both sides of the divided road. Better read either Hebrew or Russian if you want to get along without having to ask for help. Actually, most of the shop keepers in the arcade area do speak English. Above the shops are high rise apartments.


Cars everywhere in Israel stop at Zebra crossing for pedestrians.

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The silver cone is a memorial to Ilan Ramon, the Challenger astronaut: looking back towards it.


From this mornings walk back from the Wednesday Open Air Market: a giant “street sale.”

The market is quite good. We paid 15 shekels for a large cantaloupe, some potatoes, tomatoes, an eggplant, two red bell peppers and some cucumbers. All that equals $3.85! Unfortunately it’s about a 30 minute walk from here so we can’t buy lots because we can’t carry that much unless we get our motorbike on the road or unearth our “drag behind cart.”


Moon over Ashdod.

Last night was the most giant orange moon I’ve ever seen. At first I thought it was something like the Citgo Sign that looks as if it’s sitting on Fenway Park. But then it gradually got higher in the sky and I realized it really was the moon.

Friends say good-bye


   Charmaine and Linda are on their way back to Canada and other adventures.  The boat feels empty.  I looked at two mugs in the strainer and realized I will always think of them as Charmaine and Linda’s mugs.  But lots of good memories. 

     Randal says he hates shopping at the supermarket here.  I don’t love it either.  The lines are really long and not so orderly and there are no baggers so it takes forever.  We have decided to go everyday and buy "10 or less" to get through the really slow "quick line."  The security man recognizes us now so doesn’t check our bags when we go in, and the fruit guy is becoming a friend too.  He tried to talk us into a water melon the other day, as it was on sale but we were walking so there was no way.  The line at the big post office we visited was too long and slow to bother and so was the line at the "driver’s license office."  We did find a small, much friendlier post office nearer to us and tomorrow we’ll be at the license office when it opens at 8 am.  We also found a great chicken doner place.  They make it on a baguette rather than pita.  They slice a crusty baguette and spread it with humus.  Then you take it and stuff it with chopped veggies.  Next they fill it with the slice grilled chicken.  In our favorite Marmaris doner restaurant they slice the chicken with long sharp knives.  In this place they used what looked like an electric  hair clipper!  Randal and I split a baguette and that was plenty.  Tomorrow is the "open air market" on the beach so we’ll go and get some fruit and veggies.  I hope it isn’t too crazy like the big open air market in Tel Aviv.  It was like being in a mall just before Christmas, or the supermarket just before Thanksgiving.  Randal and I are used to shopping in Yeni Erenkoy!  There are two grocery stores near us.  One, you either speak Russian or Hebrew.  Those are your choices.  So I shop at the one where half the people know some English even if it means longer lines.  But whose fault is it?  I had every chance to learn Hebrew.  Shoulda!  When we were looking for the post office ( I now know the Hebrew for it) I asked one woman for help.  She asked if I spoke Russian, Dutch, or Hebrew?  Nope!  But she made a valiant effort to point the way we should go and when we got closer, we actually did find it.  Randal had to mail a boat thing to somewhere. 

  So that’s it from here.



We met Eve and her catamaran in North Cyprus. If you remember we had “Passover” on her boat and she made great eggroll with blintz wraps! Even lives across the dock from us here at Ashdod. When we arrived in Ashdod it was the manager Yoram Greenberg and Eve who caught our lines. We had all talked about falafel so Eve said she would make us a falafel dinner.


Eve’s catamaran named… Eve!

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Making falafel balls……


Randal was checking out the spicy sauce that you can add if you dare. Humus, tahini, and an “Arab chopped salad.”


The pink bowl has garbanzo beans that you can add as well as some pickled vegetables in the white bowl.


Even demonstrates…

First you cut a piece of pita in half. Then you spread it with some humus. Next add anything from the table you want in your pita sandwich. Falafel is made from garbanzo beans (or you can use fava beans) and when you eat them as well as humus (from garbanzo beans) as well as garbanzo bean you are eating a lot of beans whether you know it or not. By morning Linda and I were rethinking our approach to eating falafel sandwiches. If you look over Charmaine’s right shoulder you can see the high rises across the road from the marina area. Lots of high rises in Ashdod. But lots of parks and green space too. But hardly any libraries!


In their dreams… Linda and Charmaine at the wheel of Eve’s boat…we’re tied to the dock!

Our time with Charmaine and Linda has come to an end. Today they are on their way back to Canada. It was a visit filled with adventures and stories to tell. They left us with great memories, an up-to-date and well organized medical kit, and…..a set of beautiful knives, forks and spoons. ( When they arrived they’d presented us with lovely unbreakable tumblers and wine glasses!) I’d been complaining about getting the really “awful fork” every time we ate. We had outfitted the boat in China where knives, forks, and spoons aren’t so important. Fancy department stores in Zhuhai had no silverware so we had to buy what we could at the small grocery stores in Jingan and Baijiao. They served their purpose and aren’t terrible. And along with them we’d picked up some odds and ends ones and that was the fork I hated. They just didn’t feel good in your hand and we definitely didn’t love them. Our last evening with Charmaine and Linda, they presented us with a lovely Thank You note and a gift.


Silverware from Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv.

They are silver in color, the brown is the reflection of the flash or the wood drawer. We would have picked the same ones if we’d been there at the store! We love them. I even love washing them!

Good-bye to friends……..

Linda and Charmaine each arrived with 2 packs, their yoga mats which they used every day! and a computer. After their year on the round the world Odyssey bike trip, they know how to pack. But remember they arrived in Cyprus in March when it was cold but also had to bring clothes for the desert heat so it was a bit tricky. And they did buy a few souvenirs and collected some Herzliya rocks. But it was all packed up and the taxi arrived at 7 am on time to drive them to the train station. It would take two trains to get them to Ben-Gurion Airport.

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Charmaine and Linda with their packs!

Our dock mate is a huge orange dredge. It makes it hard to see Linda’s orange front pack.

We received a last “Israel message” from them……

We are safely at the airport.

Lovely fast free wifi!!

It took only a few minutes to get to the train station, 2 hrs to the airport

by train….45 minutes to get through security …and not too busy out here

today. They didn’t care about liquids at all – not even the little bag of 100

ml or less!! Didn’t have to take our boots off etc. Our passports were

reviewed at 5 stations then the immigration control, makes 6!!



  It’s Saturday so most everything is closed and there are no buses.  We walked the lovely promenade along the beach.  Then two of the English Speakers Club of Ashdod members came to visit Eve and us.  We all walked the promenade the other direction for a bit. is their website and you can see how lucky we are that this group is here.  It was Chana and Sue, and her two dogs were our visitors. 

   Randal and I had anniversary # 13  Here are a few photos.  Soon I’ll send some of Ashdod which is Israel’s first planned city and its 5th largest. 


Celebrations: Anniversary and Bar Mitzvah


May 29, 2012 Anniversary # 13

Linda and Charmaine treated us to an anniversary dinner. This restaurant at the marina was recommended by Yael who works at the Herzliya Marina and also our friend Amos who has a boat at the marina. They were right. As soon as you sit down they bring you a dozen different meze dishes and some bread. Fried eggplant rings, breaded cauliflower, a pink, sushi like pickled herring were among the meze. Then they take your order. Refills on the meze come any time you want. I had calamari main which are calamari that are small but come whole. Linda had a mix of shrimp tempura and calamari rounds. They goofed and brought Linda the wrong thing so just added the right things to the plate and didn’t charge. Randal had salmon and Charmaine bouillabaisse and nothing was left at the end except some potatoes. Very, very full.


Shrimp and Calamari: Not kosher for Passover or any other time. But they were really good. The lemons here are the size of grapefruit. On the menu they had 3 listings: fish, seafood, and shellfish. We guessed that only those listing under “fish” were kosher.


Bar Mitzvah boy. Mazal Tov!

This young boy’s father asked if they could take some photos of his son on our boat. We gave him one of our American flag bandannas.

A fun day in Jaffa


   Today we met many Israelis.  This morning we went to the weekly meeting of the English Speakers Club of Ashdod held at Cafe Hillel in the City Mall.  We were welcomed and included and we’ll go back next Friday.  This evening Randal and I went to the Friday afternoon/evening meeting of the "Old Salts" on a boat just down the dock from us.  We’d sort of met one of the men the day we arrived.  He and another man came on board for my 10 minute tour.  All of the men work in the marine industry and have for years.  All have stories to tell.  Randal went first while I was on Eve’s boat helping her with a computer task. Later, I went to retrieve Randal, and ended up staying another hour myself.  Two seconds after I’d joined the Old Salts group, I had a glass of beer (I’d asked for water, but the choices were beer, vodka or whiskey,) a wonderful whole small white panfried fish, some great white cheese, pickles, later a pancake with honey, and thick Israeli coffee.  So much for just going to get Randal!  Randal had tried to have Charmaine and Linda go with him when he left, but they took a pass. When I went off,  I thought I’d be back in no time with Randal in tow.  By the time Randal and I finally returned to the boat, Charmaine and Linda had made our planned spaghetti dinner!  Luckily we returned before the pasta was cooked so they could halve the amount. 

     Tomorrow we there is a beach fair and later some Israeli folk dancing.  We’ll probably go for all or part of it.  In the morning I think I may finally check out the Ashdod Art Museum. 

This email is a much more light-hearted email than the few previous ones.  It’s about our day in Jaffa.



Shortly after our arrival in Herzliya we took the # 90 bus to the end of its route in south Tel Aviv, just short of Jaffa. We walked the promenade along the beach and climbed the hill into Old Jaffa.


Linda and Charmaine looking towards Old Jaffa Port.


Art or graffiti? Some faces were familiar and some were not.


As Linda Levy said, “if you wanna see something, you gotta go up.”

Jaffa Hill rises 40 meters (130 ft) above sea level.


We went to the visitor center for some maps and then “time for food.”

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Mint tea

You get a mug of hot water with lots of mint leaves and a Wissotzky tea bag.

We shared a giant foccacia with some dip and while everyone else had cappuccino, I had a cup of mint tea. I love that they give you Wissotzky tea. My mother used to talk about Wissotzky tea and it is way WAY better than the Lipton they give you every place else.


Looking back towards the Tel Aviv skyline from Jaffa Hill.

I think it’s funny that Tel Aviv was started to get away from crowded Jaffa!


Wishing Bridge

A wooden bridge strung across a narrow road passing through the park is known as the ‘wishing bridge.’ A sign tells us that an ancient legend holds that if one stands on the bridge holding one’s zodiac sign and makes a wish while gazing out to sea, the wish will come true. Whether this is a tale of an old Jaffa fisherman’s wife or not is anybody’s guess, but as a photographic vantage point, one cannot go wrong.

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Scorpio Randal and Libra me. Notice neither one of us is touching our symbol or looking to the sea!

We walked through the old section of Jaffa popping into the small arty shops.


I stopped to peer into a window of one of the shops on a street of old stone buildings. There were, what looked like 3 dimensional scenes of people painted on glass of old Jerusalem. A woman came out from the shop. Born in New Jersey, but an Israeli now for many years, her father made the wonderful prints on glass. We talked for a bit and she told me a funny story. She returned to New Jersey to visit her cousin. Remembering the slang of her youth she kept using the phrase, “far out.” Her cousin kept having to say, “no one says that any more.” Funny what changes.

Next we walked over to the small Jaffa port which is developing into a center for design studios.


The small fishing boats.


Randal had to watch these men mix some bondo for a repair job they were doing.


I had to visit this design studio because it just totally reminded me of my nephew Andrew and his design school years.


The we walked through the Jaffa Flea Market area which was lots of fun. But nobody bought nothing.

“The Jaffa Flea Market, or, in Hebrew Shuk Hapishpishim is one of the highlights of the area with vendors selling products of any variety imaginable lining the sidewalks. Weaving your way through an array of treasure, junk, and daily basics, you’ll see everything from Judaica, Persian tiles, jewelry, old jeans, and Indian mildewed clothes. Its an incredible cultural experience, where bargaining and haggling rule the day… fun in itself.”

Oddly, it was the only day we ever visited Jaffa. Fridays and Saturdays were out because of the shortened day of public transportation on Friday and none on Saturday. When we could travel we went further afield.

Here is some info about Jaffa from the Tel Aviv government website.


The story of Jaffa (known in Hebrew and Yafo) begins in the days of ancient Egypt and continues over the generations through the biblical period, the Crusades, the period of the Ottoman Empire and the British Mandate, the War of Independence and the establishment of the State of Israel.

Jaffa’s story begins 4,000 years ago. Archeologists estimate that the Phoenicians, the ancient tribe of sea dwellers, established a city and port by the Jaffa Harbor. It is assumed that the name Jaffa is derived from the word Yafa ("the beautiful") in Arabic and Hebrew. Others attribute it to Japheth, son of Noah, who built it after the flood, and whose name today graces the city’s main street. Jaffa is mentioned in the Book of Jonah, which tells the story of how the Jonah the Prophet descended to the city’s port and sailed for Tarshish in an effort to escape from God’s command.

Another story associated with the city comes from Greek mythology. Many claim that the tale of the beautiful princess Andromeda, who was bound to rocks in the sea, took place exactly facing the shores of Jaffa. Andromeda’s mother, Queen Cassiopeia, bragged that her daughter was more beautiful than the daughters of Poseidon. The Greek god of the sea became angry, inundated the shores of the Land of Israel with tidal waves and sent monsters to devour the people. Cassiopeia was asked to sacrifice her daughter Andromeda to one of the monsters in order to calm his anger. When she bound her to the rocks Perseus killed the monster, thus rescuing and marrying Andromeda. To this day it is possible to catch a glimpse of the chains on Andromeda Rock, at the entrance to the Jaffa Port.

Kings, Emperors and Warriors

Recorded history documents Jaffa as early as the 15th century BCE, when Pharaoh III conquered it and made it his governing center for the region. In biblical times Jaffa was awarded to the Tribe of Dan and, in the days of King Solomon, it served as a major port through which the cedars of Lebanon, which were used to build the holy temple, were imported. It was also through Jaffa that Alexander the Great arrived to conquer the region, as well as a site conquered by the Roman Legions as they went about expanding the borders of the Roman Empire. Centuries later, Jaffa witnessed King Richard the Lion Heart of England as he led a Crusade to fight the armies of Salah-al-Din, and French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte as he sought to capture the Holy Land from the Ottoman Empire. And all that time, Jaffa served as the main gateway for Christian, Muslim and Jewish pilgrims arriving at the Holy Land.

In 1879 the wall which encircled the old city was breached in order to allow Jaffa to expand. Among the first new quarters to be established was the Hebrew neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, in 1887.

The Struggle for Independence

At the outbreak of World War I, the residents of Tel Aviv found themselves in a state of distress. The Ottomans, who then ruled the land, feared that Tel Aviv would become a base for espionage and subversion against the regime and stopped all development and construction activity in the city. When the British army took over Jaffa by the end of the war, construction was resumed.

From its founding as a neighborhood of Jaffa, Meir Dizengoff, Tel Aviv’s first mayor, struggled to achieve an independent status for his city. During the Arabs riots of 1921 the British granted him his wish and declared Tel Aviv a township. Relations between Jaffa and Tel Aviv were hostile at that time, and they worsened as the Jewish foothold in the country strengthened.

In 1948, as Jewish and Arab forces clashed throughout the country, the members of one of the Jewish underground organizations, the National Military Organization (I.Z.L or "Irgun") set out to conquer Jaffa. Members of the organization tried to take control of Manshia neighborhood, but they were driven back and suffered many casualties On May 13, 1948, Jaffa surrendered a day before the establishment of the State of Israel. A year later Tel Aviv’s new Mayor, Israel Rokach, decided to unite Tel Aviv and Jaffa and, in October 1949, the Government of Israel approved their unification under one municipal authority – the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality.

Jaffa Today

Jaffa’s area covers some 6.45 sq kms, which amounts to about 12% of the total area of Tel Aviv – Yafo. Its population, numbering some 45,000 residents, includes Jews and Arabs, Muslims and Christians.

Mayor Ron Huldai has initiated a policy of granting priority and concentrating efforts on the rehabilitation and development of Jaffa. In May 1999 a special unit, Ha-Mishlama Le-Yafo, was established as the executive arm of the municipality for achieving this goal. The Mishlama works to further both building and social projects, and recruiting human and financial resources from the government, the public, the business community and the municipality…..

Jaffa Port

The Tel Aviv – Yafo Municipality purchased Jaffa Port, which for thousands of years had served as a major gateway for the import and export of merchandise to the Land of Israel and as a home base for the Mediterranean fishing boats. Following extensive renovations, the Port is now one of Jaffa’s major entertainment and leisure complexes, with a vibrant and bustling shopping and cultural scene.

Culture and the Arts

Jaffa today is a major cultural hub. With its unique urban scenery and buildings and its proximity to the center of Tel Aviv, Jaffa hosts many youthful, daring and avant-garde artists. Among the many cultural venues in town are Gesher Theatre, the Simta fringe theatre, The Arabic-Hebrew Theatre, and many more.

Jaffa Slope

A unique park, located by the shore of the Mediterranean, is one of the largest recycling projects in Israel. 1.3 million tons of garbage were removed from a 200 dunam (50 acre), 50-foot high garbage mountain and reused to build the park