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. 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) 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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoopoe
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.
Coming and going, but not close to us to be pat on the head.