Over last few days in Jerusalem we kept ourselves busy with outings and planning for the next stages of our journey.
All throughout this visit, the city of Jerusalem has been alive with festivals, markets, music and performances. My partner read about the ‘Arts and Craft’ festival in the area near the old city so we decided to head along. Set up were jewellery stalls, art stalls, clothes, and other hand made goods. We explored the expansive festival area and came to the multi-cultural section. Here, were displays and market stalls from all over the world: from Ghana to Guatemala, China to Czech Republic and everywhere in between. It was like a mini multicultural festival.
After enjoying some Yemeni food (Malawach – a wrap with egg, tomatoes, labneh and other salads), we went to the main performance event. A signer called Ricky Gall who looked like Dolly Parton and sounded like Pat Benetar took the stage belting out hits – which I discovered were big in the 80’s – as was her career. Having said that, the stadium was packed out and the crowd was happily grooving along to her music. After a few songs, we gave up our seats to some eager fans and decided to explore the streets around Mamilla.
We window-shopped as we strolled down Mamilla Avenue and decided to have a drink at the Mirror Bar. It was happening with music from the early to mid 2000’s and we enjoyed a drink from the balcony looking at the passers-by.
It was about 11:00pm and there were still people of all ages and backgrounds out and about, shopping, in coffee shops and chatting in the streets. The picture of a vibrant cosmopolitan against the backdrop of the old city walls.
We also had our last visit to the Shuk in Machne Yuda. In fact, that, we actually got up early to hit the gym where my fiancés brother works. After two weeks of eating without sufficient physical activity, it felt good to hit the treadmill and go for a run. It is way too hot to run any other way in Jerusalem in August.
After a good exercise session, we rewarded ourselves with some of the local delights in the shuk. We munched on Borekas (a pastry filled with potato) and rogalach (mini crescent shaped pastries with chocolate, almonds, or custard) as we watched the customers bargain with shop owners and make their way through the crowds.
Our last night in Israel, we decided to go for a stroll around the Mamilla area as they had some art exhibitions on the street. We stopped in a small Japanese restaurant called Frangelico for a drink and ended up spending most of our night there, talking, laughing and reminiscing. A couple of wines and a bowl of edamame later, we hitched our last ride on the train home. We had an early start the next morning, a very early start.