Departure from Israel, under the shadow of the latest terrorist murderous executions and high security alerts, had contaminated our hearts with echoing anxieties and pain
Just few days, prior to the Passover holiday, a fanatic Islamic terrorist blew-up the lives of youngsters, celebrating an evening on beer -drinking, at Diznbgoff St. Bar. in the heart center of Tel-Aviv.
The Bar's location is 15 minutes in walking distance from our Tel-Aviv apartment, and only 5 minutes walk away from our daughter’s Inbal, She heard the rescue forces blasting sirens and the noisy hoovering helicopters, from her place, and immediately alerted us , to what was going on.
While chasing the gun shooter, people were advised to stay in doors, and many were trapped in the theaters in around, way late into the night , before the security forces clear-out all threats, and let them leave the venues, to go back home.
Luckily Inbal forgot she had Opera tickets, for that night, otherwise she would have biked to the Opera house, through the blood-shed heinous incident taking place.
The following evening the sidewalk by the impacted Bar, was glittering with the lights of thousands candles, placed there by the families and friends of the murdered, as well as by many other by-passers, like us, who poured their sympathy to the innocent victims' heartbroken families.
And despite the somber atmosphere and worries, the many resilient Tel-Avivians had kept lingering, that weekend, at the popular hang-out Dizingoff square, with there kids and dogs, running around the water fountain, in its center, or licking their favorite ice cream flavors.
In contrast, the awakening in nature this year's spring, seemed to be oblivious to the latest heated events, and carpeted the country with an uplifting amazing colorful bloom, which I couldn't resist photographing and sharing.
(or posted which was sent to me by friends)
And then, over Passover, the stone throwing raucous by young hot-headed Muslim worshipers, celebrating the Ramadan at the Jerusalem Temple Mt, had kept the news headlines, for the rest of the holiday, threatening to engulf the entire region into diplomatic crisis or even armed conflict..
Yet, we made it twice to Jerusalem, this past few days.
The first time to celebrate the first Seder night, which our oldest , Keren- to whom we passed the family ceremonial baton , and who prepared for the first time ever, at her place. Her and her husband out-did themselves, and made sure it was most tasty as well as nourishing to the soul evening.
Then, 2 days before our flight, we, bravely ventured, again to Jerusalem. despite the high security and massive traffic congestion alerts, tied up to celebrations of the the 3 monotheistic religions holidays, which overlapped this year.
( he overlap is happening once every 30 years),
The " Coffee Culture" exhibit at the Museum of Islamic Art which was about to end this month, couldn't be missed, and that was the reason of our returning to Jerusalem.
To our luck and relief, all dooms-day predictions, about the volume of traffic, didn't materialized and we made it both ways from TLV and back, unharmed, and within less then an hour drive.
Museum of Islamic Art (info)
It was our first time at this splendid museum which is worth every minute of visit there!
Opened in 1974. the museum is devoted to the collection, preservation and exhibition of art objects and archaeological artifacts, that represent Islamic art across the ages, through conquests and regime changes, from the 7th to the 19th centuries.
It houses Islamic pottery, textiles, jewelry, ceremonial objects and other artifacts.
Founded in the 1960s by Vera Bryce Salomons, (1888-1969) a woman of vision, a patron of culture and art, and a scion of a British-Jewish aristocratic family, in memory of her professor, Leo Aryeh Mayer, rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a scholar of Islamic art who died in 1960.
Her great-uncle and the family patriarch, Sir David Salomons (1797-1873), became the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London, and a member of the British Parliament.
The first artifacts that Salomons acquired served to expand the original core collection. Later, she entrusted the acquisitions to Prof. Richard Ettinghausen (1906-1979), a renowned historian of Islamic art.
Vera Bryce Salomons - daughter and heir, of her father - Sir David Lionel Salomons -
(1851-1925) and (the nephew of the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London), also decided to exhibit the collection assembled by her father of rare watches and clocks, one of the world’s most important in the early 20th c.,
The display is spectacular, and the story of the collection's theft and return, is intriguing.
This delightful exhibit about the origins and culture exploration of Coffee drinking, showcases coffee making tools, machines and drinking porcelain, along with the history of its first migration from growth in Ethiopia, distribution from Mocha ,Yemen and penetration to all around the middle east then Europe via the Ottoman empire.
Also the initial non=acceptance story of the dark liquid, within Jewish Orthodoxy is
About such Jewish relation to Coffee Trading the book " The Coffee Trader" by David Liss
is highly recommended.
Coffee East & West Qahweh = Wine Jewish Perspective
A spectacular collection of rare watches and clocks, one of the world’s most important, assembled by Sir David Lionel Salomons in the early 20th century.
On 15 April 1983, some 200 items, including paintings and dozens of rare clocks and watches, were stolen when the museum was burgled. Among the stolen timepieces was the watch known as the "Marie Antoinette", the so-called "Mona Lisa" of watches, and the crown jewel of the watch collection, made by the famed French-Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet reputedly for Queen Marie Antoinette, and estimated to be worth US$30 million
The case remained unsolved for more than 20 years. In August 2006, a Tel Aviv antiques appraiser contacted the museum, and reported that some of the stolen items were being held by a Tel Aviv lawyer whose client had inherited them from her deceased husband, and who wished to sell them back to the museum. The original asking price was US$2 million (the value of the reward offered in the case) but this was negotiated down to US$35,000. Among the returned items was the "Marie Antoinette" and a valuable "Sympathique" clock, also by Breguet (to read more on the story)
The rest permanent exhibits and artifacts throughout the museum are all great as well.
The time-ticking,also calibrated our upcoming plans, to make it on time for the flight to Madrid
When we arrived on April 21st at 3:00 am, in the middle of the night, to catch our early morning flight to Madrid, the lines at the security and check-in counters, int BG airport, were already long and winding, despite our hope that all the huge volume of holiday travel, already left the country. since it was 6th day of Passover.
The Iberia flight we booked left on time, and landed at 10:00am into a beautiful sunny though cool weather. One hour drive on the fast Hwy, from the airport, by rental car left us plenty of time to enjoy the remaining hours of this pleasant day for exploration.
I have been previously in Toledo, on 2 other group touring occasions, for only half a day visit. each time , So this 4 days stay was a wonderful opportunity to leisurely be acquainted with this quint historic town and its near-by surroundings.
La Naviera - Sea Food Restaurant
C/de la Campana , 8 Santo Tome, Toledo Tel: 925 25 2532
Hotel we stayed at:
Eugenia d Montijo Hotel, Toledo
Autograph Collection Pl. del Juego de Pelota, 7
The hotel's building is the former palace of the born in Granda to Spanish nobility- Empress Eugenia de Montijo ( (1826 – 1920) She was Empress of the French from her marriage to Emperor Napoleon III in 1853.
The classic-decor rooms in the Fontecruz Toledo de Montijo are decorated with hand-made carpets and have antique furniture.
Arab vaults and even some Roman remains are incorporated into the spa space.
And the hotel's lobby is exquisite
To be Continued...