Jaffa Jaunt

25 Jan

For nearly a year a good friend and I have talked about taking the free walking tour of Jaffa offered by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Association for Tourism. Well, we finally did. And even though we’ve both explored Jaffa a few times on our own, we thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

We started off in front of the Tourist Center, about a half-block away from the iconic Clock Tower, and right away we began learning things we never knew about Jaffa. For example, there is a decent public toilet right around the corner from the Tourism Center! Who knew? We walked past bits of pieces of the old city wall that still remain in the world’s oldest continuously inhabited port city. We wound our way through the Flea Market area, past some interesting shops and cafes and up to the Ilana Goor museum.

Cafe in Old Jaffa

We passed this nifty-looking cafe on the walking tour...I hope I can find my way back there someday.

I have passed this museum many a time and I cannot now fathom why I never even thought of venturing inside. We got in free with the walking tour and what a treat that turned out to be! The building is itself an attraction. It was built 250 years ago as a hostel for pilgrims entering the holy land. The artist Ilana Goor renovated the building which now serves both as her home and a museum. Ilana’s eclectic art is displayed in the museum as well as works she has collected by other artists. Our visit was free but time was limited. I will definitely make my way back there another day when I can linger about at my own pace.

Fanciful Chairs by Ilana Goor

Fanciful Chairs designed and fabricated by Ilana Goor

From the museum we made our way to Old Jaffa and crossed over the Wishing Bridge for a spectacular view of the Tel Aviv shoreline. The tour continued on down to Jaffa Port but we were both tired and hungry and decided to go off on our own at this point.

We had lunch at Aladin, a restaurant housed in a 600-year-old building with a terrace overlooking a mosque and with a great view of  the Tel Aviv shoreline. After lunch we stopped off at Ben Zion David, a fantastic Yemenite craft center where we spent some time admiring the silver filigree work and we each purchased a handcrafted silver chain.

Then back to the Flea Market for dessert at my fave cafe in Jaffa, Cafe Puaa and a stop at the shop across the street that sells delightfully designed clothing and baby items made from repurposed fabric.

It was a delightful day out. Is it any wonder I’m in love with Jaffa?

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