Day 2 Jerusalem

Today we slept in.  We were going to start out the day at the Western Wall tunnel which I am sure is amazing but by not going it gives us a reason to return.  You just can't do it all.  Instead we began with a short drive up to the Mt of Olives.  You can see all of Jerusalem from this spot.  That birds eye view puts everything into perspective from the variety of churches, mosques, historical walls and even digs that with just discovered new pieces of history that you can see from above.  It is actually pretty damn amazing that they are still discovering new things every year. 

The weather is spectacular.  At this point we are all ready to take on the day. 

Below the Mt. of Olives is a burial area for only the Orthodox Jews unless you pay the right amount to get a spot.  So we were told. 

Our next stop was the Old City again. 

The bazaars are all open.  Mostly shlock but some food and spice stores.  Amazing how those stores have been here for thousands of years just different stuff.  I am pretty sure pomegranate juice has been sold for years and years.  Their juicer is definitely old school. 

We walked over to the Holy Sepulchre church.  There are six different religions represented in this church alone.  Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox and Ethiopian Orthodox. Lots of different religions praying in this spot in peace.  The slab of stone is from when Jesus was around so they say.

Here is supposedly where Jesus is buried.  People wait in line to go inside where only 3 people can fit and there is a Greek Orthodox priest inside who blesses everyone who comes in.  No surprises, we didn't do the line.

Next stop was the food markets in the old Jewish section.  My favorite part.  This area is called the Mahane Yehuda Market.  It is packed and full of different stalls and stores of food from olives, dried fruits, breads, desserts, juices, vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, etc.  Loved it.  Here is the olive man who is one of many.


Desserts most of them with pistachios.  I particularly loved the crispy sugar roll packed with sesame seeds.

Strawberries galore.  I picked up some dried figs and dates too.  How could I not?

Challah jes
Challah that just came out of the oven.  Sticky, warm, crusty and just plain good.  Jessica captured the moment. 

I had to get some herring.  I grew up with two bottles of herring in the refrigerator.  One was creamed and the other was pickled with onions.  I got some pickled herring which was amazing.

Classic rugelach that was out of this world.  Emily and Josh went a little crazy here. 

These just came out of the oven.  Sweet bread with chocolate oozing out of the center on the left and simple sweet bread on the right both covered with simple syrup from a large pastry brush.  Wow. 

Then we drove through the Jewish ghetto which is occupied by Hasidim Jews.  My guess is that not much has changed over the years but it was certainly fun and fascinating to drive through no matter how many times I have gone through areas like this.  In NYC, just take a drive into areas of Williamsburg Brooklyn.

I had to go back to the old section of Jerusalem to get hummus at Lina's.  Supposedly the best in Israel.  I got two to go because we didn't want to sit down.  They were happy to please.  Two large soft pitas stuffed with hummus, chick peas and chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.  Pretty damn good.

Back to the hotel for a little rest and relaxation.




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Comments (Archived):

  1. ShanaC

    If I think that picture is of Marzipan Bakery in Machane Yehuda (towards the back), then Emily and Josh are in luck- their rugelach are considered among the best in the world. There is nothing like it because it has this slightly sticky but sweet glaze with a super chocolately filling. Plenty of people go nuts over it when they try it(including me), so they are in good company.Now I’m really craving that kind of rugelach and I am stateside….

    1. Gotham Gal

      you are absolutely right. that is where is was located. amazing stuff. wecould have brought back bags of it!

      1. ShanaC

        I know people who have. I so want some right now.

  2. EitanK

    Welcome to Israel! I read your blog regularly and when we lived in NY, we frequently followed your steps trying the restaurants your wrote about (and for that we thank you for some great great dishes).Israel has so much to offer, so much diversity and vibrant places. It would be our pleasure to take you guys out for dinner at one of our favorite places in the Tel Aviv area and to show you around so you could have a taste of Tel Aviv too (I hope it would fit your hectic schedule).

    1. Gotham Gal

      so nice of you to offer. we have so much to do with so little time but my gut is we will be back and be back soon. let’s try and make that happen on our next go around.

  3. William Mougayar

    Great pics and report.Yes, rugelachs are addictive!

  4. Ryan Drew

    The rugelach look amazing, and similar to a Parisian pain au chocolat, which has become my number one craving.