Yafo (or to some known as Jaffa) is a place that I discovered later on here during my Israeli adventure. When my family was in Israel we spent our ‘free day’ on Shabbat in Tel Aviv. We decided to head to Yafo. We walked all the way from our hotel by the port, into the city, down the Mediterranean coastline, and eventually made it to Yafo. Yafo is one of the oldest port cities in the world, and while Tel Aviv has modernized, Yafo really hasn’t.
Much like a lot of Israel you can be staring into a scene of a building built just a mere five years ago, standing next to a building built over five thousand years ago. On Shabbat the little city of Yafo is lively with markets. Unique jewelry, clothes, and accessories are sold here; there are local artists who have galleries that you can walk into and explore; many delicious smelling (and I am sure just as good tasting) fish restaurants are abound; musicians are playing on the sidewalks and people are walking all around enjoying their Shabbat.
What exactly is this place called Yafo and how come I hadn’t yet visited it until almost halfway into my time here in Israel? To find out more about this little gem I went to where I would get the most reliant and interesting source of information, Wikipedia. Duh! If you want, you can read about it there yourself.
Next to it there was a restaurant that when I walked by I had to tell my family to look into. It was just that cool looking inside.
After a few emotional and quite intense days spent in Jerusalem during the beginning of my family’s trip, Yafo was the best place to go to to have some fun and ease their way into what the rest of Israel is like. So when Ariel and her dad picked me up from my hotel just a few hours after my family left, I got into their rental car and he turned and asked what I thought of if we spent the day exploring Yafo. With a big smile on my face I told him that I thought that was a great idea.
We spend the day exploring parts of Yafo I hadn’t yet seen. There are flea markets and street vendors galore with antiques, magazines, clothing, jewelry, etc. sold right from the years of the early 1900s onwards. In fact, in some parts of the flea markets I felt like I was walking around Eastern Europe in the 1930s. When I hopefully live in Tel Aviv for part three I know where I’ll be going for some jewelry and new apartment furnishing shopping.
What was such a great part of the day though was when we decided to eat some lunch and I realized we were close by to the restaurant I couldn’t take my eyes off of next to my gallery. It was so great inside, it felt like it was designed for me. Bjork was even playing the entire time I was eating. Beets came in my salad. I couldn’t have been happier.