Last fall. Mr. M and I were so very fortunate to visit Israel during a relatively peaceful period. One of our stops was in Tel Aviv, a busy and exciting modern city. Just on the outskirts is a small area called Jaffa, an ancient city with evidence that it was inhabited as early as 7500 BCE. It was late in the day by the time we got there, a lovely time to visit, but not so good for photography. Still I have a few decent photos to share. This is an excavation of Roman ruins. Jaffa was a port at the time of the Romans.
Nearby is the Statue of Faith
In the same small area is St. Peter’s Basilica.
Several people in our group were invited in the “back door” by one of the Franciscan Monks that resides there. He was the curator of the museum beneath the basilica and was happy to share some stories about his adventuresome experiences late at night as he worked alone in the basement. He was kind enough to take us into the Monks’ private chapel, the original chapel of the church. It is circular and made of ancient stone. The windows overlook the ruins of the original Jaffa harbor. It was a wonderful, intimate experience.
As we left for Tel Aviv, we walked through an artist’s colony that was a picturesque setting for weddings (we saw two) and Bar Mitzvas (we saw one). Within the corridors we discovered a suspended Shamouti orange tree. The Shamouti, or Jaffa, orange tree is an important commercial crop for the area. All of us wanted to know how they kept the suspended tree so healthy. Our guide informed us that it is replaced on a regular basis. So much for agricultural mystery!!
We spent two fantastic days in Israel. I hope to post some more photos another day.