Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Biblical Scholar's First Impressions of Israel II: Jaffa

While we were staying in Tel Aviv, we took a short taxi ride to Jaffa (NT Joppa), which is only a few miles down the road.  This was our first proper bit of ancient Israel site-seeing and a place steeped in Biblical history.  Not far from Aladdin's restaurant, there is helpful plaque summarizing the entire history of the port as it relates to Israel's history.  And a stone's throw from that is a little bit of New Testament history, St Peter's Church, the supposed site of the story of Acts 10-11, when Peter has his vision at Cornelius's house.

Jaffa is a beautiful place, and an ideal place to be in the late afternoon, early evening.  There are cobbled streets in the old city, and great views of the sea.  You can explore the place in a matter of hours, and then take time for some food, wine and conversation in a nice spot.  We thought about eating at the harbour, but the restaurant owner there was aggressive and unhelpful and so we relocated to a perfect place in the old city, a French restaurant with a rooftop location and views of the sea.  We had eaten an enormous lunch at a fine French restaurant called "Messi" in Tel Aviv earlier that day so I was not that hungry in the evening and just went for the fish soup.  And it might just have been the best fish soup I have ever had.  And we could hear the sounds of the wedding at the synagogue next door, with all the instruments and partying out in the street.

Photograph credit: Viola Goodacre

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