Today was an adventurous day, followed by another adventure in our sleeping arrangements.
We left Jerusalem and headed to Pitah Tikva. A friend asked if we were going to be near Tel Aviv, and it wasn’t too far out of the way, could we check out a town for her. Of course. So we plugged Pitah Tikvah into our gps and headed west.
We arrived at the town with no issues. It was a very busy place and reminded me a lot of Queens, NY (where I was born). Lots of apartments, shops, traffic, and people. There is a strange thing in Israel, at least it’s strange for me. They have lights that flash, which means you have to yield to pedestrians. That wouldn’t be an issue under normal circumstances. However, it seems the pedestrians don’t need to use a crosswalk, just cross. I stopped every few feet to let someone go.
The other issue we were having is that our friendly gps wasn’t so friendly anymore. She kept disappearing on us. Add to that, our quarter tank of gas suddenly went on alert, and there wasn’t a gas station in site. Because our gps was playing hide and seek (appearing and disappearing at will), we ended up going in circles.
After much prayer, we found a station and headed out of the city, only to end up in another – Tel Aviv/Yaffo. Very busy place. But in the old city of Jaffa, we were able to relax over lunch, wade in the Mediterranean, and stroll through the artists’ quarters. We stopped to see Simone the Tanners house, which may or may not be the one, but the old city was beautiful. The doors to the houses were bigger than the arched doorways. By the looks of it, the doors open inside. (of course they do, Ro! Sorry folks, a very adventurous day makes this blogger a little mixed up in the head.)
Our next stop was Caesarea. We arrived with only two hours to closing. Not a good thing for two gals who like to look at everything a site has to offer. But we decided it is what it is, and enjoyed our time there.
We spent the bulk of our time climbing up and around the hippodrome and the Byzantine buildings that were there. I think we were in areas we shouldn’t have been, but there weren’t many signs posted telling us not to enter. We walked through archways and up stairs to the second floor of some buildings. One of the palaces had a bathhouse with a lot of the marble still in tact, and a wonderful mosaic on the floor of an inner room. I’m hoping to post the video I took to facebook tonight, so be sure to look for it.
The staff at Caesarea was prepping for a concert in the colosseum, so we took a quick look and headed for the car. It was closing time.
As we reached our car, a lot of police started arriving – there for the security of the event, given the situation in Israel. I know I’ve said it before, but keep praying for the people in the land, and pray for peace.
And now our sleeping arrangement adventure! Drum roll, please.
Ladies and gentlemen, it wasn’t enough that Ro and Maria drove up to and slept on the top of a gargantuan mountaintop – so high that there was a tower for planes! It wasn’t enough to wander the streets of Jerusalem, feeling less like a tourist and more like a resident. Nope. They REALLY had to experience Israel in a home.
Our gps seemed to be working right all the way to Caesarea, and had no connectivity issues when we plugged in the address to our next hostel. However, we ended up in a residential community, so figured there was definitely something wrong.
I got out of the car and tried the gate. It was locked. I called the number on the reservation. A man gave me two other phone numbers and said someone should be inside to let us in. Hmmm.
I called the first number. A woman answered and she sounded like she was driving. She gave me another number (which I already had) and told me her father was home and would let us in.
Turns out it was her husband and they weren’t expecting us. I thought that was a good thing, and tried getting one of the booking sites to come up on my phone. Maria went inside to let them know we might not be staying, but they showed her the room and the ‘private’ bathroom, that wasn’t so private.
Tonight we are sleeping in a children’s playroom, sharing a bathroom with the residents of the house, which include a husband, wife, two-year old toddler and a small dog.
We were getting hungry and had not passed an area for shopping or eating, so we asked. After following the directions, we ended up sitting in an American Pizza place (as advertised on the sign) and laughing how THIS is the real Israel – city traffic, non-touristy fast food joints and shops, and sleeping accomodations in a playroom. 🙂
What will tomorrow hold? Stay tuned.