Yesterday was my mom's birthday, so we said we'd go for a trip. My mom talked to Menahem, who's a friend who travels a lot and he gave her some places, so we headed out early in the morning (early in our definition... Say 8:30).
We went towards Jerusalem and the Jehuda mountains, where we hoped to get a glimpse of tulips in bloom. The weather was terrific. We made it first to one place and then the other (Chorashim forest and Kisalon) and there were no tulips in sight, even though the entire surrounding was green and beautiful, full of mustard plants and some primroses. My mom called Menahem again, who directed us in another direction... And there they were! Tulips! Wild tulips are much shorter than cultured tulips, but just as beautiful. In a few weeks the blooming will be gone, so we really did get the last glimpses of them before the season is over. I broke out my Diana F to shoot some of them, I have no idea how it came out (I finished the roll of film later in the day, I'll find a place to get them developed tomorrow or next week). My camera was acting up (it is
almost 6 years old. I really need another one already) so some of the photos were taken with my phone. ( Tulips photos (and other nature shots) )
We finished our rounds of photos and excitment of the flowers (city dwellers that we are) and went to have brunch.
We went to a place called Derech Hagefen (Vine road) in Beit Zait (Olive House! Woo-Hoo!). The place comes highly recommended, but it wouldn't have been that in Tel Aviv. Yes, the food was good and the place is beautiful, but the service was below average and the prices high, and the food is just as good as any coffee house in Tel Aviv (lack of competition, that's what it is - you drive half an hour outside of TA and there's only one coffee place in a 30 km radius. This place would not have survived in TA).
Problems notwithstanding, we had fun and took pictures (duh), including one of me hugging a very reluctant Udi, which I'll spare you from seeing... :P( Vine road photos )
After out meal we headed out to see the memorial for 9/11 they have set out on the way to J-M. Don't ask me who made the decision to locate it there, since it's literally in the middle of nowhere, but we made it there (saw some deer on the way! No pics of them, though. Fucking camera). It's very large, and made with white limestone (I think). The middle piece is dark metal with a piece of the twin towers behind a glass window, and overlooking the hills of J-M is a bench with the name of the casualties on dark metal.( 9/11 memorial )
J-M isn't one of our favorite cities but Machne Yehuda market is a great market, full of goodies. If we would have had a shopping cart we could have emptied half the place... We bought Halva, olives, pastries, cheeses, garlic and other stuff I can't recall. Most of it is awesome (there are always flops with places you don't know). We had a small lunch at Azura, an Iraqi restaurant with really great food and headed out to Nachlaot neigborhood. The street are small and old, and it has its charm. Some really big cats as well...( Machne Yehuda market and Nachlaot )
The last place we headed to was Yemin Moshe, with the big windmill and overlook at the old city. ( Yemin Moshe and the old city )
...and then we headed home through the haze, which made me caugh heavily.( Haze! @#$%^&* )
And in the evening we met Michali and Tomer for dinner at Brasserie, which was excellent, as always. My mom was over the moon after that day...