Sunday, December 16, 2007

Israel part 2: Sharing the Shalom

There's lots to learn my Hacidic friends, so pay attention!

Tel Aviv is Israel's most cosmopolitan city, fueled by sublime beaches, a riveting nightlife scene, delish restaurants and hot Jews.

Despite that war shit going on, there's still a sense of (arty) optimism on the streets.

Jaffa is the old city, an ancient port and where Jonah set off before being swallowed by that damn whale.

The coast of Tel Aviv. I own this view.

They told us to be careful, but nothing about climbing electric posts. Thank God (and only God) for the signs.

Hey, this cafe looks familiar! (hint: The Bubble)

The market was pretty cool despite the ubiquitous security checks. Matt, translate this for my 2 readers please.

Did I mention the optimism?

I headed to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth (400 meters below sea level).

Here, the sand is salt and the sea is—well—pretty fucking salty. So rich with salt and minerals that you literally float.

Floating without exertion.

This hot Russian just posed.

Remember King Herod and the opulent, isolated fortress he built in 1st AD? I didn't either, but it's a World Heritage Site and clearly commanding.

These are the two camels we rode to Jerusalem. It took only 22 days.

Panoramic view of Jerusalem, including the gates.

Hot soldiers.

The old city was built on top of Roman ruins.

This is THE Western wall, the only original wall from the Temple Mount and the holiest shrine for Jews in the world. Like, all mythical beginnings start here (ie: Adam) and the site includes the Dome of the Rock. Yall, this is like 3000 years old.

Hot soldiers.

You diggin' Biblical times? Time to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

This is the original rock (encased) from where Jesus was crucified.

They buried him here.

After all the history, I needed to go cruising. You wouldn't believe it, but they like to party in Jerusalem.

And, no lie, the city has unarguably boasted one of the world's best sunrises for several thousand years.

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