We had four days of good weather between our Shabat tour and the next set of stormy days. We took two runs along the Yarkon river stopping at the Daniels Rowing Center both times, first to check on what they had available and the second time to sign up for our first sculling lesson.
On our way back from the rowing center we stopped for a late lunch in our neighborhood at a Hungarian restaurant. We ordered two blintzes which were quite cheesy and bland however the owner and his parents, who were servers, were so delightful and friendly. They brought us complimentary cordials and a free dessert when they heard that it was our first visit to their restaurant.
We went to two museums, Independence Hall and Palmach. The Independence Hall Museum is located on the beautiful tree lined Rothschild Boulevard. The museum was originally the house of Meir Dizengoff, a Zionist politician and first mayor of Tel Aviv. In 1930 after the death of his wife Zina he turned it into an art museum in her memory. This later became the site of the signing of Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. In 1978 Independence Hall was restored to resemble its appearance at the time of the declaration. It houses exhibits on the signing of the Declaration and the history of Tel Aviv/Jaffa.
After visiting this small but informative museum we had dinner at a Vietnamese Restaurant across the street.
The Palmach Museum which opened in 2000 is an underground series of multi-media experience chambers that take you through the years 1941 to 1948. It is dedicated to the Palmach Army which was the strike force of the pre-state underground Haganah defense organization and commemorates their contribution to the creation of the State of Israel. The manner of presentation is extremely innovative. There are no displays or documents but rather the account of a fascinating personal story accompanied by three dimensional decor, films and various effects incorporating documentary materials. The most impressive take away was the spirit and determination of this very young but extremely brave band of men and women.
On the way home we strolled through the Tel Aviv University campus.
We took the bus home and had cocktails while watching a beautiful sunset on our balcony before going out to a wonderful neighborhood restaurant called room service.
Two days after taking the tour of Jaffa we decided to go back to see the flea market. We walked the three miles via the beach boardwalk along the Mediterranean. The beach area was bustling with tractors and clean up crews renovating and preparing the resort area for the warmer months soon to come. The market in Jaffa is one of the main attractions of the old city. It is packed with antiques, second hand treasures and clothing. This market provides the full market experience with the sounds of haggling, the smell of produce and the exciting atmosphere of give and take between buyer and seller. The good thing about our self imposed homelessness is that we are not tempted to buy much, so we left the market only with memories of a fun experience.