20 March 2018 // Florine van Rees //Rotterdam
In the land of contrasts, you can find different religions living and preaching right next to each other while they are fighting each other just half an hour away. The vibrant culture is diverse, to say the least. It was in Jerusalem, where I saw the hip and personal touch put in the kippas. Example: The print of a basketbal. Totally cool.
Also, the food. Hummus. Shakshuka. Roasted cauliflower. Need to stop. This makes me hungry. The Israeli show us how to celebrate the art of cooking and present it in the nicest places in town.
Tel Aviv welcomes the people in it's beautiful Bauhaus filled streets and Jerusalem shows us the beauty of hills and souks. Foreigners are welcome, the beach is beautiful and peaceful and everything is from a (beautiful) walking distance. The different areas within the capital of Tel Aviv all have their main character trait. For example, the neighbourhood Jaffa shows us amazing antique and flea markets. It was because of my hand luggage and the practical issue of carrying the enormous thing, but I almost bought the most gorgeous hand painted globe drink cabinet.
Jerusalem is something completely different then Tel Aviv. For me, it almost felt like I was walking on a major film set - It just did not feel real. The Jewish community and the Muslims living and praying right next to each other felt surreal, but what was the most strange of experiences, was the visit to the Western Wall. I entered humble, and soon saw that not everybody had that intention. Selfie sticks, duckfaces, short skirts, phone calls, playing, running, yelling - It felt like I arrived at a festival. I got the bonus of entering a Bar Mitswa and had to be focussed not getting any candy thrown in my eye, it was quite a party for this young boy I must say.
Israel, thank you for your vibrant beauty!