Day 29: Ticho House, Mahaneh Yehuda Market

Trip Start May 14, 2008
Trip End Jun 17, 2008

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Today is our 37th wedding anniversary!  Four days after our marriage, we were on a plane to Israel and here we are again!  We have changed and so has Israel.  We have enjoyed this trip so much that we doubt it will take another thirty-seven years for us to return.  

Today is to be a slow, relaxing pace.  We start the day with an activity that we both really enjoy, listening to live music.  Madeleine Lavine (our private guide on Wednesday) in an email prior to our trip had suggested the Ticho House on Fridays at 11 AM.  They offer a classical concert by new immigrant musicians.  Since there has been so much immigration from Russia and we had seen many street musicians in Tel Aviv from Russia, this seems a perfect way to combine our music interest and see another side of modern Israel.    The Ticho House is a renovated 19th century house and the concert is in an intimate venue.  Today's performance is a talented Russian pianist playing inspiring Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Chopin.  We would definitely return for another Friday concert and lunch and would try the evening events as well.  On Tuesdays at 8:30 PM, there is jazz, cheese & wine.  On Thursdays at 9 PM, there is music and songs. Reservations are required for the evening events.  

After the concert, we have a delightful lunch at the lovely quiet restaurant in the garden. As usual we meet the couple at the adjacent table.  Peter is a retired dentist from England whose son lives in Jerusalem.  He works as a volunteer dentist at a clinic for indigent patients for about one month per year, working half days.  In exchange they are given an apartment during their stay.  We joke about still being on a trial basis after thirty-seven years.  They are still working out the details after fifty-two years. Apparently he traveled for three or four months per year for most of their marriage.  He said three months.  She said four months.  Harvey has a poem about marriage.  The last stanza is "A man's got to do what his woman tells him to, if he ever hopes to do what he really wants to do".  After reciting the poem the wife says very seriously, "That does not apply in our case".    She says that marriage is a lot of work. Peter's response is, "you're right". Harvey thinks that that is probably the first time in fifty-two years that they agreed completely.   
We could have enjoyed the afternoon in conversation with these fine Brits, but it is Friday afternoon and I want to get to the Mahaneh Yehuda produce market before it closes.  We walk about ten minutes from Ticho House and when we still do not see the market, we remember a tip we have learned when you're lost in Israel. When in doubt, look for a tour bus! Sure enough a group is disgorging from one and we identify the guide as she is the one with a clipboard.   With her help we learn that we are only one block away!  

Harvey has agreed to go to the market even though he hates crowds. I know our stay will be brief so we walk a section to get a feel for the place.  The goods here are fresh and there are multiple varieties of everything.  Halvah?  No problem, one vendor has maybe 8 different varieties!  Olives?  Do you know how many choices there can be? Fresh cherries, grapes, figs, melons of several varieties that I have never seen, spices, breads. What a fantastic selection!  And the colors!  While I am photographing some fresh dates and exclaiming to Harvey that I didn't know there was more than one type of date, the vendor hands me a date to try!  That is so nice of him and he smiles as I thank him (I should have taken his photo!).  We find a corner to stand on the side and have fun taking some photos.  In a short time we are on our way.

We walk the back streets to escape the crowds, through the Nahalat Shiva neighborhood, with small courtyards and eateries and gradually we wander and weave our way back to the Mt Zion Hotel.    

We rest a bit in our room before our special anniversary dinner at The Colony in the German Colony on 7 Beit Lehem.  They give us a table on the balcony, a secluded quiet location and as the daylight ends and the night lights come on, it is a very romantic spot.  We open a bottle of Israeli wine and reminisce about the past thirty seven years, toasting the occasion several times.  We enjoy the delicious food and excellent service. We have a nice relaxing stroll back to the Mt Zion Hotel.

All in all, a beautiful anniversary day in Jerusalem!

Click here for today's photos!  
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