Our last day in Jerusalem included some fun stuff. Of course I was going to think it was a fun day because one of the main events was the Mehane Yehuda Market, which is the big food market in Jerusalem. They also have clothing and other shops.
As we got close to the market, I had to take this picture. I just couldn't resist the gluten free sign.
Here we are at the market. I took tons and tons of pictures. Since this is a food blog, you can guess that I love food, especially good food (and healthy food because I am a dietitian too!). So, I took many pictures, probably more than I should have.
I won't comment on all of them, but I hope you enjoy taking a look at all of the glorious food pictures I took in the market.
This is Israeli cheese cake. I figured many of you would have no idea what this is, so it is best to tell you.
These are rice seasonings.
My sister actually bought some of this. It gets added to rice after it is cooked or can be used to top salads.
This is the halva stand. My mom loves halva, so I told her about this place and made sure we found it. There are not normally so many flavors, so this was a treat. In case you don't know what halva is, it is a sweet dessert made from sesame. It is common in the Middle East.
Here is the guy giving us samples of coffee bean halva. So good!
The flat bread pizza stand was kind enough to make us one without dairy.
After the market we headed to this massive park to learn about a program that teaches kids outdoors skills and helps them become independent and is also like a leadership program. It is called Green Horizons. Here we each planted a tree, which is one of the major activities that JNF is involved with.
The Green Horizons people thought we may like a snack of fresh made pita with chocolate spread.
Here is my mom and Joe before we planted trees.
Here I am with my sister.
As we headed over to the ceremonial tree planting area we passed by an area where they were growing grapes.
This is Myrtle reading the prayer we made as we planted the trees. Myrtle is an amazing woman that I had the pleasure of meeting on this trip. She is so unbelievably sweet.
To plant trees, JNF made spots for us that were marked with flags.
We were given these little trees to plant, but this was only ceremonial. They will be relocated later on to one of the JNF forrest areas.
Here I am planting my tree.
Then my mom took a turn.
Here are the flags, which we each got to take home with us.
Last up was a lesson on some herbs and making homemade tea bags.
Later on, for dinner, we had one more JNF event to learn about some of their projects. This on was Team Israel for baseball.
Dinner was at the Mamilla hotel. Sorry that some pictures are blurry, but the lighting was not the best.
I will mention that there was meat, but since those dishes were covered on the buffet line I didn't take any pictures.
I did, however, take lots of pictures of the many dessert options.
In case you were wondering what I picked for dinner, this is my plate.
Then I picked up one of most desserts to try out, at least a bite.
Finally, MLB player Brad Ausmus, who is Jewish, spoke to our group about baseball in Israel and the team they are putting together for a championship in the future. The hope is that the team will include some pro baseball players, as anyone that is eligible to be a citizen of the country can play for the team (meaning American Jews can be on the team).
The last activity of the night was the Western Wall tunnels. I have never done this before but I have heard of this. You can go down below where the wall is and see the wall where it goes all the way down to the original bedrock. The old city dates back many years, but most of the structures above ground are from the Ottoman Turk time period only a few hundred years back.
Here is my mom and sister with me just as we entered and started to head underground. Technically it is just the old city under the "new" city, and this makes it under the current ground level.
This is as far down as the Western wall goes underground. I took this picture from a spot already a good bit down.
It is an archeological site down here and they are still excavating.
This is a model of what the city looked like in the time of the second temple.
It's really hard to see, but there is a highlighted area that marks the small section which is the Western Wall area where we pray today.
This is the long hall way that runs along the length of the section of the current wall. It was a long walk, but very cool. I am glad I finally got to do the Western Wall Tunnels.
QUESTIONS: Did you know know you can plant a tree in Israel (in the sense of donating money and having it planted in your name or someones honor)? Have you ever visited an archeological site?