Dec Holiday - Day 3

Fri, 17th Dec 2010

Tufeil woke up at 6am. Meaning I had a somewhat good rest as well. That is just the right time to get ready for bfast at 7am.

It was a shocker when I saw the Breakfast is EXACTLY the same as the previous day. Oh Tufeil will love the sausages and cookie crisps but other than that, there's nothing else he eats. I tried sneaking in some bread or scrambled egg but sometimes when the mouthful portion's not balanced *wink* he'd notice.

Aft bfast, while waiting for the bus, Abang showed Tufeil how to "roll" the truck and NOT to throw!

Today, the guide promised us a longggggg drive ahead! It was a 2hr drive to Tel Aviv. That's fine, i thought, as T (and me) could catch up on some more sleep. And we were rewarded by a spectacular view of the beach!

Isn't this the Red Sea?

The city!

Tufeil still asleep

A sign in Hebrew.
We thought the script looks a cross between Hindi / Thai and Russian?

It was actually quite a hot day today. The Sun was blazing and the nearer we were to the sea, the less cold it got.

We stopped by Masjid Mahmoudi.

Towards the washroom / ablution area


The neighbouring shops were built on wakaf land. As a result, profit from their business goes back to the masjid. So the guide urged us to have a look.
And 2min walk later, we could see...

This Watch Tower.

It's a gift from one of the neighbouring ruler from a long time ago. Hahah I know I'm being very vague but the details escaped me!

After that relatively short stop, we drove on for another hour. We passed by the Jaffa port, Haifa port and somewhere we saw the whale statue to symbolise the place where Nabi Yunos was expelled from the belly of the whale to the beach there.
Atok entertaining T in the bus for awhile.

We've reached Akko!

This is how the roads and pavement looked like.

Just a picture in case I forget the name of the place where we were.

Masjid Al Jazzar I believe this is called.

I forgot what's the significance of this masjid. Sorry. But what was significant for ME was Tufeil actually followed the group in prayer. He managed about 1.75 rakaats before he finally called out for me.

Here's the video.
He managed about 1.75 rakaats before he called out for me and I had to turn the video immediately to acknowledge him before he started screaming. Afterwards, he again stood near the boys but rolled around on the carpet!

Outside, we managed to get a group kids photo but minus the eldest one.<

We were told that the bus was not here yet and we had to wait for it to come before proceeding to the next destination. Of course the group got restless and wandered around the shops. The way I see it, looks like the bus was late on purpose. haha. to help the economy of this town.

Tufeil insisted on this helicopter toy I think about USD 1?
Jangan tak tau... by the end of the day, one of the WHEELs was missing as a result of Tufeil's banging it on the floor! Then complained to me, "Rosak! Rosak" (spoilt! spoilt!) when the thing didn't ride smoothly. By the next day, the bell was gone but still he hung on to it taking it almost everywhere. Before we took off for home, we left it in the hotel and thankfully, he didn't ask for it!

It was 2pm and Tufeil was hungry. I've learnt my lesson and packed MORe sausages and other savory items so he wasn't THAT cranky but I sure was! It was another hour's drive before we reach a Lunch destination. It was a BAR Restaurant. Of course we know the guide wouldn't take us to a non-halal place but many of us were outraged by the venue because there were wines and sheesha that sorta place.

Tufeil was not interested in eating much. Rather, he kept going back to the Parrot's cage and the aquarium where we saw starfish and a mini blue lobster.

I didnt eat much either. There was not much meat involved today =( and after having had to change his diaper TWICE in that restaurant (amidst his mighty struggles), inhaling the smoke fumes, I've almost had it with that place!

The restaurant was somewhere down here.

And up we go to a....


The pew
Stained glass

The place is beautiful. High ceilinged, colourful and bright bringing out the festive spirit and yet dim to impose some kind of authority feeling.

The boys, including T, were so excited playing with each other we got a few recorded msgs played overhead, "Silence in the church, please" much like in the library. It was embarassing! How do I tell T to shush?

And we were led down a small spiralling stairwell towards this place...

Mary's Grotto!

That's the cave where Mary was said to have stayed while Angel Gabriel were sent down to tell her she was with child.

This is my FIRST time being in a church. I can't say for the rest but this one sure is organised. To see the grotto, we can only walk in from one entrance and its a one way street to the exit.

It was maghrib when we left the building.

I remember hearing some bells at the time of maghrib too. Not sure what that was for or if perhaps it was from the synagogue?

Christmas decoration was in full swing

One of the souvenir shops

Halwa shop
You will notice i've chucked my jacket for the day cos it wasn't that much cold

Right after this shot, my mum's heel got run over by a pallet jack by a local. I had wanted to tell Mummy to move aside but I thought, "Oh the hell, he could wait." Apparently, he didnt! and Mum got a blister from it, I hope there's nothing more to it.

It was probably close to 7pm, by the time we got organised and gathered for the bus. And the guide asked if we wanted to go to one final place of interest, the town of Nabi Yunos. To my utter disappointment, everybody said yes. I was ready to surrender and called it a night!

So I stayed in the bus with sleeping T while they all went to pray maghrib and isya'. When they came back, it seemed that they've got an invitation back to the Imam's place out of gratitude of our visit. Now THAT's what I'm looking forward to THIS WHOLE TIME! Always as we passed by people's house, I tried to peer inside and see what their house looked like and how they lived. And now we finally got the chance!

Of course my hp had to die on me! So I try to describe it in words. His house was on the second floor of a 3 floor apartments. The tiles were stone/marble and we were told to keep our shoes on inside. A few large carpets graced the sitting area about the same size as a HDB's living + dining area. Two separate sitting arrangement so the men could sit one side, and the women the other. There was a sink outside of the washroom. I didn't get to see the rooms though.

It seemed that they entertained guests often. Cause as soon as we got there, they started pulling out plastic stackable chairs, sweets and drinks. We even got a basket each for souvenir!

Firstly, we started with recitation of the Qur'an by the Imam's youngest son, about 4-5years old? Then the Imam read another few verses and the Muazzin sang for us the talaal badrul song with many unfamiliar words. We only joined in the chorus haha. But it was sweet the whole experience. We feel sooo loved. They did too. They really appreciated us tourist coming to visit.

It was another 1.5hour journey back to the hotel! At 10.45pm, we were having DINNER! T was flat out at the sofa again. I didn't bother to eat either but since he stirred and woke up, I got him eating too.

Tonight is the last night of our stay in Jerusalem and we were to have an early start tomorrow. HUARGH!!! This trip has proven to be more tiring than a holiday ought to be!

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3 glasses of Juice:

Ashley said...

WOW! Interesting place. So do u feel safe in Tel Aviv? I always pictured the place like so war-torn!

Jussaemon said...

Tel Aviv? war torn? NO i didnt see that. it was totally like a bustling city!

If any place i felt slightly threatened, it would be around Aqsa / West wall where guards were in abundance.

But I guess there are safety in numbers when we travel in a packaged tour. Plus the guide knows the locals and everything.

Mrs Umer Shah f.k.a Ms Sue said...

Seems like you had a great holiday! :) I'm envious! hehe.. Think you had a fun time there through your pics I was able to relive that!