Thursday, 14 February 2013

Day 17 - 3 Weddings & A Funeral

I woke up feeling great. Jaw was a bit stiff but I'd had an early night - went to bed at 10pm the night before - and woke up at 9.30 so I was feeling pretty energised.

I needed to get a few bits from a place called Neve Tzedek so I took myself down there. Neve Tzedek is a tiny neighbourhood tucked away in South Tel Aviv that a lot of people, especially tourists, might not know about. It is actually the oldest neighbourhood in Tel Aviv and is just beautiful. They have kept the original style of all the buildings, some of which are different colours, most of which have shutters and flower pots on the outside - more like a quaint French village but with an Israeli twist. It is what I would call 'Shabby Chic / Vintage'. There are lots of jewellery and clothes shops, as well as gorgeous homeware stores and very quaint cafes and restaurants. At night it is beautiful as most of the neighbourhood is lit up with fairy lights.

I had breakfast at a place called Dallal( which I would highly recommend if you are ever in Israel. Then I did some homeware shopping at which point came the 'only in Israel' experience for that day... I was walking along the street, and out of nowhere came a man with a beautiful German Shepherd. The man came out of a side road and was walking in the same direction as me, practically next to me as the roads are so narrow and I asked if I could stroke the dog. We started walking together, talking about dogs, Israel, London and weddings and it was as if he had come out of nowhere, joined me on my walk and we started speaking as if we knew each other, then said goodbye when I reached my destination. To contradict yesterdays story about the moody bus driver, most people in Israel are that open that you can just start up a conversation in the middle of the street with someone you've never met. And in the same note it just proves what I said yesterday about Israels people being a paradox of themselves..

I then took myself back to my hotel where my friend picked me up and we went back to the area near Neve Tzedek to sit in 'Ha Tachana'.

Ha Tachana means 'The Station' and was an old railway station from war years that they have restored and put a little museum there. There are now also lots of cafes, restaurants and shops, and because they have restored the area to its original character, it is a choice destination for couples to have pre-wedding photo shoots.

It may seem weird to those of you outside of Israel but people get married pretty much any day of the week here (except Saturdays), and the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony to have pictures in the daylight. So they often choose a nice place near enough to the venue where they can have some good pictures, and because of its quaint vintage character, Neve Tzedek is a great place for it.

My friend and I sat at a cafe drinking hot apple cider in the sun and we saw 3 sets of brides and grooms posing for their own pictures and it was beautiful. I started realising that my own wedding is just around the corner and I got a bit emotional! (To which my friend of course laughed!)

While we were sitting there watching these brides posing with their grooms, we got a text from our friend who told us that her aunt had passed away and we left immediately to pick her up from work and take her home where she had to wait to hear about funeral arrangements. After a few hours she had to go and pick up her mum from the airport so we left her to it and went to another friend for dinner.

All in all, a day packed with many different emotions and physically, although my jaw was still stiff, it was the 2nd consecutive day without a headache and pretty much the 5th day without any other joint pains.

Have a good Thursday everyone!

Love and light xx

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