10 October 2017

Carob (Ceratonia siliqua)

Carob is the name of an evergreen tree native to the Middle East which has the Latin name Ceratonia siliqua.  Carob is also the name of the dark brown nutritious fruit which can be eaten as a tasty snack and is also used by vegans as a substitute to chocolate.  It is high in dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and iron.  It contains no cholesterol.  Interestingly, the etymology of the word carat which denotes a unit of weight has its origins in the seeds of the carob tree as the seeds are all uniform and are the same shape and size. 

26 September 2017


Cappadocia is a semi-arid region in central Turkey known for its spectacular cone shaped rock formations as well as churches and dwellings carved into the rock by early Christian settlers and its underground cities. It received international recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1985.  It is said that the geological rock formations of this eerie landscape were formed when three mountains namely Erciyes, Hasan and Melendiz which used to be active volcanoes erupted and scattered layers of volcanic ash and mud some thirty million years ago.  The peaks of these mountains which are now extinct volcanoes still dominate this area.  The rock formations are made of compressed volcanic ash otherwise known as tuff.  This area is now a popular tourist destination and is frequented by hikers, mountain bike riders, people wishing to go on a hot air balloon ride as well as Christians who wish to visit the ancient rock churches.  It is also of special interest to geologists and volcanologists.

12 September 2017

Goodbye for now Tel Aviv ~ להתראות תל אביב

Our time in Tel Aviv has come to an end after almost three years. I have enjoyed living here and I leave with good memories and a heavy heart. Who knows, I may return again one day?  In the meantime, there is nothing left for me to say except להתראות it sounds less final than goodbye.  I chose this photograph because even though I will be in another country it is comforting to know that we share the same sky.  I will continue with my blog but until we are settled again in another country my blog posts will be intermittent.


It's strange.  Sometimes as an expatriate you live in a place for a while and only in the last couple of months prior to your departure you discover a great restaurant.  This was the case with Orna and Ella.  A real gem of a restaurant located in Shenkin Street with a loyal clientele.  It has such a wonderful atmosphere and best of all the food is delicious.  Here is a brief extract from their website: "Orna and Ella, is a contemporary yet time-honored culinary institution in Tel Aviv, existing since 1992. What started as a modest Cafe on Sheinkin Street, has become a highly regarded bistro with a versatile and unique menu. Orna and Ella's kitchen combines homemade food, along with gourmet cuisine." 


Address: 33 Shenkin, Tel Aviv | Tel: 035252085 and 0543265813

6 September 2017

Pri-Or Photo House, Tel Aviv

Ever since I first discovered this shop it has been a favourite of mine.  The shop keepers are so helpful and friendly and the historical black and white photographs of Tel Aviv are absolutely fantastic.  They have a wonderful selection of posters and postcards here.  As the informative leaflet says, "Pri-Or Photo House is an archive shop holding photographs, books, postcards and gifts of old Tel Aviv and Israel.  Established in 1940, Pri-Or Photo House ("Zalmania") is the oldest photography shop in Israel.  It has been family owned and operated for 3 generations.  It has become one of Israel's most important and largest photography archives, containing over one million negatives ...".

Pri-Or Photo House is located at 5 Tchernichovsky Street, Tel Aviv
Opening Hours Sun - Thu 10:00 - 18:00
Fri 10:00 - 14:00
Telephone: +972 (0)3-517-7916 

4 September 2017

Things to do for free in Tel Aviv

Visitors to Israel always mention how expensive everything is in Tel Aviv.  In fact, there are many activities for free and the Tourist Information publishes an excellent leaflet outlining these.  For example, the following pursuits are on offer:

City Tours

White City Official Tour, offered by the Tel Aviv – Yafo Municipality

Tel Aviv Port Tour, offered by the Tel Aviv – Yafo Municipality

Sarona Tour

Activities for Adults, Kids and Families

Yoga at City Hall

Games for Children at City Hall

Tettris at City Hall

Cycling at Park Chorshot

Large outdoor playgrounds for children of all ages

Israeli Folk Dancing

Artisans, Designers and Music Ensembles

Sarona and Hatachana

Beach Libraries

Street Libraries

Many museums have free admission to children under the age of 18 these include:
Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
MUZA, Eretz Israel Museum Tel Aviv
Nahum Gutman Museum of Art
Rubin Museum
Beit Ben Gurion
Herz Lilienblum Museum

The Beaches of Tel Aviv
There are 14 kilometers of beaches which are open to the public and are free of charge.

This leaflet together with many other leaflets full of useful information for visitors and tourists can be obtained from the Tourist Information at the following addresses:

Dizengoff Center (Ground Floor):
Entrance from Gate 7 on King George Street
Sun-Thurs 10:00 - 20:00
Fri 10:00 - 16:00

46 Herbert Samuel Street
Telephone: +972 03-516-6317
Sun - Thurs 09:30 - 18:30
Fri 09:00 - 14:00

Clock Tower, Jaffa:
2 Marzuk VeAzar Street
Telephone: +972 03-681-4466
Sun - Thurs 09:30 - 18:30
Fri & Sat 09:30 - 16:00

Old Jaffa Visitor's Center:
Kedumim Square
Telephone: +972 03-603-7686
Sat - Thurs 09:00 - 17:00
Fri: 09:00 - 14:00  

At the end of the day, you will only get out of Tel Aviv as much as you put into it.  It is a great city and there is so much to do and to see.  I hope you will have a good time.

3 September 2017

ATA - Contemporary Heritage Israeli Workwear

Last month when I was walking up Allenby Street, the window display of a shop at number 93 caught my eye and I went in.  The clothes were very well made using only natural fabrics like cotton and linen.  The shop assistant was very helpful and enthusiastic and kindly explained to me that the brand of clothing sold at this shop was originally established in 1934.  The clothes were designed and manufactured in Israel and were a source of great national pride.  The brand name ATA was synonymous with quality.  Their clothing is fashionable, practical and comfortable.  As well, the fact that it is made of natural fibers is an added bonus as it helps to keep your body cool in the hot and humid summer temperatures.  The informative card above says, "Recently, we decided that it was time for  ATA's revival and we launched two stores in the heart of Tel Aviv.  ATA's founding vision was to create a people's brand.  More than 80 years after ATA's emergence, we think this vision is still relevant and we work hard to make it a reality."  The shop assistant at ATA informed me that the owner and chef of the restaurant Abraxas North, Eyal Shani was behind the revival of this brand.  It currently has two branches;

93 Allenby Street, Tel Aviv, Telephone: 03-906-0223

141 Rothschild Street, Tel Aviv, Telephone: 03-396-27270

24 August 2017

What does Kosher mean?

The definition of what kosher means is multifaceted.  Prior to coming to live as an expatriate in Israel, I was under the impression that the word Kosher implied only to meat and the way it was slaughtered.  Having had the opportunity to live here since December 2014 I now have a better understanding of the word Kosher and its implications with regards to food.  Having said that, what can be defined as kosher or not is rather complex and I would suggest people who are interested in finding more about this subject to carry out their own research.

Kosher, adjective (of food or premises in which food is sold, cooked or eaten) satisfying the requirements of Jewish law.

 Kosher foods are those that conform to the regulations of kashrut (Jewish dietary law). Food that may be consumed according to halakha (Jewish law) is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér (כָּשֵׁר‎), meaning "fit" (in this context, fit for consumption). Food that is not in accordance with Jewish law is called treif  Yiddish: טרײף‎, derived from Hebrew: טְרֵפָה‎‎ trāfáh) meaning "torn." 

Permitted and forbidden species
Animal products
Dairy products
Ritual slaughter
Foreleg, cheeks and maw
Food preparation by non-Jews
Kosher wine
Tainted food
Milk and meat
Fish and meat

Pikuach nefesh: The laws of kashrut can be broken for pikuach nefesh, i.e. when human life or health is at stake. So, for example, it is allowed for a patient to eat non-kosher food if it is essential for recovery, or when one would starve if not partaking of non-kosher food. 
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