Joppa by the Sea
I have arrived in Israel and my official duties begin in less than two hours, meaning that my vacation is about to end. No guarantee of any more real-time blogging, okay? With just 30 hours in Tel Aviv (and hopefully a majority of that sleeping), time to explore is minimal but delightful.
My flight from Istanbul to Tel Aviv arrived a blessed twenty minutes early and we used a chunk of that to commute from the distant air strip to the main terminal. As the only English speaker on the plane, I followed the crowds blindly and hoped for the best. (Not my normal modus operandi by any means.)
The ride from the airport to the hotel was a charming Israeli who had just returned from sixteen days in Thailand, was excited to teach me Hebrew, and happily showed off his fancy taxi cab. (It self parked, alerted him when he was on traffic camera, beeped when approaching a stop light. I was impressed.)
I started my journey by walking along the Mediterranean and trying not to pinch myself – is this real life?! – while soaking up Vitamin D. I had no expectations for my outing except to walk along the water for fresh air and exercise so when I stumbled into the history and beauty of Jaffa (Joppa), I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
If this outing is any indication of the emotional roller coaster that will be two weeks in Israel, I’m not sure I’m ready for it. I found myself intensely affected by the realization that Jonah came here while fleeing (Jonah 1:3), that Peter was staying at Simon the Tanner’s house when he saw his vision (Acts 10:6) AND that Greek mythology puts Jaffa as the site of Andromeda’s rocks.
Basically, history galore makes my heart ridiculously happy.