Thursday, March 28, 2013

Travel Journal: Israel

They say that it takes a few days to get acclimated back to "real life" and to absorb everything we saw/heard/felt/tasted/climbed/experienced on the trip. Well, its been 4 days and I can still barely piece together the various fragments that make up the whole ten days. One aspect that really stands out is the people I met. While I may not see many of these people I spent every waking moment with (which was a lot, we like, barely got to sleep) I realized that there are no boundaries for the kinds of relationships I will form in life. Friendships can form on various levels and connections can be made between even VERY seemingly different people. I now have doctor, lawyer and hedge-fund friends! That's nuts! The experience really brought clarity to my own sense of self and made me realize that our "outer identities" (our jobs, where we live etc. etc.) don't really make us who we are- we are such individualized beings and true relationships are built on a much deeper level. 

Ok, enough of the real talk and onto the food and pictures, this is a food blog after all!
All of the food throughout the trip was far beyond as delicious as I could have imagined. The meals were fresh, simple and mostly inherently vegetarian (as many places kept kosher). The vegetables were the freshest ever! I ate some of the best cucumbers and tomatoes I've ever had in my whole life because everything in the country is local and organic with no fancy labels or certifications needed, that's just the way it is! All of the "emergency snacks" I packed were not necessary although we did hike 80million miles a day in the sweltering heat and spend the rest of the time on a bus, so they were definitely put to good use. Two meals of note, probably because they were the only instances I went off from the group to eat, were in Jerusalem. 

The first place was called Village Green a vegetarian/ vegan take out place located in the center of Jaffa. It was a causal salad bar situation that charged by weight so you could mix and match food. The gluten free and vegan chocolate mouse cake still stands out to me. 

Our second day in Jerusalem they gave us some free time to wander around the market to get lunch. Initially, my friend and I ran to Village Green since it was so good, but sadly it is closed on Shabbat. We literally stumbled into this adorable little place, such a lucky accident!

The place was teeny tiny. There was some seating upstairs, but we opted for a table outdoor, literally on the street of the market place. Great people watching. 

We started off with some sage mint tea (new obsession) and this bottomless salad that we couldn't even finish between the two of us. It was super simple, but as I mentioned earlier all the vegetables were the freshest ever!

Then we ended the meal with some tomatoey brown rice with spiced lentil burger patties. For dessert, we bought an assortment of halva from one of the stands in the market. No words or pictures can suffice how freaking beautiful this country is, but I'll shut up now and give you some glimpses of what I saw...

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