Saturday, December 13, 2014

A little retail therapy...........

Tuesday dawned bright and sunny, and Shoshi was going to be my guide today.

We were going to Nahalat Binyamin and the Carmel Market. The Nahalat Binyamin is a pedestrianized street, and on Tuesday's and Thursday's there is an Artisans market. We were there early, and there were several vendors setting up their stalls. So we wandered slowly as we had plenty of time.

The street was also lined by fabric stores, and while some of you might be thinking quilt fabric, I'm talking about fabric fabric. There is only one quilt shop in Israel, and it's not here. The fabric stores were fascinating, fabric for 8NIS, (new Israeli Shekel), 10NIS, plain, patterned, and some of the most gorgeous beaded fabric in a store which I think catered exclusively for wedding fabrics, I wandered in and gently stroked them, (why do fibre artists do that? It must be inbred in us to stroke fabric.)

We strolled slowly down towards the entrance of the Carmel market. Oh. My. Goodness. This was suddenly an assault on the senses. The noise as the vendors called out to passing shoppers, the colours, the smells, all of it was wonderful.

Like any other market in the world, clothing for sale

The figs were beautiful, we bought some and had them for supper

Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, or, just cut one open and eat it

The vegetables were fresh

Bread, in the tray at the top, Pita covered with za'atar which is a blend of herbs


Tea blends which smelt wonderful

Dried fruits, mangoes, apricots, kiwis and cranberries

Olives piled high in glossy olive oil

Baklava, one of my favourites and I will be making some for Christmas

Halva which is made from Tahini which is sesame seed paste. I love tahini, and have made batches of Tahini cookies ever since I got home. The trouble is, one is never enough......

Turkish delight in various flavours, I did think about buying some and bringing it home, but that was as far as I got.

The flying pig amused me!

We bought some figs and some veggies and then Shoshi took me into one of the side streets and explained that we were now in the Yemenite Quarter, There were lots of family owned restaurants which looked very inviting. 

Also, you can see how narrow the streets are. I did say I would talk about driving and traffic in Israel. It's very interesting. There is a lot of it. Never ending streams, and we drove almost straight into a traffic jam to get to Carmel Market.

I have to say, that Israeli drivers are maybe not the most patient in the world. More than once as we drove around, Shoshi spoke aloud, asking if the driver of a car that was a little further down but not concentrating, would like her to get a cup of coffee for them as they were so SLOW, I spent a lot of the time laughing, and also taking sharp intakes of breath as some of the driving had to be seen to be believed. 

If you stop at a set of traffic lights, please be aware that as soon as they change, you MUST move, if you don't you will soon be hearing about it as every driver will lean on their horn. I was shopping in London, Ontario the other day, and was a little tardy getting away from the lights and nobody said a word! If you are driving at night, please be sure to MOVE out of the way of the car flashing his headlights behind you as you are in the way and he wants to get past, it matters not what speed you might be doing, he wants to get past you.

Parking is also an art. If you cannot find anywhere to park on the road at night outside your apartment, it is perfectly acceptable to park your car on the pavement/sidewalk BUT you have to move it by 8 am the next morning or you will be ticketed!

Israel is not a huge country, and has a tremendous number of cars, but this was the first time I had ever seen a Smart car parked in such a way............

Shoshi slowed down so I could take this picture...... you should have heard the noise.

We finished shopping in the market, and were slowly wandering back to the Nahalat Binyamin as all vendors would be up and running now, and also prior to lunch - for which you will just have to wait for details - and we walked up one of the side streets, gazing in shop windows as we went, when all of a sudden I let out a gasp! Oh my!!! There was a Danit Yaron shoe shop!!!!!!!!!! 

One of my friends quite often posts photos of her shoes on her Facebook page, and I love them, they are really beautiful, and with my shoe fetish, I think they are very suitable. I found out that Ita's daughter and Danit are friends. Shoshi asked if I would like to go in? We had time so I jumped at the chance. I was a bit like a kid being let loose in a sweet shop (candy store),and tried on two or three pairs. The one thing, which I think I have mentioned before, is that I have trouble finding a decent pair of shoes in North America, I have European feet and they are different. I tried the shoes on, and it was like putting on a good pair of leather gloves, they just hugged my feet in all the right places. I fell in love right there, so, I made a purchase and love them to bits.

So, with a smile on my face and a lovely chat with Danit's Mum who was minding the store, we took our leave and went back up the Nahalat Binyamin and had a slow stroll looking at all the wonderful items for sale, all very good items which also looked very good quality.

These little figures are made of papier mache, and were fun, I bought the little rabbi in the foreground, and had his flag changed to Oi Vey, though it more appropriate!

Shoshi took the shopping back to the car, and we then decided to have lunch. Afterwards, we got back to the car and headed off to Shoshi's office as she had a meeting. It was the perfect opportunity for me to catch up on my journal and also to have access to the Internet so that I could check emails and also catch up with the husband, so off we went. We got to the office which is near the airport, and went in, Shoshi introduced me to just about everyone there and I was able to sit in the staff rest area and get on with my journal writing, I was still trying to write about Jerusalem which took quite a bit of time as I said earlier. After about an hour and a half, Shoshi appeared as the meeting had ended, and we then headed home for a quick bite to eat as we were going out again in the evening.

We were heading to Ra'ananna to meet Nava Libermann and Orna Shahar. Nava is a wonderful quilter and teacher and this show was the work of her students. We picked Nava up at her apartment, and then headed over to the cultural centre which is where the show was being held. Ora was there waiting for us, and it was lovely to meet her, you might remember her quilt which was one of the trunk show quilts.It was a wonderful space and the work was lovely.

Orna, myself and Nava

Orna's beautiful piece which was sort of reverse appliqué which was in the Quilts of Israel show.
I present here some of the pieces that were on display, some lovely work and Nava tells me that her students range from quite young to their 80's.

This is a Chuppah which is used in a wedding ceremony, it is suspended on four poles and the couple stand underneath it. You are looking at the side they would see during the ceremony.

I loved the use of the selvedges in this piece!

The talent that is here is unbelievable and I will be talking about this as we progress on this journey, I do hope it is not proving tedious as there is so much to talk about. Nava was generous in taking me around and talking about the pieces, and after a little while, we sat and had a coffee, and regaled them with stories of the Festival in Ailsa Craig, which they enjoyed hearing.

We dropped Nava off and then headed home as the next day was also going to be a really exciting adventure..........

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