This Friday, we happened to be close to Jerusalem, so we decided to check out the Jerusalem outdoor market called, Mahane Yehuda. The market is located between Yaffo and Agrippas and stretches through a whole neighborhood. Anyone you ask will point you in the right direction. Also, I should mention that it is very common to hear English in Jerusalem. I did not expect that at first, but even in non-touristy areas, there are tons of English speakers. It feels that every second person is an English speaker.
Anyway, back to the market. It was the best outdoor market we have visited in Israel. It is colorful, clean and loud. You can find tons of seasonal produce, live fish, dates, raisins, nuts, olives, spices, halvah. Basically, everything that Israel is famous for. I kept wishing that I had a big, nice camera to capture the atmosphere and all the nice colors, but you can’t really be sneaky with those. Plus, we don’t want to stand out like tourists, otherwise, Dave and I totally blend in.
Mahane Yehuda is not really a shopping experience, it is more of a cultural one. All the sellers are screaming out prices, trying to get people to come to their stand. They scream in many different languages, Hebrew, Russian and English, whatever they think will make you come over.
Something else I should mention about Jerusalem, it is a city of contrast, a blend of old and new. One minute you will hear Justin Timberlake blasting out of someone’s window and the next you will see women with covered heads and long skirts, or Orthodox Jews wearing black and white. On one street, you will see designer stores, outdoor cafe’s and gelato shops and on the next find small spice shops. And the people!!! There is no better place to people watch. Orthodox Jews, Arabs, Russians, Americans, English, tourists, hippies, soldiers with guns, where do I stop? I wish, I could say it like Anthony Bourdain, but I am not that poetic or articulate with words…I wish I was.
By the way, I love persimmons. They are not very common in the US, but they are extremely popular here. They are so sweet and delicious, you should all try one if you can. Dave is not a huge fan, but I will forgive him because he tried dates for the first time and liked them.
Enjoy some of the pictures, and if you can, go experience.