The first couple days of Chef Michael Solomonov's Culinary Tour of Israel
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The group arrived in Israel early on Monday morning and after what probably didn’t feel like enough down time, headed to the Old City of Jerusalem. They entered the Old City through the Jaffa Gate, passing vendors selling all types of breads and pastries traditional to the area. They passed by the Tower of David; named by Byzantine Christians who believed this great construction to have been built by King David based on King David’s son Solomon’s “Song of Songs” which says “Thy neck is like the Tower of David built with turrets, whereon there hang a thousand shields, all the armor of the mighty men." (Song of Songs, 4:4).
They visited the treasured Western Wall of the Second Temple and then after some time for reflection, went to explore the exciting, recent excavations of the Southern Wall. After touring the Rabbinical Tunnels from the Second Temple Era, the group headed to the world-famous outdoor marketplace Machane Yehuda—the pulse of Jerusalem.
Machane Yehuda is much more than just a market. It’s a windy outdoor market full overflowing with colors, smells, and sounds. There are vendors selling all sorts of spices, dried fruit, fresh exotic fruits, vegetables, herbs, oils, fish, cheese, breads, pastries, coffee, tea, candies, wines, and almost anything else you can imagine including a medicine man. All sorts of restaurants, cafes, clothing and jewelry stores, and backgammon clubs can be found scattered throughout the market. The lucky individuals traveling with Michael Solomonov got to taste their way through the Market on a guided tour, rest, then head back out to eat at one of the best restaurants in Jerusalem. Honestly, I’m feeling full just writing about it.
The next day the group started out the day with a visit to Yad Vashem holocaust memorial and museum including visits to the Children’s Pavilion and museum and the Avenue of the Righteous. Yad Vashem, meaning ‘hand of God’, is the Jewish peoples living memorial to the Holocaust. Visiting Yad Vashem is something I think everyone should do at least once in their lives. While it is an overwhelmingly sad experience—it is somehow equally as hopeful.
Comfort food is always necessary after intense experiences—so it was perfect planning that the tours next stop was Rama’s Kitchen, a home style restaurant in the hills of Jerusalem uses contemporary cooking techniques to combine traditional Arab and Mediterranean cuisine. The next stop was Tzora Winery’s Shoresh vineyards for a tour and wine tasting in the Judean Hills of Israel. For a perfect end of the day, the group returned to Machane Yehuda market to eat at the famous Machane Yehuda restaurant.
While Gil Travel can’t promise tours for foodies led exclusively and always by Michael Solomonov, we can plan you a food-centric tour of anywhere you want to go in the world. Contact our Travel Experts now!
Stephanie Lees just started working at Gil Travel in their Social Media department. She loves traveling (obviously), pottery, and meeting new people. Please ask whatever questions you have about her experiences or about traveling in general. Her email address is Stephaniel@giltravel.com.