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Photos Tell their Own Story

 Below are some photos of recent trips we've taken and things I've seen.

Emergency vehicle

This is an 18-year-old soldier ready to jump into the emergency medical vehicle. Israel uses the red/white Star of David symbol instead of the Red Cross. These soldiers go to any accident or shooting. We met them at a rest stop. 

 

Farmers Market Dead Sea Beauty Products
This is the big Jerusalem farmers' market, which is packed on Friday afternoons because everyone is buying food for shabbat dinner. You could hardly pass down the narrow aisle. I lost my small bag of figs somewhere and realized it only back at the hotel.

Dead Sea beauty products are a big thing here. These girls are at a little shop having a pedicure by little tiny fish eat the dead skin off their feet. I asked if I could take their picture and also asked where they were from. The girl on the left said, "Shaker Heights, Ohio." Small world!

 

Palm Tree Roadside Wine Party

We've seen many large date palm orchards run by kibbutzim (collective farms). Dates are one of the seven major crops grown here. They go back to ancient times, when Herod the Great put a date palm on his coins. They were so lucrative that Cleopatra bought acres of land from Herod. Other crops are wheat, barley, olives, pomegranets, figs and grapes.

On the way from the winery to our guest house for the night, we were caught in a traffic jam caused by an accident and broken down bus. We had to wait on the rocky roadside for almost two hours. Luckily it was AFTER visiting a winery, so several folks popped their bottles (some had purchased wine glasses too) and we all had quite a party!

 

Wine Barrels

On Sunday we visited the Yarden Winery in Western Galilee. Israeli wine is off very high quality because of volcanic rock in soil and climate. Here is the barrel room for aging. Barrels are all oak but of many different kinds. These barrels are Italian oak. The oak affects the flavor of the wine. The temperature and humidity are strictly controlled to keep the barrels moist. I think the temperature is 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Time of storage varies. The grapes are from about 25 kibbutzim in the area. 

 

Wine Tasting

We had a wine tasting of three different kinds. First you look at the wine to see if it's clear.  Hold the glass at the stem so that your body heat can't warm the wine and ruin its flavor.  Then you sniff it, then aerate it and sniff again. Finally, taste it by rolling it around in your mouth.