Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Trip to Ashdod

Friday, I jumped out of bed early, bags packed, ready to go.

I swung through the Ben Yehudah pedestrian mall early, and took a few shots of the businesses setting up for the day, but unfortunately Blogger isn't letting me upload any more pictures right now.

Made it to the bus station by 11:30 AM, raced to the platform, and ran down the Express to Ashdod as it was pulling out of the terminal. Made it on, swung around the corner and, as we pulled out of the station, I realized I had gotten on one of those hour-and-a-half standing room only busses.

I was none too amused. This put a major damper on my bus-window photography.

So I scooted up front and got what I could over the driver's shoulder.

The cemetary on Jerusalem's eastern outskirts.

Cvish Mispar Echad, Route 1, the main connection between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

The outskirts of Abu Ghosh, an Israel-friendly Arab village.

The bus dropped me off at the main mall in Ashdod, a large seaport and beach community where I met up with...

.. my old roommate Yigal! (a.k.a. Gali,) who insisted on taking me out for shwarma.

We went to get him some fish.

All these buildings (performing arts center at left, new apartment blocks at right) have sprung up since last time I was here five years ago.

We hung out at his place for a few hours, and I got to visit with his family, who knew me way back when I was only 22. His friend owns a yacht, and was going to take us out, but it was too late. Shabbat starts very early, at 4:45 PM now, and I couldn't risk going out on the water and not being able to make it back in time. I felt badly but we thought we would try for Sunday.

Instead, Gali's friend gave me a ride to Moshav Benei Darom, where I have some cousins, so I could spend Shabbat with them. A Moshav is an agricultural collective, much like a kibbutz except private property is allowed. Most of the kibbutzim and moshavim began as secular/communist in outlook, but Benei Darom is one of those rebellious communities which stuck with Judaism in spite of their minority status, and is today a fast-growing religious community.

Pictures from Benei Darom coming soon...


Baleboosteh said...

More photos! I love it! Thanks Evan.

Your photos really make me want to come and see more of Israel for myself.

Ephraim said...


Well, good! It's a beautiful country.


When he was my roommate, his hair was shoulder-length.