Historical sites Although the modern state of Israel has only existed for less than a century, Israel has a long, complex history dating back some 4,000 years — and this history is decipherable in almost every corner of the country. Impressive archaeological sites are spread from north to south and each city is a living, breathing museum telling the story of this alluring country. There are the ancient steep cliffs, brushed in

orange, of Timna Park at the southern end of the country, and the timeworn Masada Fortress in the Dead Sea area. There’s the city of Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast with its large Roman amphitheater, all the way to Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee in the north of the country. And of course, a visit to Israel wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Jerusalem — a city sacred to Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In its Old City, you can visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque — a holy site for Islam; the Western Wall, a remnant of the Holy Temple, where thousands of people pray every day; and walk the Via Dolorosa, which is believed to be the path that Jesus followed on the way to his crucifixion.

Markets A visit to one of Israel’s markets — called shuks — is one of the best ways to experience the Israeli-Middle Eastern vibe. Follow the smoky scents and lose yourself in a jumble of stalls, where artisans ply their wares and tease travelers who refuse to loosen their purse strings. Whether you’re after a grab-and-perch bite to eat or woven textiles to carry back home, a trip to one of Israel’s markets takes people-watching to a whole different level. If you find yourself in Jerusalem, look to the

bazaar-like Mahane Yehuda — a large market where stalls are piled high with freshly harvested fruit and vegetables, colorful spices, fresh fish, halva, sweets of every shape and size and much more. The market has also evolved into a serious dining destination, with scores of local foodies nabbing tables throughout the day to enjoy a range of dishes made with ingredients from the market itself. Elsewhere in Tel Aviv, the Carmel Market is a

buzzing emporium, where shoppers mooch from stall to stall, gazing at spices, fruits, electronics, clothes and art made by local creatives.

2021 | Israeli Academia 35


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