The first thing we saw in the Joffa old city was this Christmas tree.
Joffa is about 2/3 Jew and 1/3 Arab (including Arab Christians).
The old city is just as labyrinthal as one might expect.
It’s a very chic area, with lots of artists.
And this hanging tree.
There are also lots of feral cats. This one was particularly friendly.
We passed the oldest part of the old city, a gate dating to the Canaanite era (about 4000 years ago). Obviously the bit at the front is some sort of replica, but some stone has been excavated – and mostly covered over for protection against the elements. More can’t be excavated because it’s residential property.
Then we climbed to the top of a tel and looked at this modern Statue of Faith:
The top block is the story of the Battle of Jericho (you can see the shofars on the other side), the one on the left is Jacob’s dream, and the one on the right is Abraham sacrificing Isaac.
Then we went down and across the street into St. Peter’s Catholic Church. It’s one of only two churches in Israel which face west (the rest face east), and that’s because this is where Peter had the dream telling him to go out into all the nations.
Oddly, the nativity was still up.
The church was right by the main square.
We passed two other tour groups in the square; both American, and one proclaiming loudly, “It’s the only place in the world where you can call out ‘Shlomo’ [Solomon] and ten guys turn around!”
I think we went past Simon the Tanner’s house (where Peter had the dream), but Yuval wasn’t too keen on it, so we went by quickly and I’m not quite sure.
Anyway, then we went back into the old city streets.