Travel diary, day 11 of 14
Nazareth: start of the 60km Jesus Trail that joins Jesus’s important places by way of hiking, super close to Jenin yet separated from it by politics, completely bilingual and way more Christian than I suspected. Also- guess what? We’ve done it again! Friday with the Muslims and Saturday with the Jews clearly haven’t been enough for us; so GOOD MORNING Sunday with the Christians, and not any Sunday but the last Sunday of Advent!!!
Decorations are quite literally everywhere. The tree is possibly the most beautiful I have ever seen. There are also tons and tons of hostels all in the same part of town, clearly testifying for the quantity of tourists that must come here. By the time we’re all set in our new rooms it’s already past midday and we know a Christmas market is in the making in the Old City, so we just take a quick (haha, yeah sure) hop to the top of the hill where the Salesian complex offers a great panoramic view, and then we’re off to a lavish huge meal as well as some much less lavish “window” shopping (by the way, sudden question: when you’re out and about actually shopping for windows, what do you call that? Window window shopping?!).
It’s the simplest, quietest, most normal and least eventful day of our trip so far. For me, it’s also the most similar to a potential day in Italy at this time of year. It’s nice, restful, and we welcome this moment of chill between disproportionate chocolate syringes, tri-religious shops, elaborate donuts that border on scary and eager sellers of traditional embroidery that we have already seen at least a dozen times – but, of course, is always beautiful.
The real story of the day is a little less Christmasy than the general mood of this cute town and it happens between 11.30pm and midnight, when let’s say that one of Santa’s reindeer, happy but genuinely tired from her article-writing (to be published soon, insha’Allah!) and yearning for her sacred dose of deep sleep, embarks on a mission to send the naughty i.e. loud kids outside her window to bed. And I shall say no more, except that there is a happy ending where our heroic reindeer is thanked by other reindeer and Santa’s elf apologises for not taking care of the naughty kids himself, but the raindeer forgives him because she knows that if it weren’t for her mother’s incredible inspiration when it comes to making people do what’s right she, too, would never have been brave and solid enough to confront those kids i.e. grown male adults, really.
I guess the spirit of Christmas comes in many shapes 😉
Pretending to be sad in front of the empty, desolate, closed market doors.
Food of the day: classic breakfast in Tel Aviv; free cake at our hostel in Nazareth; a “warm healthy drink” of ginger, apple, cinnamon and lemon plus a mildly spicy rice noodle & beef chow mein with mushrooms and all those other things (DE-LI-CIOUS!!) 😛