Saturday, April 21, 2018

April A to Z Challenge: S is for Shekels, Shawarma, Church of St. Anne, Sea of Galilee

S is for Shekels

On our trip in 2016, we all changed some of our money in the Newark airport before departing for Israel. This time, I didn’t change any money and had no problems. Most of the actual stores take credit cards and most everyone else takes US dollars. There are some places, like a food kiosk in the Tel Aviv airport, only give change in shekels.

.99 Israeli Shekel = 0.28 US dollar

The price is often listed in shekels and we divided by 3 to get a general idea of cost in US dollars. I think it was closer to 0.33 when we were there earlier this year.

Our tour guide cautioned us against using credit cards in the Old City booths. She (we also had Tamar, Rafi’s wife) told us to ask her before using our credit card and she could tell us if it was safe or not. I just paid cash for things in the marketplace.
sorry for the poor photography --
I think this is the only]
coin I have from the

S is for Shawarma

This is a meat preparation where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats are placed on a spit and may be grilled for as long as a day.  Have you every purchased a gyro in the US and watched them slice the big piece of meat?

S is for the Church of St. Anne

According to, “The Church of St Anne is the best-preserved Crusader church in Jerusalem. It marks the traditional site of the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents, Anne and Joachim, and the birthplace of the Virgin Mary.

Located just north of the Temple Mount, about 50 metres inside St Stephen’s or Lions’ Gate, the church stands in a courtyard with trees, shrubs and flowers. Its tranquility contrasts with the bustling streets and alleys of the Muslim Quarter.

Next to the church is the large excavation area of the Pools of Bethesda, where Christ healed a sick man (John 5:2-9).

The New Testament says nothing about the birthplace of Mary. However, an ancient tradition, recorded in the apocryphal Gospel of James which dates from around AD 150, places the house of her parents, Anne and Joachim, close to the Temple area.

A church built around 450 on the site of St Anne’s was dedicated to “Mary where she was born”.

Strong lines and thick walls give St Anne’s a fortress-like appearance. Its simple dignity offers a space for prayer and contemplation without distraction. It is also unusually asymmetrical in the detail of its design: Opposite columns do not match, windows are all different sizes, and buttresses differ in thickness and height.

The Church of St Anne is renowned for its remarkable acoustics and reverberating echoes. The voices of even a small choral group can sound like a large congregation in a vast cathedral.

When we were there in 2016, we actually took a picture of all of the grandparents, or grandparents to be – ME, too, at that time.  p.s. I thought it was Ann but this article says "anne" so I'm going with it.

S is for the Sea of Galilee

I just love these two pictures and had to include them. We stayed on the Sea of Galilee at our first hotel and I walked down the boardwalk one evening and was able to catch these great photographs (as I'm typing this, I'm wondering if it was sunrise or sunset??) I walked down there several times and it was beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. I did once go to a Shawarma restaurant in San Mateo, CA but I'm not a big gyro fan. It was good meat, though.

    I think I'd just avoid using my credit card in the marketplace, too. Here, no markets take credit cards (some stores do now, though) so all transactions are in cash.

    Wow, those sunsets on the Sea of Galilee are amazing, Lisa!

    Emily In Ecuador