Ever since seeing these posts, last fall, Sarah has wanted to visit Ramla for herself.  Whenever I told an Israeli this, I was asked “Why?” It’s a pretty run-down town just off the main highway connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. For a long time it had been a very important town, passing from hand to hand as different conquerors controlled the area.  It has also been destroyed by earthquakes several times. The small city museum has a very nice exhibit of the history of the city, including 3 separate stashes of gold coins that were discovered during modern construction. This was taken as evidence of the city’s important economic and commercial history. And the idea of long lost treasure was very intriguing to Noah.

At present, it’s pretty run down, but has a very authentic shuk, with a little of everything: pet stores, clothing, discount toys, and, most importantly food.  We went to what is billed as the best burekas shop in Israel, or perhaps we went to the burekas shop two stores down from the best one.  Anyway, we went to a good one.  We got a cheese bureka, a big phyllo pastry filled with cheese.  When you order it, they slice it open and shove a cut-up hard boiled egg inside.  It was very tasty.  Here is photographic evidence:

A plate of burekas

and fifteen more

We also saw evidence of spring – these lovely bags of green almonds, although we still haven’t found any good use for them.  Somebody must though…

Another interesting thing about Ramla is a 1300 year old undergound reservoir built by an early Muslim ruler.  You go down some stairs, and row around the eerie vaulted columns.  It’s the stuff of Indiana Jones movies.  Watch out for the giant mass of electric eels! (Okay, I made up that part.)

While we have loved the food in Israel.  I, at least, miss some of the varieties of foods from home.  I was very happy when Sarah told me there’s a community of Jews from India in Ramla, and an Indian restaurant. I was very excited for lunch.  We got there about noon, after asking the men at the Bollywood DVD stall in the market where it was. Sadly, they only started serving lunch at 1pm, which is strange for a Friday.  We needed to get to Jerusalem to see the cousins, so we bought some samosas to go.  Funny how food from somewhere I’ve never been reminds me of home. We should have stopped in one of the restaurants advertising “Tunisian sandwiches.”  Maybe we’ll have to go back…