Jerusalem, Israel

HDRtist HDR - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/

Located in the hills of Jerusalem, in the shadow of history, is a thoroughly modern boutique hotel. After a day touring some of the world’s most revered religious sites, the weary traveller can escape to an oasis of pampering in this burgeoning vineyard region. First time visitors to Jerusalem may want to add an extra day to the itinerary to enjoy the Cramin Hotel’s spa and fitness treatments or tour one of the neighbouring boutique wineries.

Dabble Savvy: To preserve the tranquil, relaxing atmosphere, only guests over 10 years of age are welcome.

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ABOVE: Jerusalem—the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity and a sacred city for Muslims—attracts thousands of visitors each year. The devout come to worship, the curious to learn and the adventuresome to explore.

Child putting a note inside the Wailing Wall - Noam Chen

ABOVE: A young man touches the ancient stones in the sacred wailing wall.

View this blog post in Portuguese on homeyou.com.

Mitzpe Ramon, Israel

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Beresheet Hotel

As I contemplate a description of the Mitzpe Ramon Crater and adjacent Beresheet Hotel, dear reader, I fear you’ll roll your eyes. After all, isn’t it just a tad clichéd to describe a destination or a hotel as breathtaking? Or, out of this world? If I say the setting is an unparalleled phenomenon (I stole this from the website) would you believe me? How about this? We drove for hours through the Israeli desert and found ourselves at the mouth of a mirage!

Neither words nor pictures do it justice. I can only say I know (and can’t wait) to return one day soon.

Qumran Cave​ - Alberto Peral

Eilat & Red Sea, Israel

ריף הדולפינים, אילת

If you think Israel is all history and no play, think again. Locals are quick to point to Eilat as an oasis, a romping vacation destination.

Wedged between Akaba, Jordan to the east and the Egyptian Sinai desert to the west, Eilat was historically a trade route. Jewelry lovers will also delight in this little fact—it’s the only place on earth where the Eilat or King Solomon stone is mined.

Eilat Red Sea - Dafna Tal​

Tel Aviv, Israel

Jaffa is one of the oldest ports in the world, with ruins dating back to the Bronze Age. Today, it’s a thriving destination for visitors and locals alike.

Tel Aviv at 100

ABOVE: The Tel Aviv boardwalk is a hub of activity during warm weather months.

Market on Tel Aviv - Nahalat Binyamin

ABOVE: Arts and crafts at Nahalat Binyamin market.

Portrait of a young woman - Dana Friedlander

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ABOVE: This modern work of art, the Suspended Tree, is a popular attraction in a neighbourhood filled with wonder.

Modern History

  • Sunlight fills the entry, throwing light onto stone walls likely more than 400 years old.
  • A series of glass paneled doors greets the entry and closes to offer privacy (when combined with blackout shades) in the master bedroom.
  • The building’s shell is composed of a combination of pottery and beach sand. The bisque and terracotta colours create natural warmth in the coved dining room.
  • The architects created distinct viewpoints in each of the rooms, often providing a glimpse into adjacent spaces. The organic shaped coffee tables and rustic woven rug support a mandate to use natural, raw materials.
  • The Mediterranean Sea is reflected in a mirror that brings light into the spare living space. The cable strung staircase rises gracefully to the master bedroom above.
  • The galley kitchen efficiently carves utilitarian space into the home and provides those in residence with an expansive view of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Sleeping quarters are stacked above the living room, where they enjoy full ocean views.

Set above the harbor, facing the majestic Mediterranean Sea in Old Jaffa, is an ancient structure given new life by the thoughtful architects hired to restore its integrity.

Though it’s difficult to determine the structure’s exact age, it is clear that it is hundreds of years old. Over time, changes and additions had damaged the original integrity of the dwelling. The central ideal, therefore, was to restore the original characteristics—the stone walls, the segmented ceilings and the arches—to peel back and expose the original state.

The language of minimalism embedded in a historic residence in Old Jaffa.

“Surprisingly modern, minimalistic construction styles (especially ancient ones) allow us to create new spaces that blend periods together—even intensify them because of the contrast and tension between the ages.” ~ Pitsou

The historical is expressed by preserving the textures and materials of the building’s outer shell and by respecting the engineering accordingly.

The modern is expressed by opening spaces and altering the internal flow, and by incorporating natural materials such as stainless steel banding, iron and wood.

Pistou’s project succeeds in both honoring and preserving the historical and romantic values of the structure while creating a contemporary project suited to today’s lifestyle.

Designed by Pitsou Kedem, Raz Melamed & Irene Goldberg

Photography by Amit Geron

Qumran & Dead Sea, Israel

Qumran and the Dead Sea​ - Alberto Peral

Not far from the Dead Sea is the West Bank archaeological site of Qumran.

Here, the arid earth and sky tell a story thousands of years old—of occupation, settlement and, more recently, as the vicinity of the discovery site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Visitors typically explore the rugged landscape by jeep though the adventurous may choose a more plodding type of transportation and set out on camelback.

Bedouin Camels in the Southern Israel Desert

BELOW: The Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth—a characteristic which lends the water its famous buoyancy.

Dead Sea Salt - Itamar Grinberg

Israel Gallery

3 Days in Jamaica

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Day 1

MORNING The Seagrape Terrace at Half Moon serves breakfast sunny side up – outdoors by the sea.

MID-MORNING Visit the 6,500 acre Rose Hall Great House and try to avoid a run-in with the famous White Witch!

12 NOON Walking around a haunted Great House works up an appetite, and so does the 1ó hour car ride to Negril for an afternoon lunch on the edge of a cliff at “The Caves”.

AFTERNOON Photograph The Caves, the 7-mile beach and the Negril Lighthouse.

LATE AFTERNOON Revive your spirits at Rick’s Café. Enjoy the music and gawk at the local cliff divers. Order some nachos, a Red Stripe beer and you’ll be rewarded with a sunset like no other.

EVENING Drive back to Half Moon and dine at II Giardino, for a sumptuous meal prepared by the hotel’s famed Italian chef, Guido Gilardoni.

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Day 2

MORNING Twice the charm; enjoy another breakfast at the Seagrape Terrace.

MID-MORNING Drive to Ochos Rios and stop at Greenwood Great House, the finest antique museum in the Caribbean.

12 NOON Lunch at Evita’s is a must. The pasta house has served notable guests Naomi Campbell, Brad Pitt, and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) to name just a few.

AFTERNOON Visit Dunn’s River Falls and get more than just your feet wet.

LATE AFTERNOON Stop off at the Island Village and Ochos Rios Craft Market.

EVENING Check into Chris Blackwell’s legendary resort, GoldenEye and enjoy a Blackwell Rum tasting before dinner in the tree house-like gazebo.

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Day 3

MORNING Enjoy Jamaican style bacon and eggs at the Bizot Bar.

MID-MORNING Visit Firefly, Noël Coward’s tropical retreat.

12 NOON Head over to Scotchie’s for authentic Jamaican jerk barbeque.

AFTERNOON Shop Wassi Art for Jamaican-made arts and crafts.

EVENING Before the sun sets, take a glass bottom boat ride and enjoy the sea life.

Shakin’ Shakshuka

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When I booked my fare to Israel the very last thing I envisioned was cooking a meal or funnier still, finding myself in front of a hot stove!  But Tel Aviv is full of surprises. Dr. Shakshuka is a culinary treasure in a country where there are so many fabulous meals to be sampled. This was my first taste of the classic egg-based dish and certainly, my first time cooking it – although I had some help from the doctor himself.

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If you’re planning a trip to Israel then this has to be a stop. Travel plans or not, the recipe is simple and satisfying:

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Shakshuka Recipe
Courtesy Shai Deluca

INGREDIENTS
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
• 4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 1 tsp chili powder (mild)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp paprika
• Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
• Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 5-6 eggs
• 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.

2. Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.

3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshuka (be careful with the cayenne… it is extremely spicy!).

4. Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook “over easy” style on top of the tomato sauce.

5. Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which can lead to burning.

6. Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired. Shakshuka can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For breakfast, serve with warm crusty bread or pita that can be dipped into the sauce (if you’re gluten-intolerant or celebrating Passover, skip the bread). For dinner, serve with a green side salad for a light, easy meal.

Pom Pom Pomegranates

Lucky for us, it was pomegranate season when we touched down in Jerusalem.

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The ruby red orbs were everywhere – sold in restaurants and on street corners. We sampled our first taste (though it wasn’t the last) from this jovial man in the Jerusalem market. He made swift work of the juicing, adding the contents of two full fruits to each glass.

The taste. Just as sweet and “puckery” as you’d imagine.

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How many things can you say “puckery” about??

Everything is Irie! A Special Thanks to Jamaica.

I fell in love with Jamaica.  The incredible people, culture and cuisine was surpassed only by the fragrant fresh air, gorgeous beaches and coastal plains that give you the feeling you’re standing as close to heaven as humanly possible.

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One of the biggest pleasures I had on this adventure was meeting new friends. The Jamaican Tourist Board went out of their way to showcase Jamaica’s best.

Symerna Blake, our fabulous guide, is a knowledgeable ambassador for Jamaica. Thank you Symerna for making the trip so special.

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I’d also like to thank our ultra savvy driver Jermaine Smith from Paradise Travels whose road warrior skills and panache got us through some tough terrain… always on-time and in-style!

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With endless gratitude,

Nicholas Rosaci and Team Dabble

 

Design for Living

  • Sir Noël Coward, the legendary English playwright, actor, singer, director and composer was also known for his flamboyant wit and personal style.
  • Immortalized in this stone statue, Coward sits forever in his beloved garden, peering out onto an almost unchanged glorious natural coastline.
  • Inside, rooms are filled with Coward’s original furniture, artifacts, paintings and photographs.
  • A photo of good friend, Marlene Dietrich sits atop the piano.

East of Oracabessa, Jamaica sits Firefly, named after the glowing insects indigenous to these lush hills. Noël Coward’s famed mountaintop estate offers an unparallelled view of St Mary’s harbor, the original lookout for the notorious pirate Sir Henry Morgan (of rum bottle fame).

My sense of importance to small. On the other hand importance to myself to the world is relatively hand my sense of my own myself is tremendous.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA AUCLAIR