Travel is one of our all time favorite activities; to us it is life’s most amazing luxury! We love traveling abroad but we also love leaving the city every once in a while in search of our country’s hidden gems and most beautiful locations.
This time we travelled two hours north of Tel Aviv to the city of Acre, or Akko as it is called in Hebrew.
Acre is one of the most ancient port cities in the world and according to historians was founded during the ancient bronze era; during biblical times. Acre was an important city due to its strategic location. It was conquered by different empires and rules by many different leaders. The location also attracted many sailors, poets, artists, warriors and visitors, who often visited as a rest stop along their route to other parts of the world.
Our first stop in the old city was the knight halls, which is still undergoing restoration. Although the site isn’t fully refurbished, it still has quite dramatic effects. While walking the halls we could just feel the history of the place and envision in our minds the story of the knights preparing their next fight.
In the early 1900′s these halls were used as jail cells where prisoners of the British Mandate on Israel were held.
The second stop was the Turkish bazaar. We quickly discovered that this site is a tourist trap, as everything is pretty overpriced, unlike the authentic bazaars we have visited. The highlight of the bazaar was a really nice gelato shop with homemade ice cream!
The city has beautiful galleries and exhibits. One of our favorites was an exhibit featuring historical pieces, some dating back all the way to the early 20th century! As architects we were especially intrigued by the furniture exhibits, featuring amazing Turkish wooden furniture. We were in absolute lust!
The old city’s port is a beautiful spot for a romantic stroll. We of course did some shopping in the old city’s market, where one could find fresh fish and Baklava (a dessert considered a delicacy in the Arab world), home goods, jewelry, and our favorite: lots of shoes!
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