“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink…”

It’s from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge – when the Ancient Mariner is stuck in the middle of the sea.

Planet Earth has a total surface area of close to 197 million square miles. Most of this surface is covered by water. Most of this water is salty or in the form of ice and thus is not directly usable by humans. About 97% of the total water on earth is in the oceans or salt lakes. Another 2% of the total amount is locked up in the form of ice; so that is to say that we humans only have ONE per cent of the water to use and re-use over and over again!! And, of this 1%, agriculture takes seventy per cent; thus leaving for the population on the globe just 30 per cent (of that one per cent) of the water to ‘indulge’ in!

It is estimated that at any given time only about 1/3 of 1% of the total water on earth can be used by humans for agriculture or human consumption!! (pages.prodigy.net/jhonig..)

Southern end of Lake Kinneret
© All photos  Riihele. All rights reserved

This photo is part of a set pics that I took  in Israel in November 2002 at the Lake Kinneret* or as it is known as well, Sea of Galilee. The town of Tiberias is on the right of the photo and the Golan Heights on the left. These boats that we had the ‘rides’ are based on an ancient model found by the lake shore some years ago.

Did you know that more than five million people die from waterborne diseases each year – 10 times the number killed in wars around the globe. (BBC online on article, Water scarcity: A looming crisis?) Here is a Quiz: World Water crisis. Go on, have a go and see how you will do on it. Intriguing information methinks. ‘

Another rather amusing article I read in a newspaper about a scientifically made testing about some of the bottled waters on the market versus the tap water in Helsinki. Guess which one came on top as the best? Tap water in Helsinki, believe it or not! (Certainly tis true that the water on tap here in Finland is both very tasty and very clean – so far, so good, that is.)

This is my contribution on the PICTURE PERFECT theme  WATER.

 Have a grand weekend and do keep so well. Rii

The name may originate from the Hebrew word kinnor (“harp” or “lyre”) in view of the shape of the lake.

This is a video of a bunch of kids dancing the Israeli folk dance called ‘Mayim, Mayim‘ aka ‘Water, Water’. I dance it meself as well, by the way.

Jerusalem: Eating Out

One of the favourite things of mine to do really, really late in the evening, when the Shabbat had started and the delicious Shabbat dinner eaten -ooh, get me that Challah, the special bread for the shabbat – was to go down through the Armenian and the Jewish Quarters to The Kotel The Western Wall. It was lovely and full of shalom moment to just sit, pray and meditate in peace and quiet there. I preferred the silence and hardly a soul there to the earlier evening when the crowds came before their meal. That said even though I am a very sociable soul in the extreme yet I always do need this time of silence and recuperation out of the maddening crowds. I suppose tis the artistic side of me personality who is hankering for this shalom away from everything…

The photograph, which is taken by me, is one of my very favourite restaurants anywhere in the world; it’s called, Nafoura -The Fountain – and is located off the Jaffa Gate in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Here is a handy map of the whole city of this City of Gold. And here is the link to the GoJerusalem portal with all sorts of great and useful iNFO about the city and its sights, sounds and places.

This is what the World Travel Guide says about the Nafoura and here are all the cities covered by this guide:

Nafoura Jerusalem Wall Restaurant

Set in an open air courtyard in what was once a parking area for caravans and chariots within the city walls but is now filled with fountains and Roman pillars with traditional Arabic music. There is also a smaller inside seating area. Nafoura offers a calm that is in contrast to the bustling maze of streets outside. The food is Middle Eastern but with Armenian and Greek influences and Lebanese salads and dips.”

Absolutely true and always most welcoming and food is delicious. Other ones of my very favourite places to nibble are the Menora – located in the Jewish Quarter and the Cacao which is the at the Cinematheque Complex on the Hebron Road. The best tables are on the terrace where there is an outstanding view over to the Old City and the Valley of Hinnom. Village Green, in the new city, was the one of the vegetarian restaurants that we favoured with our presence many times as well. We liked their soups and salads in particular and their service is great and efficient yet very friendly.

Then as the cherry on the icing is the King’s Garden Restaurant at the King David Hotel; yep fit for a king, so tis. Here is what the Wikipedia has of the history of the hotel. This is what the hotel’s online site tells about the hotel in question:

King’s Garden Restaurant

Marvel at the fabled skyline of the Old City. Watch how sunset works its magic, creating the legendary golden city. All this in one remarkable venue – the King David, a Jerusalem landmark and Israel’s most famous and luxurious hotel. The perennial host to world leaders and celebrities and flagship of the Dan Hotels.”

By no means did we spend a fortune in this hotel restaurant even though it is fit for a king as one can with a bit a forward planning eat royally and lavishly without busting the bank. We’d take the salads that were outstanding, washed down by an ice-cold beer like Maccabi or any of the wines that this land of the milk & honey produces such as the Galil Mountain Wines or Yarden wines.

The expression ‘a plate of salad’ is unknown as is the ‘a bowl of salad’ in Israel because what we are talking about of that which is dished out to one in an average restaurant – not talking about the King David which of course the most elegant of the hotels – is a bucket of salad that will feed a troupe of giants!!

Tis for now. Riihele xx.