Monday, August 26, 2019

Friday, October 12, 2018 – Ashdod, Israel Day 2 – Partly Cloudy 78F

Notes on Ashdod.  Ashdod is Israel's largest port accounting for 60 percent of imported goods,  Ashdod is also a modern city with a population of almost 250,000 people (sixth largest city in Israel).  Real estate varies here - from modest apartments to million dollar condos.  There are malls, restaurants, and other facilities in the city, as well as a beach for water and sun.

No excursion today, as well, which meant a nice relaxing breakfast.

After seeing how nice and new the actual city of Ashdod was (during our ride here yesterday), we decided to spend the day there today.  We once again took the complimentary bus to Sea Mall.  The Mall had several floors and looked pretty new.  One section of the lower level was a kind of pot luck food court.  The various vendors had brought all kinds of food (most of which was kosher according to them) and arranged them on long tables (like a picnic buffet).  The food looked good but we still had plenty of cruise left so I was reluctant to take a chance of home cooked food.  The shops were nice and some very posh.  There were several restaurants in the mall as well – some were dairy only. 

Israelis may be crazy drivers but they do heed crosswalks.  We crossed the street to another shopping area around the corner from the Central Bus Station.  There were some pricey restaurants here (mostly dairy) and our old standby, Burgers Barn. Near the bus station there was sign for a Burger King but I would guess that store was not kosher. We had lunch at Burgers Barn (42 shekels or $10 for a huge burger and 15 shekels for fries and 10 shekels for a Coke Zero).  The total tab came to 150 shekels plus a tax of 17 percent!  It’s a good thing that there are no Burgers Barns back home or I’d be there a lot – NOTE:  The burgers put the Skokie Burger Buddy to shame – personal opinion. 

We decided to walk off some of the lunch by heading toward the beach some blocks away.  

We were also looking for another reasonable massage.  We inquired at a few beauty shops with no luck.  We did meet a very nice older couple - Bob and Hanna - who lived in one of the new million dollar condos.  We chatted with them for a while and took a picture, as well.

We went back to the Sea Mall to check on spas and found one on the lower level of the mall (there were few stores there).  The spa was very busy place that at first told us that they had no openings but said if we wanted to book right now, they could take one of us.  After some dithering, I took the opening and had a massage for NIS 165 – about $40.  The session was pretty nice but only 50 minutes long but still within the $/min spec.  My tech spoke perfect English, was pretty strong, and got most of the kinks out.  

When we left the mall, the stores were all closing for Shabbat.

We didn’t wait long for the shuttle bus (a good thing because there are no seats or shade at the bus stop) and in a few minutes we were back on the ship.

Showtime tonight paired Ollie Mulkeen and melodic lounge duo, Izzy and Moe.  An entertaining show.

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