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Isi Davis presents, New Year’s 2017

posted 9 Jan 2017, 21:04 by Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin   [ updated 10 Jan 2017, 09:07 ]

For those of us who travel vicariously through others:

Isi Davis presents, New Year’s 2017...

We landed in Austria and spent a few days venturing around. Then we flew to Gibraltar and spent a few days there. From there we went to Scotland and celebrated New Years, in Edinburgh.


Viennese confectionery; Holocaust memorial.


Edinburgh Castle Scotland



Haggis, (Scotland's national dish,) is a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal's stomach though now often in an artificial casing instead.

In the absence of hard facts as to haggis' origins, popular folklore suggests that the dish originated from the days of the old Scottish cattle drovers. When the men left the Highlands to drive their cattle to market in Edinburgh the women would prepare rations for them to eat during the long journey down through the glens. They used the ingredients that were most readily available in their homes and conveniently packaged them in a sheep's stomach allowing for easy transportation during the journey.


Edinburgh Castle from the south east.

"The most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world".


Greyfriars Bobby was a Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for supposedly spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner until he died himself on 14 January 1872.

Disney’s film, Greyfriars Bobby (1961): The True Story Of A Dog - just one of the films made about the legend of the cemetery-dwelling Skye terrier.

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From there we went to Scotland and celebrated New Years, in Edinburgh.  In Edinburgh on New Year's Eve the Scottish people congregate on the Royal Mile. A Scottish Band marches down the Mile, followed by at least 10,000 torchbearers, culminating in fireworks and a huge bonfire.

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Edinburgh's Hogmanay festival is probably one of the world's greatest New Year's celebrations. The opening event is the spectacular Torchlit Procession. Approximately 40,000 attend this festival from all over the world. The torch bearers illuminate the city as the walk the mile followed by a huge bonfire on the Hill. Some of the events include, Torchlight Procession, Sprogmany, Tim Burgess in Concert, Candlelit Concert at St Giles, Street Party, Old Town Ceilidh with Belhaven Night, Afore Concert Concert in the Gardens The Final Fling and Stoats Loony Dook.

The View from The Rock



Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and headland, on Spain's south coast. It’s dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, a 426m-high limestone ridge. First settled by the Moors in the Middle Ages and later ruled by Spain, the outpost was ceded to the British in 1713. Layers of fortifications include the remains of a 14th-century Moorish Castle and the 18th century Great Siege Tunnels, which were expanded in WWII.


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Gibraltar Monkeys or Barbary Macaques are considered by many to be the top tourist attraction in Gibraltar.

The Barbary Apes of Gibraltar are tail-less monkeys and are an unusual and delightful attraction for anyone visiting Gibraltar or the Costa del Sol. No one is really sure how the only wild apes in Europe arrived in Gibraltar. The two most popular explanations as to the appearance of the apes of Gibraltar is either that they crossed via a subterranean tunnel from their native Morocco or British sailors introduced them having picked them up on their travels. Whatever the explanation they readily adapted to their new habitat and have lived, bred and been an integral part of Gibraltar for some centuries now.

WARNING: Can be vicious.

We then traveled to Spain and rented a Jeep, and put on over a thousand miles.





Casa de Sefarad

Tour through time capsule of the Jews living in Spain, there richness and tragedy, that bestowed them. Many Jew converted, or left for Northern Africa and the Middle East, others became Pirates and explorers in the new world.   Casa de Sefarad is a private and independent museum and also a cultural space, It's aim is to recover and restore the Judeo-Spanish (Sephardic) trace and identity as a fundamental component of the Hispanic identity.

Casa de Sefarad is located in the heart of the Jewish quarter of Cordoba, next to the ancient Synagogue, at the junction between Judios street and Averroes street. Here you find the Life Cycle room, being born, growing up, dying and a collection of items which accompany Jews of the time through the life cycle. Cooking and golden thread embroidery, birth and weddings, and exile from Spain. The Women from Al-Andalus room. Forgotten women, female librarians, thinkers, poets and doctors who really existed. The Synagogue room Beth ha-knesset, a meeting and gathering place and haven. The Festivities room, rich in variety and singularity of the festivities of the times. The Maimonides room, RaMBaM, Jewish Cordovan, philosopher, doctor, talmudist. The Jewish Quarter of Cordoba room, is the most important urban spaced among the Hispanic-Jewish quarters capital of Sepharad. The Inquisition room, it is not possible to understand the Spanish History without knowing about the Inquisition or to understand our Jews of the times. Many documents displayed. The Music room, language, literature and music, the real treasure of the Sephardic culture and tradition. Pictures were hard to take due to the lighting in the separate rooms and glass covering the displays.

Located in the Jewish Quarter, (Juderia,) a maze-like conglomeration of narrow streets, this historic Córdoba Synagogue is entered after crossing a small plaza; thus there is no street entrance to the building. Although it has recently been reused for services, it had had other uses after the Jews were banished from Spain in 1492 CE. Before that for about two centuries it was one of several synagogues and part of the lively spiritual and intellectual life in Córdoba when Jewish, Moorish and even Christian thinkers made that capital city of the caliphate their home. (The monument to Maimonides is just down the street.) None of the other early synagogues remains. The building has only two downstairs rooms--an entry atrium and the praying room. The entry has a staircase to the upstairs women's gallery. The three arcades are decorated with words from the Psalms. This Synagogue is not a very impressive building. Nevertheless, it is one of Cordoba's highlights because it is the only Synagogue in Andalusia. It was built under Arab rule in 1315 AD, and decorated in the Arab style.


Cordoba Spain:

old synagogue and statue of Maimonides.


jewish quarter tiberiades square



Left Spain for Portugal and finally arrived in Warsaw before leaving for home. Weather was great and the scenery spectacular. Hopefully our next trip will be in March to the South Pacific.

I will have to look up to see if, there are any Synagogues.