I had a few weeks off and not much to do, and I decided to make a first visit to Israel. There was not really much in the way of planning here but all holy sites were on the list. It was a Jewish holiday and the last week or so was in Jerusalem - which may have been a bit longer than I needed.
So there was a bit of over-shopping.
Mamilla is beautiful, artsy and trendy. Many of the stores you would see in the USA or Germany (countries I have lived in). The souks have much more touristy crap with some fine jewelry and antiques mixed in. All the prices seemed to be negotiable at all of them.
I do have a favorite: wedged close between The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and The Western Wall is a row of souks called David Street. At #89 was one called Garden of Eden, where they have both fine Roman Glass and jewelry, and, also some touristy crap mixed in...which makes the place PERFECT. If you buy one nice thing (all the Roman Glass was way-cool and had a certificate of authenticity with it) naturally your bargaining power to get him to throw in a few touristy things is way better. I bought my name written in Hebrew, but I could have had Arabic or English too. The proprietor was named Moe, and, since he and I both came from New York City in two minutes we chatted up a bit, and, it was really low pressure (the others mostly don't let you leave until you buy something). I bought lots of small cheap things (colored sand in a bottle for example) got a decent price, and on my last day went in and got the good stuff...my name in gold, in Hebrew...for about 100 Shekels cheaper than anywhere else in the Souks- and believe me, I shopped around before hand.
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