Over twenty years ago, when some real estate developers began marketing Beit Shemesh, they kept insisting that it's right near Jerusalem. I think they claimed it was something like seventeen minutes away. The truth is that it may be that from the border of Jerusalem, on the highway until the turnoff to Beit Shemesh, when driving in the middle of the night without traffic it may be '"seventeen minutes." But at 11am, in a fast bus on the highway, no traffic, to the first stop at the Beit Shemesh Junction, which has three malls but no residential buildings I could find, it took about thirty-three minutes from Jerusalem Central Bus Station.
Our plan was to meet for lunch in the Bleecker Street Bakery. My friends and I came from all over the country, Kedumim, Shiloh, Netivot, Beersheva and quite a few points in between.
I was happy to discover that I could buy a one day unlimited bus pass, Metropolitan Jerusalem West, senior citizen rate NS13.50 (just over $3-) when I got on my bus in Shiloh, and it would include Beit Shemesh. As I had written, I'm not familiar with Beit Shemesh. To be honest I began to panic when I got off the bus, even though it was the correct stop. I didn't expect to see three malls nearby. Nobody had warned me.
Since I was early, I decided to case out mall #1, and thank Gd I found Bleecker Street Bakery. My friends and I chose Bleecker Street Bakery, because it had a breakfast special which could be ordered all day. The food was delicious. Everyone was happy with their selections.
Just a few steps into the store I spotted the easy to recognize icons for the Public Toilets and followed the signs. My experiences with Rami Levy's WCs have been pretty good, and these didn't disappoint.
The public toilets were clean and stocked with paper and soap. My friends who had found the mall's WC admitted that it was "lacking."
I had a lovely time with my friends, who requested "no pictures" on the blog.