Friday, October 5, 2012

My Journey Through Israel - Part 4

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 16:19:45

Last night I took a 40-minute bus ride to go to the Eretz Israel Museum, that includes the Israel postal museum.  I went mainly to see the 2010 world press photo exhibit.  Included in the exhibit was an Israeli portion, which included gruesome photos of war zones in nearby Countries.

I then took a bus back to the hotel and by mistake got off a few miles too soon.  The other day I was told that the poet Hayim Bialik saved the Hebrew language since originally many came to the country from elsewhere speaking their native language.  He would only speak Hebrew and encouraged others to do the same.  While I was walking through this area and many parts of Israel I came across people who spoke both English and Hebrew or only Hebrew.

Aqueduct of Caesarea. Caesarea, Israel
(c) Daniel Yoffee Photography 
This morning David picked me up at 9 a.m.  Our first stop was Caesarea, which in the 60's was a beach resort for those living in Tel Aviv.  We passed by David's parents weekend house.  A former Israeli president lived across the street.  The area has ancient ruins including an amphitheater that is still in use today.

On the way to Haifa we past the Carmel Mountains which, in 2010, had a large part destroyed by the largest forest fire to hit Israel. The view of Haifa from Mount Carmel is spectacular.  From there we could see the mountains of Lebanon.   On the side of the road we passed horses and some kind of animal that looked too large to be a cow.  I wasn't sure what it was.

The View of Haifa from Mount Carmel
(c) Daniel Yoffee Photography 
We passed a city that is home to many Israeli Arabs.  David said that the current prime minister suggested giving back that land but those Arabs are very happy in Israel. He said that they have better living conditions and get Social Security.

We then went to the Lake of Galilee by the Golan Heights.  There are many hiking trails in the large mountainous area.  We drove through the area, which belonged to the Syrians until The six-day war in 1967.  There are still remnants of that war.  Driving through we could see tanks, old army outposts and fences along the roadside that say do not enter - minefields.  Some are still active.

The View of the Golan Heights from Hula Valley
(c) Daniel Yoffee Photography 
When we got to the bottom of the mountain we could look up at another mountain and see an area with only ten houses.  This was our destination for lunch, the home of David's sister and her husband.  We could see hawks over the mountain as well as a large untouched area of grass.  I was told that this was the location of the first synagogue before Jerusalem.  We all then went to the Hula Nature Reserve.  Part of the area is a bird sanctuary.  We were given a tour, by golf cart, where we saw 42,000 Cranes, beavers and a variety of other birds. David and his brother-in-law Ami thought it was very important for me to extend my trip to see this area of the country.
Hula Lake Park, Northern Israel
(c) Daniel Yoffee Photography 

Now we are headed back to Tel Aviv.  It will be my last night.

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 20:45:38

This morning after a good night’s sleep and a breakfast consisting mainly of fruit I took a bus across town to Rothschild Boulevard. Edmond James de Rothschild, was a strong supporter of Zionism.  His generous donations lent significant support to the movement during its early years, which helped lead to the establishment of the State of Israel.  

Bauhaus Architecture, Tel Aviv, Israel
(c) Daniel Yoffee Photography 
I was headed to a tour of Bauhaus architecture that started in the 1930's with an idea that form follows function.  A large number of the houses are now undergoing renovations.  They say there is a law that each building must be renovated after a certain number of years but that law isn't enforced.

The guide spoke more about the history of Tel Aviv than Bauhaus.  He mentioned the Bialik and Rubin Museums on Bialik Street.  Bialik moved to Tel Aviv when he was 50.  He had no children and donated his house after he and his wife died.  The tour guide said that the same was true about Rubin.  That he had no children.  I corrected him and said that I was with both of them yesterday.  The guide was more impressed that the Rubin family would give up their home.

This Old House – Tel Aviv, Israel
(c) Daniel Yoffee Photography 
After the tour I walked back to the hotel via the beach.  After a nap I walked down to what used to be the port and airport hangars that have been renovated into shops and restaurants.

I got to the airport at 7:45 for an 11:40 p.m. flight.  The security gate for my flight didn't open until 8:30 p.m.  One woman said that flying used to be fun.  We had to go through security with all of our checked bags and then again with the carry on bags.  My laptop bag was searched because I had a book in it.  They already had my laptop. We had to have our passports checked twice but I was surprised that we didn't have to remove our shoes.

During the entire trip I was amazed how many times I heard my last name mentioned when people spoke Hebrew.  It means great or beautiful.  I had a great time but look forward to getting home, sleeping in my own bed and not having to ask people if they speak English.  If I do go back again I need to learn Hebrew. The plane will be boarding soon.



1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love the Hula Nature Reserve! The abundance of greens, water and wildlife is beautiful. Too bad I didn’t get to dine in the Golan Heights! However, I’d probably like it better to eat breakfast or dinner there. This is really a must-see for nature travelers. :D