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From Caesaria to Tzimmer

Lost in Northern Israel

sunny 35 °C


We had only three days left in Israel and we wanted to experience as much as we could. So the next morning we began our last big adventure in Israel exploring some of the areas in Northern Israel we hadn't seen. We first drove to Caesarea and walked through the well-perserved ruins of this ancient city. As we walked through we were awed by the architecture and the extensive remains of the city. Our enthusiasm waned a bit due to the extreme heat and our total exhaustion from the bike trip.

Caesaria was built by Herod to honour Augustas Caesar, but the area had been a porty for a long time under different rulers

There is also a large roman theater. It is still in use and the seats you see in the picture are set up for a concert "The Best of Queen"
It's not too hard to imagine gladiators fighting it out here.

Here is some of Herod's castle. The floors were inlaid with complex ceramic patterns. He even had a swimming pool.

But after our lunch on an outdoor patio by the sea we were ready to continue our journey. We stopped at a town called El Had that is built on the side of a mountain and populated by artists who open up their houses to visitors. Unfortunately since it was Friday afternoon most of the artists homes were closed but we still enjoyed the experience of walking through this town. There was some sculpture i around the town. Here is a sample.

Gail had booked us for dinner at a family run business in an Arab village called El Hud (same name as the previous village but Arabic spelling). Trying to get to this village was a challenge because at one point the road seemed to disappear. After trying numerous other roads and contacting Gail and David and then the restaurant we realized this truly was the way to El Hud. We slowly made our way up and down the steep roads on the mountain and after about 30 minutes we arrived at El Hud. This village seemed so remote we couldn't believe that anyone would go there for dinner. But the restaurant was very busy and the view spectacular as we watched the sun set from our perch at the top of the mountain.

The restaurant was owned by a Druz family who provided enough food for the two of us to feed at least triple the number of people. We started out with about 20 appetizers followed by another 8 meat and chicken courses and then of course dessert. After we had stuffed ourselves they really seemed concerned that we had enough to eat. The variety and quality of food was outstanding but enough was enough.

A common way of serving meals in Israel is to put out a lot of appetizers - hummus, tahinni, corn, and various salads. When you finish one of the items they refill the dish as often as you want. Of course there is a charge for this, but this could be your entire meal. Usually, at this point you would order from a menu, probably a kabob or something like that. In this case though, it was a set many course meal of different types of meats - lamb, chicken etc. Also, this being the month of Rammadan, Moslims, who haven't eaten all day will go out to a restaurant with their families, so there were a lot of little children here.

Being at the top of a mountain, provided a bnother beatiful sunset.

The last challenge of the day was to find our accomodation at our tzimmers (a tzimmer is a cabin that is often in the mountains that provides a full Israeli breakfast and snacks to the renters). Our cabin was located about 10 km. from a town called Karmiel. Unfortunately I had misheard the name of the town and thought it was Carmel and both of us were very tired. After driving in circles around Haifi and phoning the owner Yoni multiple times we finally found our way to the cabin. Although we were provided with a bottle of wine and some snacks upon arrival we barely managed to take in our luggage before we fell asleep. The wine would have to wait for another day.

The cabins were much the same as you ould find in Muskoka. As everyhere, there were cats here too
Actually, the owner had a picture in her wall taken a couple of years ago in winter, when they had several inches of snow

One of the things that is much different in Israel than in Muskoka is the view from the cabin and the pommigranite trees.

A tzimmer, is not like a kibbutz (collective farm, or other enterprise) it is more like a trailer park. Here is one of the homes

Posted by arick 10:27

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